Beet Cheela (Instant Beet Dosa, Beet Wraps)

February 20, 2013

Beet Cheela Beet Dosa

I was so pleased with how my yellow Carrot Besan Dosas came out that I decided to experiment further. To continue the series of colourful, flavourful, gluten-free wraps I made these gorgeous beet cheelas (cheela is the instant, no-ferment version of dosa; while dosa is made from rice and lentils, and requires hours of soaking and fermenting, cheela is made from chickpea flour and is cooked straight away) and a batch of green Spinach Cheelas.

I used raw beet in this recipe - less cooking, more nutrient retention. Plus it saves a lot of time. The cheelas need no more than 1.5 - 2 minutes to be done and the key to preventing them from browning is to use medium-low heat. The colour of the cheelas is breathtaking: as soon as they're cooked they are dark pink, and as they sit their colour changes to blood red.

On a side note, the unexpected thing about them was the sweet aroma which reminded me of the best beet juice I made a while ago (the ABC 123 juice, one of the 7 Vegetable Juice Recipes by Pamela, author of My Man's Belly - I've already made 5 out of 7 and totally loved this beet juice and the spicy sweet potato one).

These beet wraps are great for snacks and packed lunches, particularly for kids who love their colour. They're a delicious, easy way to incorporate more healthy foods into a meal - chickpea flour is an excellent source of protein, fiber, iron and folate; beet has fiber, iron and folate; ginger and lemon improve digestion; garlic is antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and promotes cardiovascular health.

I like them spread with hummus (and watercress or rocket when I have some) and rolled up, but you can add whatever you prefer. Just keep in mind that they are moist and delicate, so they can break if overstuffed. Cheelas are also great with curries.

Beet Cheela (Instant Beet Dosa, Beet Wraps)
Makes 9
  • 1 cup besan (chickpea flour, gram flour), sifted
  • 1/4 cup rice flour (the powder type, not the slightly grainy one) - or replace with more besan
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika (optional, but I love the added flavour)
  • 3/4 cup water

  • 1 Tb grated fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 Tb freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup finely grated raw beet (1 medium beet, peeled)

  • 1/4 cup oil for cooking (I use sunflower oil)

Note: 1 cup = 250 ml. I use a 16.5 cm/6.5'' pan. If you use a larger pan and wish to make large cheelas, simply increase the amount of batter for each.

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add the water and mix to form a smooth paste. Add everything else (except oil) and mix well with a spoon.

Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat. Add a few drops of oil and spread it around. Drop almost 1/4 cup batter in the centre of the pan and use the back of a spoon to quickly spread it, starting from the centre and going in circles outwards (it doesn't necessarily have to be a circular motion, as long as you quickly spread the batter to form a full, evenly thick circle). Smooth the surface.

As soon as the top changes colour (no more wet batter), drizzle 1/2 tsp oil and spread it all over the surface with the back of your teaspoon. Loosen the edges with a spatula and lift one side a little bit to check whether it is browning; if so, then lower the heat. Flip the cheela over. I found that the best way to do this is to carefully lift one side with one hand and quickly slide the spatula underneath with the other, then turn it upside-down. That's because you're cooking the cheela on medium-low heat so it stays moist and so it's not easy to slide the spatula under it without a little help, or else it can break.

Cook on the other side for about 30 seconds, until light brown spots appear. From time to time, press the cheela gently with the spatula, and move the pan around without lifting it off the heat, so that the whole surface gets cooked well.

Beet Cheela Beet Dosa

As soon as the cheela is done, transfer it to a plate and immediately cover it with another plate turned face-down or a matching lid. This keeps it moist and pliable. Stack the cheelas as you make them, keeping them covered all the time. You can serve right away or cover the plate with cling film and save for later use (I just place another plate on top). I had some the following day and they were just as delicious and pliable.

If your stuffing of choice has a rather neutral taste, simply increase the amount of ginger and lemon for added flavour. You can add finely chopped red chilis for some heat, and play around with the spices. I kept these at a minimum because I wanted the sweetness of beet and the taste of ginger to come through.

Beet Cheela Beet Dosa

Enjoy and spread the magic!:)

If you've tried these wraps I would greatly appreciate your feedback. Thank you!


Ally @ Om Nom Ally

These are the most beautiful wraps I've ever seen. The colour and the ingredients make me swoon :D
I've made pure mung beans wraps before and am always amazed at what great gluten-free substitutes beans and peas can be for standard grain wraps. Delish recipe!


These beet cheelas look awesome!


wow the rolls look amazing! definitely making these as a starter the next time I have guests :)

Vegan Magic

Ally, thank you so much! After I'm done with the colour experiments (wait till you see the green ones!) I plan to make the mung bean wraps as well, seen many great pictures of them online, can't wait to try them. These colourful wraps are great for parties, even for kids, I'm thinking to use different spreads, roll them up and cut them into bite-sized pieces and mix the colours on the serving plate:) That would look pretty:)

Vegan Magic

Richa, I'm very happy you like them. I myself was surprised to see all those tones of pink, red and purple:) Very beautiful and elegant.

Vegan Magic

Sonal, I was so happy to see your comment, just last night I saw your amazing brownies on FB. Aren't they the perfect mess!:) These wraps would definitely impress guests, I too plan to make them for the next gathering:)

Angie's Recipes

I need to make these wraps for myself too. They look amazing!

Vegan Magic

Thank you, Angie:) Among all the colour variations that I've made until now this is the most beautiful. I hope you enjoy the wraps:)


I made these for dinner tonight, soooooooo delicious! Mine turned out to be quite sticky though, and I wasn't able to spread them very well as they stuck to the spoon, do you think that may have been because I used purely been flour? Will definitely make again :)

Vegan Magic

Kathryn, I am delighted that you enjoyed the wraps:) If the batter is too thick to spread easily, just add a little more water. Also make sure the pan is hot enough before making each wrap, otherwise the batter won't stick to the pan, but to the spoon. It happened to me a few times. If it helps, just place the pan over the heat while spreading. I hope they come out perfectly next time:) Thank you so much for the feedback!


Just to let you know, they came out great the next time! I passed the recipe on to my sister and brother who had come over for dinner, since they enjoyed it so much :)

Vegan Magic

Kathryn, I am delighted to know the wraps came out great:) Thank you so much for the feedback and for sharing the recipe. I still have a few versions to post, hope you enjoy them as well:) Have a lovely week!


Wow ! Now thats innovative.. Lovely color and perfect shape... I am sure they must have tasted that good too

Glad to be your new follower, hope to see many such recpies follow ;)

UK Rasoi

Vegan Magic

Nupur, thank you so much for your lovely comment:) Among all the versions I've made so far, these ones have the most beautiful colour, but my absolute favourite version is yet to be posted, I hope you like it as well;) I've just been over to your blog and loved the flatbreads, so creative and inspiring:)


These look great. Do you think they would work ok with other flours such as almond or rice? As I am intolerant to chickpeas.

Vegan Magic

Claire, thank you for the enquiry. Your suggestion was timely, cos I wanted some easy lunch, so I tested your suggestion. I didn't have beet, so I made the carrot wraps with 3/4 cup fine cornmeal and 1/2 cup rice flour, 1 1/4 cups water (water was a little too much). I was able to spread and flip one, it tasted amazing but it wasn't strong enough to be used as wrap. After the first one I added 3 Tb chickpea flour to see the difference. That was much better and was able to spread the batter more easily. The best thing was the added crunch:) So cornmeal and rice alone won't work. Almond meal, same story. They need something powdery to form a proper paste. At some point I will buy sorghum flour and will test these with it in combination, I've used it before and I think it would work here. I'll post my feedback then. Thank you for visiting:)


Thank you for trying. I was going to give these a go today and have some sorghum flour so will let you know how it goes.

Vegan Magic

My pleasure, Claire. I hope the addition of sorghum flour helps.


Hi there, I plan to make these tomorrow and wondered if they keep? And if so, what is the best way to store them? I want to make a batch and then use for wraps for lunch through the week. Thank you!

Vegan Magic

Clare, I'm so happy that you want to give these wraps a try and hope you enjoy them. I haven't tried freezing them, so can't advise on that. They do keep for a couple of days. I just stack them on a plate, cover them with cling film, and keep them in the fridge. If I have only a few left for next day I just keep the plate on the kitchen table. The longer they sit the harder they become. Steaming them before use rehydrates them and makes them pliable. I hope this helps, thank you so much for writing:)


Great, thanks - I will give it a try and let you know how they keep!

Super excited to try them.

Vegan Magic

Lovely:) I look forward to it.


Hi there what a wonderful colour and great quick recipe
I knw u have metioned in the recipe besan but out of curiosity
What is better to use besan or the chole channa flour we get both here which flour cheela turns out to be good out of these two

Vegan Magic

Disha, good question:) I've only used besan and love how the cheelas turn out (same goes for the omelette). Now I'm intrigued by this other flour, if I find it here I'll definitely try it in this recipe. Thank you for letting me know:)


I wonder how oat flour would would work if some were added instead of the chickpea for Clar or others who can't tolerate it. A pie crust recipe I was given called for some blended oats & it is the best pie crust I've ever worked with. Maybe a little ground flax or chia if oats can't be tolerated either. I'm guessing just something to help bind & give the plasticity you're looking for. I have been looking for a wrap recipe since all the ones in the stores have scary stuff in them. Thank you for sharing. I will come back & post again once I have made wraps! Must go to the store now & get the ingredients...

Vegan Magic

Hi, thanks so much for the suggestions. I think oat flour would work, maybe not the same amount, but surely it is worth a try. I look forward to your feedback once you've tried an alternative:)


Wow, these look awesome! :D
I really want to make your spinach recipe, but I wanted to know how big your pan was that you used?
I know it's 1/4 cup of "batter" but I don't want my wraps to come out too thin or too thick >.<

Vegan Magic

Selena, thank you for your interest in making the wraps. The pan dimensions are already given in the notes under the ingredient list. It doesn't really matter if you have a bigger pan, the batter doesn't spread out like the pancake batter, so you can easily control the size and thickness with the spoon. I look forward to your feedback once you've tried them. Good luck and bon apetit!:)


These are so beautiful! I've just bought beetroot and am looking for things to do with them - I'm a TERRIBLE maker of think pancake/dosa style wraps sadly, I just never seem to get the right amount of oil or master the flipping technique. But I'm not bad at little fat ones (hard to be bad at those:p) so I may use this recipe as inspiration for some brightly-coloured besan patties ^^

Vegan Magic

Shonalika, thank you! I find these dosas very easy to make, I hope you give them a try and they come out great. Enjoy!:)

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