Besan and Jowar Chilas with Hari Chutney


The Locavore—in collaboration with Tillage, one of our producer partners—ran a three-day contest in September, 2022. With the aim to promote millets, we called, via social media, for innovative recipes, or ones that have been handed down through generations. We were thrilled by the participation, and the variety of the recipes that came in from across the country.

Here we share the winning entry, a simple variation on your typical besan chila: add some jowar, or sorghum flour, to the mix to make it a healthier snack.

Besan (gram flour) 1 cup
Jowar (sorghum) flour ½ cup
Green chilies, chopped 2
Medium-sized onion, chopped 1
Ajwain (carom seeds) ½ teaspoon
Ginger, finely chopped Small piece
Turmeric powder ¼ teaspoon
Baking powder 1 teaspoon
Coriander leaves, chopped 2 tablespoons
Salt 1 teaspoon or to taste
Oil 10 teaspoons
Ginger 1 inch
Green chillies 2
Garlic 2 cloves
Coriander leaves 1 to 2 cups
Mint leaves ½ cup
Lemon juice 2 tablespoons
Salt 1 teaspoon or to taste

A mixing bowl, a ladle, a deep spoon, a frying pan with a lid, and an electric grinder will be useful.


Mix all the ingredients for the chilas, except for the oil, with water to make a thick batter. Let this rest for 5 to 10 minutes.


Meanwhile, to make the chutney, grind all the ingredients for the chutney, ideally without adding any water. You can, however, add a few ice cubes into the mixer grinder if you want to preserve the vibrant green colour.


Heat a frying pan, and grease it with ½ teaspoon of oil. Pour ½ cup of the chila batter, and cover the pan.


Cook it on medium flame till the underside is light brown.


Smear the top of the chila with ½ teaspoon of oil, and flip it to cook the other side until it turns light brown.


Serve with coriander and mint chutney, masala bharwa mirchi and yogurt.


You could add some finely grated potato or zucchini to the batter to make the chilas softer.


You can replace the jowar flour with that of ragi or bajra.


Baking powder is optional; adding it will make the chilas fluffy, like pancakes.


You can read more on how Tillage is reviving millet flours here


Cecilia wishes she’d gone on to pursue a career in food technology: the art and science of food and its preparation fascinates her. Lacking expertise in this space, she experiments with various recipes, some of which she has collected as a child. You can find her food blog at and on YouTube here.

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