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Sprouted Bajra Vegetable Chilla (Pearl Millet Savoury Pancake)

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Looking to incorporate bajra or millets into your kids or your diet and struggling with ways to do it? Then try this nutritious, gluten-free Sprouted Bajra Vegetable Chilla or a Pearl millet Vegetable savory pancake.

Sprouted Pearl millet  Vegetable Chilla or savory pancake served in a white plate along with tamarind and coriander chutney. Seen in the background are some flowers.
Sprouted Bajra Vegetable Chilla

This savory Bajra sprouts vegetable pancake is a healthy and nutritious breakfast or lunch recipe. It can also be packed in your or your kid’s lunchboxes or is a great picnic food idea.  

Sprouted bajra vegetable chilla is one of my go-to breakfast or lunch recipes in winter. It is easier to make than the traditional paratha or bhakri and kids love to enjoy it with some cheese inside it, or with tomato ketchup or tamarind chutney. It does take a bit of time to cook each chilla but one can use 2 pans to make it quicker. 

Bajra or Bajri or kambu or Sajje or Bajeer or Pearl millet as called in different languages is a difficult millet to incorporate into your diet. One of the main reasons is that many use it in flour form and it has a rough texture. Also when you use it in flour form it is difficult to roll roti or paratha from it as it lacks gluten and can become quite hard to manage.

But we need to find ways to add this to our diet. I love to soak this millet and use it in Bajre ka bhaat or Bajra and Split green moong dal Khichdi. For the last 1-2 years, I have started sprouting millet and incorporating it into my diet. 

Sprouted Pearl millet savory pancake served in a white plate along with tamarind and coriander chutney.
Sprouted Bajra Vegetable Chilla

Benefits of Bajra

Bajra is a gluten-free grain. So people with gluten intolerance can consume this. It has a low glycemic index and hence is considered good for people with sugar intolerance. (Source Internet). It helps the body in the winter months and may help in weight loss.

Why Sprout Millets?

Sprouting millet or any grains helps increase its nutritional content and is said to be easier to absorb the nutrients. 

Sprouting millet or any grains is easy and one can do that easily without any special equipment. For a detailed step-by-step process, follow my recipe here on how to sprout moong beans. 

However, keep in mind that it is not necessary to get sprouts in all the grains of millet especially. It might be 40-50 percent success, less or more, so that is fine. 

Time required to sprout millet

Sprouting might take an extra day or two if you live in a cold climate. Else it is generally done in a day or two max. 

Tips to sprout your grain in a cold climate 

  • Soak the grain in slightly lukewarm water instead of normal or cold tap water.  This helps the grain to soak properly and even sprout nicely.  
  • Keep it covered and in a warm location. If you have an oven or microwave keep it inside it without turning it on. The warmth inside will help it to sprout fast.
  • If you have an instant pot, you can use the yogurt mode to sprout your grains.
  • One can keep it in the instant pot without turning it on. It just needs a warm environment. 
  • Keep on sprinkling some water every day on the grains.
  • Stay within 3 days or so as at times it turns slimy or moldy.
Closer look of Pearl Millet Sprouts shown in a hand.
Pearl Millet Sprouts

Adding Veggies to Sprouted Bajra Chila

I also like to add loads of veggies to this chilla or any millet recipes. It becomes easy to feed the fussy eaters, adds nutrients, and color to your food, and becomes more appealing taste and texture-wise. 

One can add any combination of vegetables one likes. I like to use seasonal vegetables and the one which is available in my fridge. So for today, I am using carrots, turnips, celery, and onion. For extra flavor and better digestion, I am adding garlic and ginger, cumin seeds, green chili, turmeric, and coriander. I use fresh turmeric root whenever I can, but feel free to replace it with turmeric powder.

Skipping Vegetables

One can skip the vegetables if required, but I would not advise doing so. The texture of the chilla would change and it would be difficult to feed the fussy eaters as it would have a coarser texture. Secondly it would taste more of Bajra.

Can we make this chilla without sprouting bajra

Yes, you can. If you want to avoid the step of sprouting bajra, you can use bajra as is. But be sure to soak it for 6-8 hours or overnight before grinding.

Sprouted Bajra Vegetable Chilla or Pearl millet savory pancake served in a white plate along with tamarind and coriander chutney.
Sprouted Bajra Vegetable Chilla

Replacements for bajra

Any other type of millet will work for this recipe. 

Is this Gluten-Free

Yes, the recipe is gluten-free if you are not using asafoetida or using asafoetida in rock or original form, that does not have gluten. Store-bought asafoetida has wheat powder mixed in it, so be sure to check the ingredients before you use it. Pearl millet or Bajra is gluten-free and the remaining ingredients used too are.

Is this Vegan

The recipe is vegan if you use vegetable oil to shallow fry the pancakes or chilla. I like to use ghee or clarified butter with bajra as it helps in better absorption. So if you are using ghee or clarified butter it will not be vegan. 

Few more Bajra Recipes

Gluten-free Bajra ladoo
Gluten-free Bajra ladoo is a winter favorite ladoos or energy bite, made using Pearl millet flour, jaggery, and ghee. Best for your evening snacks or your post-workout meal. 
Check out this recipe
Close up view of Bajra Ladoo served in a golden plate.
Bajra Methi Paratha (Vegan & Gluten-Free Flatbread)
Bajra Methi Paratha is a Vegan and Gluten-Free, winter favorite flatbread made using Gluten-Free flours, fresh fenugreek leaves, and a few spices.
Check out this recipe
Bajra Methi Paratha served on a plate, with some cut onion, green chillies and jaggery., along with some pickles and cumin raita
Bajra Idli (Steamed Pearl Millet Savoury Cakes)
Gluten Free Bajra Idli is steamed savoury cakes made using Pearl Millet. Nutritious, easy and perfect for your morning breakfast, kids lunchbox or your meal.
Check out this recipe
4 Idlis served along with chutney and sambar
Bajre ki Tikki | Pearl Millet Cookies
Gluten Free Bajre ki Tikki or Pearl Millet Cookies is a traditional, healthy and a regional winter special recipe made using just 3 main ingredients.
Check out this recipe
Baked & Fried Tikkis/Cookies
Bajre ka Bhat (Pearl millet one pot meal)
Bajre ka Bhat is a healthy, delicious, protein, fiber rich one pot gluten free meal. Ready in minutes and a good meal if you are on a diet.
Check out this recipe
Bajre ka Bhat (Pearl millet one pot meal)
Stuffed Bajra Paratha |Pearl Millet Flatbread (#BreadBakers)
Stuffed Bajra Paratha aka Stuffed Pearl Millet Flatbread is a winter special, gluten free flatbread made using Bajra Flour and stuffed with potato.
Check out this recipe
Stuffed Bajra Paratha

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Sprouted Bajra Vegetable Chilla served in a white plate along with tamarind and coriander chutney.
Sprouted Bajra Vegetable Chilla
Sprouted Bajra Vegetable Chilla served in a white plate along with tamarind and coriander chutney.

Sprouted Bajra Vegetable Chilla (Pearl millet)

Sprouted Bajra Vegetable Chilla is a healthy and nutritious breakfast or lunch recipe made using sprouted Pearl millet grains that are ideal for lunchboxes or picnic food.
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Course: Breakfast, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, North Indian
Keyword: Gluten Free, Millet, Pancake, Vegan
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Soaking and Sprouting Time: 3 days
Servings: 8 Chilla
Author: Renu Agrawal-Dongre

Equipment

Ingredients

To Sprout Bajra (Pearl Millet)

  • ½ Cup Bajra Seeds -Pearl Millet
  • 2 Cups water

To make Chila

  • 2 Cups vegetable of your choice – I have used onion Turnip, Carrot, and Celery
  • 2-3 green chilis – optional as per taste
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder or freshly grated turmeric
  • ¼ inch ginger grated or chopped
  • Water as required
  • Oil/Ghee for Shallow Frying

Instructions

To Sprout Bajra

  • Clean and rinse the Bajra seeds for 2-3 times in tap water.
    ½ Cup Bajra Seeds
    Bajri or Pearl Millet in a bowl.
  • Add 2 cups of water.
    2 Cups water
  • Soak the bajra for 6-8 hours or overnight at normal room temperature or lukewarm water.
    Bajri getting Soaked in a bowl.
  • Once soaked, rinse it again to get rid of any impurities.
  • Drain the excess water.
  • Remove all the bajra seeds in a clean muslin cloth.
  • Cover it lightly with the cloth and keep it covered in a warm location.
  • Do check it every 12-14 hours for sprouts and also sprinkle some water every 12-14 hours.
  • You will get little sprouts after 24-30 hours or 2-3 days depending on your climate.
  • Stay within 3 days or else it might go moldy.
  • You might not get sprouts for all the seeds, but it’s fine.
  • Read above for Tips and Tricks to Sprout millets or any grain.

To make Chilla Batter

  • Remove the sprouted seeds in a large bowl.
  • Rinse it again 2-3 times with clean water.
    Soaked and Sprouted Pearl Millet along with water n a bowl.
  • Be gentle or you might break the sprouts.
  • Once done, blend in a blender. Not necessary to achieve a smooth texture.
    Sprouted and grinded Pearl Millets in a bowl.
  • Add the chopped veggies and chopped coriander.
    2 Cups vegetable of your choice – I have used onion, ¼ cup chopped coriander
    Veggies added to Bajra.
  • Add the spices and give everything a mix.
    2-3 green chilis – optional as per taste, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder or freshly grated turmeric, ¼ inch ginger grated or chopped, Salt to taste
  • Add just enough water to make a thick consitency batter.
    Water as required
    The ready batter.

To make the Chilla

  • Grease a non-stick or cast iron pan with oil.
    Oil/Ghee for Shallow Frying
  • Once hot add 2-3 tablespoons of batter and gently use the back of a ladle to form a pancake.
    Kambu chilla spread on a cast iron pan ready to be cooked.
  • If the batter is sticking to the spoon, dip the back of the spoon in water and spread it.
  • Do not make it too big or else you might have difficulty turning it.
  • After a minute or so when the top appears a bit dry and the sides start to leave the pan, drizzle some oil on the edges or top.
    Pearl millet chilla getting cooked on underside on a cast iron pan.
  • Once it is cooked underside or it starts leaving the edges flip and cook on the underside.
    Pearl millet chilla getting cooked on other side on a cast iron pan.
  • It’s done when it is golden brown on both sides.

Notes

  • Standard US Size cups and spoons were used. 1 cup = 237 ml, 1 teaspoon = 5 ml
  • Any millet can be used.
  • Read above for tips and tricks to sprout a grain in cold weather.
  • One can alter the measurements and adjust as required.
 
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Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist. The nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It varies depending upon the product types or brands.

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