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Recipe Challenge: Savory Red Lentil Pancakes (Masoor Dal Chilla)

Stephanie Chen, RD | Nutrition Specialist
/ August 26, 2022
red lentil pancakes

When it comes to eating healthy, sometimes it’s easier to rely on quick staples. Other times, we might be in the mood to experiment with fun new recipes. If you’ve got the time, this Indian-inspired red lentil pancake recipe falls into the latter category. You’ll need a food processor or blender, a spatula, a non-stick pan, and some time to soak the lentils. Plus, an appetite for tasty carbs (that don’t taste like they are complex, but actually are)! Pair with a protein and extra veggies to make this a meal.

Savory Red Lentil Pancakes (Masoor Dal Chilla)

Adapted from Ministry of Curry

Yields ~8 servings


  • 1 cup dry split red lentils
  • 3 cups water for soaking lentils
  • 1 green chili, such as jalapeno
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup water for blending
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro finely chopped
  • Oil spray or 1 tsp avocado oil*


  1. Rinse and drain red lentils, then soak in water overnight or for at least 4 hours. 
  2. Drain out all the water. Add lentils to a food processor or blender.
  3. Add green chili (after removing seeds for less heat), ginger, salt, and water. Process/blend into a smooth batter. Add cilantro and give a quick stir. Rest the batter for five minutes.
  4. Preheat the pan to medium heat. 
  5. Add a short spray of oil (or splash of avocado oil) to the pan. Pour ~¼ cup of batter and spread it into a 5 to 6-inch pancake. (If your batter is too thick to pour, spoon it out and spread using a spatula.) Cook on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. 
  6. Carefully flip the pancake. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until the pancake is lightly browned. Remove the pancake and repeat with remaining batter.
  7. Enjoy immediately. Can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat, warm on a hot pan (1-2 min each side) or in a toaster oven. 

Nutrition Facts (per 1 pancake, ⅛ of recipe or ~¼ cup batter): 92.6 calories, 1.1g fat, 15.5g total carbohydrate (2.7g fiber, 0.2g sugar), 5.8g protein

*1 tsp avocado oil total used to calculate nutrition facts


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