Spiced Chickpea Crepes with Soybean Paneer (Tofu Chilla)

Serving Size: 4
Total Time:


  • 6 Ounce super-firm tofu
  • 4 Tbsp canola oil
  • 0.67 cup green chutney (see recipe below)
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 1.5 Tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
  • 3 green Thai or serrano chile, chopped
  • 6 Ounce (1 1/2 cup) garbanzo bean flour
  • 2 Ounce (1/2 cup) rice flour
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 cup water
  • 0.33 cup chopped red onion, rinsed to reduce harshness and drained well
  • 1 Roma tomato, seeded and chopped

Despite this being super-firm tofu, let it drain. Put the block on a non-terry dishtowel or double layer of paper towels. Set aside for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the batter. In a bowl, stir together the garbanzo bean flour, rice flour, cayenne, cumin, and salt. Gradually whisk in the water. Pass the batter through a coarse-mesh strainer to smooth it out. You should have about 2 1/4 cups. Set aside.

Blot the tofu dry. Use the largest holes on the grater to grate it into thick strands; some crumbles are fine. Transfer to a bowl and add the red onion, tomato, chiles, cilantro, and salt. You should have about 2 cups of filling.

Heat 1/2 teaspoon of the oil in a medium nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Wipe the oil off with a wadded-up paper towel. The crepe batter will cook better when there’s just a bit of oil on the cooking surface. After this initial oiling, you may need just a few drops of oil between crepes.

For each crepe, stir the batter until there is no more drag, then use a ladle (a wide shallow one works like a charm) to pour a scant 3 tablespoons of batter onto the skillet. Work the bottom of the ladle in a spiral pattern from the center to the edge to spread the batter out to a 5- to 6-inch circle. Drizzle about 1/2 teaspoon of oil around the edge of the crepe.

Then put a good 2 tablespoons of the filling on top. Distribute the filling on one half of the crepe if you want to fold it over like a taco. Or, center the filling if you want to fold the crepe up like an enchilada.

Let the crepe cook for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is crisp and golden or golden brown. Peek underneath with a spatula to check on its progress. These are thin crepes and do not need to cook on the other side. When done, fold the crepe in half or fold in the sides to cover the filling. The crepe may crack a bit at the folds if it has crisped a lot. Transfer to a rack to cool while you make the remaining crepes. Expect the crepes to soften a bit during cooling.

Regulate the heat to prevent the crepes from browning too quickly. If the batter thickens as you work, stir in water by the 1/2 teaspoon. If you have a large griddle, you can make 2 crepes at a time.

These crepes are best hot or warm but are fine as a cold snack within a couple hours of being made. Serve with the chutney and eat with a fork or out of hand.



Green Chutney

  • 2 hot green chile, such as Thai or serrano, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1.5 cup packed coarsely chopped cilantro stems and leaves
  • 0.25 cup packed mint leaves
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

Put the chili, garlic, salt, and sugar in a small food processor. Grind to a finely chopped texture, stopping the machine to scrape down the sides several times. Add the cilantro, mint, and lime juice. Process to a fine, thick texture like that of a thick pesto. The chutney should mound on a spoon. Occasionally stop the machine and scrape down the sides, if necessary.

Transfer to a serving bowl and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the chutney to bloom. Taste and adjust the flavors. Lime and sugar will cut the heat, but you do want a nice salty, sweet, sour, hot pungent finish. Add water by the teaspoon if the chutney is too thick; however; it should not be liquid.

Set aside for at least 20 minutes for the flavors to mellow and meld and for the texture to slightly thicken. This chutney is at its zippy best when freshly made, but it can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Recipe courtesy of Asian Tofu: Discover the Best, Make Your Own, and Cook It at Home by Andrea Nguyen, 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.