Celeriac wraps (cheelas) are easily my favourite of all the gluten-free wraps I've made so far. Although celeriac does have a specific taste, when mixed in the batter and lightly cooked it has a rather mellow flavour and thus combines better with different fillings or dishes than other cheelas do.
Even without adding turmeric, the wraps take on a beautiful light golden colour that makes them look soft and delicate, which they are. The surprising thing was that, despite not having the same ingredients, they reminded me a lot of my Crêpes - their mild taste and light, elastic texture were quite similiar, I couldn't believe it.
Where I'm from, celeriac is often used in cooking, especially in soups where it makes a huge difference in taste. If you haven't tried this vegetable yet, you don't know what you've been missing:) Growing up, my favourite way of eating celeriac was raw, finely shredded and mixed with mayonnaise in what we call "salata de ţelină" (celeriac salad). Sometimes we'd add finely grated carrot and even apple. Celeriac salad was almost always present on our Easter or Christmas table. Though simple in preparation, it was incredibly tasty.
Note: Celeriac is often referred to as celery root. Although celeriac and celery are related, they are quite different. Celery is mostly grown for its tall green stalks, while celeriac for its root. Celeriac is unexpectedly versatile, working its magic in soups, mash and fries (a low-calorie alternative to potato), curries, gratins, slaw, the famous French céleri rémoulade, even ice cream and cupcakes! The leaves are used for seasoning and garnishing.
I've also made a corn-chickpea version of this recipe which I loved and for the last two wraps I added a handful of chopped wild garlic leaves (also known as ramsons or bear's garlic). In my country this spring plant is highly prized for its health benefits and medicinal properties. It has a fairly strong garlic flavour and, eaten regularly when in season, it helps purify the blood and generally detoxify the body, replenish the body with essential vitamins and minerals after winter, control high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improve digestion, etc.
Celeriac Wraps (Cheelas)
- 1 cup chickpea flour (besan or gram flour)
- 1/4 cup rice flour (very fine)
- 1 tsp salt (I use Himalayan or sea salt)
- 1 cup water - plus more if needed, see note
- 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
- 2 tsp finely grated ginger
- 1 cup finely grated celeriac (1/4 of a medium celeriac, peeled)
- 1/4 cup oil, for cooking the wraps (I use sunflower oil)
Note: 1 cup = 250 ml. I use a 16.5 cm/6.5'' pan. The amount of water depends on how tightly packed the chickpea flour is, I sometimes add 3 Tb more to obtain that thick and runny paste.
Mix the flours and salt in a bowl. Add 1 cup water and whisk well to obtain a smooth paste. Add the grated celeriac, garlic and ginger and mix with a spoon. Check the consistency and add more water if needed. The batter should be runny enough to spread it easily in the pan. Thinner batter makes softer wraps.
Note: celeriac browns quickly when exposed to air, so make sure to have everything prepared before grating it, then add it immediately to the batter.
Heat a non-stick pan on medium. Add a few drops of oil and spread it around. Lift the pan off the burner, drop a little less than 1/4 cup batter in the centre of the pan and quickly spread it around with the back of a spoon. Put the pan back down and smooth the surface while the batter is still wet. Once dry (less than half a minute) drizzle 1/2 tsp oil over and spread it around the top. With a spatula loosen the edges, flip the cheela and let it cook for half a minute or so until brown spots appear.
Stack the cheelas as you make them and keep them covered to remain moist and soft.
They are best eaten straight away and even the following day they taste great, but are not as soft. A quick steaming takes care of that.
To make vegetable rolls and even quesadillas it's best to make thick cheelas, as they are quite delicate. Thin wraps work great with hummus, vegan cream cheese, various spreads. They can also be eaten as accompaniment to soups and curries, instead of bread or flatbreads.
Celeriac wrap rolls are great for picnics or packed lunches.
In this version I replaced rice flour with fine cornmeal, the colour and taste were wonderful.
You can mix your favourite herbs in the batter, the choices are many: wild garlic, cilantro, parsley, fenugreek (methi), chives, dill etc.
Enjoy and spread the magic!:)
If you've tried these wraps I would greatly appreciate your feedback. Thank you!