Chana Dal Panki| Gujarati Lentil Pancake In A Banana Leaf

Have you ever tasted a Panki? It is a beautiful, delicate thing, a sort of pancake that is cooked in a banana leaf. Today, I am going to share with you all the recipe for Chana Dal Panki, i.e. Panki made using soaked and ground chana dal.

Chana Dal Panki

What is Panki, actually?

As mentioned earlier, Panki refers to batter cooked in a banana leaf, on a pan.
A heritage recipe from the state of Gujarat, Panki can be prepared using different ingredients – the traditional versions are made using rice flour, lentils and the like, while the more modern ones experiment with things like corn and moong sprouts.

A well-made Panki tastes absolutely lovely, and is a treat to the tastebuds, with the banana leaf imparting its fragrance to the dish. It is a healthy and wholesome dish too – only the banana leaf is greased, there is no oil used in the Panki batter as such. It is, therefore, practically oil-free.

Paan‘ is Gujarati for ‘leaf’, and this dish gets its name from the fact that it is cooked in one. Considering how delicious and wholesome Panki is, I think it completely deserves to have more of the spotlight focused on it. Sadly, it is one of the lesser-known Gujarati delicacies, as opposed to other things like Dhokla, Khaman, Gujarati Dal and the Gujarati Thali.

What goes into Chana Dal Panki?

Chana Dal is soaked, then ground, to make the batter for this Panki. Ginger and green chillies add a lovely flavour to the batter, as do the curd and bit of jaggery that also go in.

This is a no-onion, no-garlic recipe, with no oil being used in the batter. It is vegetarian, but NOT vegan or plant-based because of the use of curd. It is gluten-free as well.

#TavaTales on Foodie Monday Blog Hop

I am sharing this recipe with the Foodie Monday Blog Hop.

The Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a group of passionate food bloggers who share recipes based on a pre-determined theme, every Monday. The theme this week is #TavaTales, wherein all of us are sharing delectable dishes cooked on a pan.

Kalyani of Sizzling Tastebuds was the one who suggested this week’s theme. Kalyani’s blog is a treasure of traditional South Indian foods, healthy salads and bakes, and several kid-friendly recipes. You guys should check out the enticing Tawa Paneer Tikka she has prepared for the theme – soooo yum!

Chana Dal Panki recipe

Making Chana Dal Panki is not a very difficult task at all. With a little prior preparation and minimal ingredients, it is possible to make this within a matter of minutes.

Here’s how we make Chana Dal Panki at home.

Ingredients (makes 6 pieces):

  1. 1 cup chana dal
  2. 1-1/2 green chillies
  3. A 1-inch piece of ginger
  4. Salt to taste
  5. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  6. 2 tablespoons curd
  7. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
  8. 1 tablespoon jaggery powder or to taste
  9. Oil as needed for greasing the leaves
  10. 2 big banana leaves


Top left: Soaked and drained chana dal, Top right: Step 2, Centre left and right: Step 3 and 4, Bottom left and right: Steps 5 and 6

1. Wash the chana dal under running water a couple of times. Drain out all the water. Add in just enough fresh water to cover the chana dal and soak, covered, for 4-6 hours or overnight.

2. When the chana dal is done soaking, drain out the water from it. Transfer the soaked dal to a mixer jar. Add in the salt to taste, turmeric powder and jaggery powder.

3. Peel the ginger and chop roughly. Chop the green chillies roughly. Add the chopped ginger and chillies to the mixer jar.

4. Add the curd to the mixer jar.

5. Grind all the ingredients in the mixer jar together, adding a little water. You should get a batter that is runny but not too watery.

6. Mix the chopped coriander into the batter. Keep ready.

Top left and right: Steps 7 and 8, Centre left and right: Step 9, Bottom left and right: Steps 9 and 10

7. Now, fold each banana leaf into two length-wise, along the stem. Using a pair of scissors, cut the folded-up halves into three equal pieces – so, totally, you will have 6 pieces which can be opened up.

8. Grease one of these leaf pieces with a little oil.

9. Get a dosa pan nice and hot, then reduce the flame to medium. Place half of a leaf piece on it, greased side up. Pour about 4 tablespoons of the batter on one side of the leaf. Gently spread it out with a spoon. Close the other half of the leaf over the batter – in such a way that the greased side is touching the batter. Now, gently press down on the top part using a spatula, enabling the batter to spread out between the leaves.

10. Cook on medium flame till the bottom of the leaf starts getting brown. Flip the entire thing over to the other side, using a spatula.

11. Cook on medium flame till the other side starts getting brown too. Transfer to a serving plate. Serve the ready Panki with green coriander chutney.

12. Prepare about 6 Panki in a similar fashion, using up all the leaf pieces and batter. Serve hot.

Tips & Tricks

1. Use fresh banana leaves to cook the Chana Dal Panki. In the absence of these, large almond leaves can be used.

2. Each piece of banana leaf can be re-used 2-3 times to cook the Panki.

3. Do not add too much of water to the batter. Make sure the batter is neither too watery nor too thick.

4. Sour curd makes the Chana Dal Panki taste lovely, in my opinion. Adjust the quantity of curd you use as per personal taste preferences.

5. Use more or less green chillies, depending upon your spice preferences.

6. Make sure you cook the Chana Dal Panki on a medium flame, to ensure even cooking and to prevent the leaves from burning.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!


14 thoughts on “Chana Dal Panki| Gujarati Lentil Pancake In A Banana Leaf

  1. I had a strong inkling that u would make Panki (perhaps Corn Panki) for this week πŸ™‚ this channa dal version looks fab and a must try!


  2. Love all the heritage recipes you share Priya ! This oil free chana dal panki from the Gujarati Cuisine is such a healthy and delectable snack !


  3. Thanks for sharing this authentic recipe.. chana dal panki looks so delicious.. I always thought making it at home will be quite a task.. with your detailed instructions it looks so easy to make.. have to look out for banana leaves here.. maybe then I will give it a try.


  4. Love this traditional chana dal panki. Anything cooked in banana leaves will be more flavorful and delicious. Bookmarking to try it out soon.


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