Spicy Chickpea Pancakes (Besan ka Puda)

Today is Shrove Tuesday – the day before Ash Wednesday and is chiefly celebrated by feasting on pancakes. Lots of them. My kind of celebration.

As a kid I used to enjoy the English crepe style pancakes topped with lemon and sugar. Simple, satisfying and delish. When I lived in the States whilst at uni, I was introduced to the American style pancakes. Soft and fluffy (with ridiculous toppings). Also delish.

There is another type of pancake that I also enjoy and that’s the Punjabi one aka Besan Ka Puda. Made from gram flour, spices, coriander & red onions – it’s spicy, crispy and soft all at the same time. And yes you guessed it – it also gets FULL MARKS on the delish scale. Served with a dollop of yoghurt alongside your favourite pickle and washed down with a cup of hot milky tea, it’s a real crowd and stomach pleaser. Want to know how to make it? Course you do! Scroll on down for the recipe. Ps. This pancake is accidentally gluten free & vegan (without tasting like it). Win win I say.

Spicy Chickpea Pancakes (Besan ka Puda)

Servings 4


  • 2 cups (180g) gram flour (chickpea flour)
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt or according to taste
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3/4 tsp paprika
  • 2 green chillies finely chopped
  • 1 large handful fresh coriander finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp mango powder (amchur)
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing) optional
  • 2 cups water (same cups used to measure flour)
  • oil


  • Add 1 tsp of oil in the non stick frying pan and spread over using a kitchen paper. Heat the frying pan on a medium/high heat setting. 
  • Place all ingredients apart from the oil into a large bowl. Whisk well for 1-2 minutes until ingredients have combined together to create a thin batter. Taste for salt and chilli before cooking and adjust accordingly.
  • Pour in 1 ladle of batter and tilt the pan so that the batter spreads all over the base. Reduce heat to low/medium then cook for 2 to 3minutes, or until it starts to come away from the sides. Brush the pancake with a little oil.
  • Once golden underneath, flip the pancake over and cook the other side for 2-3 minutes, or until cooked through.
  • The pancake should be slightly crispy on the edges and golden brown all over. Remove and serve with greek yoghurt and your favourite Indian pickles/chutneys. Repeat with the remaining batter.

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