30 Minute



Healthy Navratri Fasting Recipe – Kuttu Ka Cheela (Savory Buckwheat Pancakes)

Healthy Navratri Fasting Recipe – Kuttu Ka Cheela (Savory Buckwheat Pancakes)

High protein, gluten-free, and a wholesome recipe for the Navratri fasting season. This kuttu ka cheela (buckwheat pancake) is loaded with different veggies which makes it even more nutritious and flavorful. It is simple, light, quick, and easy to make and tastes delicious. It is quite healthy to consume on regular days too.

Story Time

I tried this recipe for the first time when my friend asked me to share some Indian protein-rich breakfast recipes. I started to think about it and realized that there are not many such recipes and I could only think of besan cheela (stuffed with tofu). Most Indian breakfasts are rich in carbohydrates. It started bothering me and I decided to create some wonderful protein-rich Indian breakfast recipes.

I started looking for what all ingredients are available. And I came across this – Buckwheat Flour. Somehow, in India, this is only being used during the fasting season. It could be because of the marketing 🙂 I created some interesting recipes using this flour that are nutritious and wholesome and this cheela is one of those creations. It is so healthy and tasty that it has become a part of our regular diet and is not limited to only the fasting season. I make it for breakfast and sometimes for dinner too. It is filling and light too. You also try it and I would suggest making this wonderful ingredient a part of your regular diet.

What is Kuttu or Buckwheat?

Buckwheat, also known as Kuttu in India, has a long history dating back thousands of years. Native to Central Asia, buckwheat was cultivated in China and later introduced to Europe by the Crusaders in the Middle Ages.

It is a gem of the ingredients for its versatility and impressive nutritional profile. Despite its name, it is not related to wheat. It is not a grain but a seed. Buckwheat flour has been cherished for centuries in various cuisines worldwide, prized for its distinct nutty taste and numerous health benefits.


What are the health benefits of Buckwheat?

Buckwheat is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients. Consuming it regularly contributes to overall health and well-being. Let’s dive into the health benefits of Buckwheat (Kuttu).

  1. Gluten-Free – It is naturally gluten-free. That is why, it is perfect for those sensitive to gluten.
  2. Rich in Protein – It is a good source of plant-based protein. It also contains all nine essential amino acids needed for muscle repair and growth.
  3. High in Fiber – It is rich in dietary fiber and promotes digestive health. It regulates blood sugar levels and helps lower cholesterol levels.
  4. Nutritious – It contains vitamins and minerals like magnesium, iron, and zinc.
  5. Good For Heart: It reduces inflammation and improves blood flow. That is how it protects against heart diseases.

What is the Navratri Festival?

Navratri (also known as Navaratri or Navrate), is a joyous Hindu festival. It is celebrated over 9 to 10 days. “Navratri” is a word from the Sanskrit language – Nav means nine and Ratri means night. This festival is celebrated two times a year, once in the spring (Chaitra Navratri) and once in the autumn (Sharad Navratri). Sharad Navratri falls during September or October and is widely celebrated all across India.

One of the main aspects of Navratri is fasting (known as Vrat or Upvas). During fasting, devotees avoid eating some foods, like grains, pulses, onions, garlic, alcohol, and non-vegetarian items. But they eat fasting food items like fruits, nuts, dairy products, etc.

Navratri fasting

What food items are allowed in Navratri?

Food items that are allowed during the Navratri season are as follows:

  1. Vegetables like potato, tomato, arbi, cucumber, carrot, bottle gourd, eggplant, pumpkin, etc.
  2. Fruits
  3. Dairy Products
  4. Coconut
  5. Nuts and Seeds
  6. Quinoa, Buckwheat, Little Millet (Samai or Samak), Water Chestnut Flour (Singhade Ka Aata).
  7. Spices like cumin seeds, red chili powder, turmeric powder, cardamom, carom seeds (ajwain), cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, etc.
  8. Rock Salt

What food items are not allowed in Navratri?

Food items that are not allowed during the Navratri season are as follows:

  1. Onion and Garlic: They are Tamsik in nature and hence not consumed.
  2. Lentils and Pulses like moong dal, chana dal, kidney beans, chickpeas, etc.
  3. Grains and their flours like wheat flour, gram flour (besan), etc.
  4. Eggs, Non-Vegetarian Food Items like chicken.
  5. Alcohol (some people avoid smoking too).
  6. Salt
  7. Canned Food Items

Everybody has their own beliefs and follows their own rules during the fasting period. That is why, I suggest you adjust the recipes based on how you follow your fasting and celebrate Navratri.

What is Cheela (Savory Pancakes)?

Cheela is an Indian recipe similar to pancakes or crepes but savory. It is generally made with gram flour or besan with some onion and tomatoes. But you can customize it as per your needs. You can add different kinds of vegetables to the batter or you can simply make a simple Cheela and stuff it with some veggies or scrambled tofu. Here is my Stuffed Spinach Cheela recipe.

This recipe makes a wholesome and nutritious breakfast or is perfect for a light dinner too.

Tips to make it right

  1. Batter Consistency: Generally, Cheela batter has a medium consistency which is easily spreadable and pourable. But for this recipe, we need a slightly thicker batter (just like pancakes). It should not flow all over the pan while pouring. The batter should be thick but easily pourable and spreadable.
  2. Resting Time: This is very important. Since this flour is gluten-free, it needs some time to rest and get properly mixed with the ingredients added. This helps in binding and creates just perfect cheelas with no cracks and dry surfaces. It cooks fast too.
  3. Heat: Heat on the pan also plays a major role in making a perfect cheela. Keep the flame on medium. Sprinkle water and wipe it off using a cloth or tissue if the pan gets very hot. This reduces the temperature of the pan. Brush some oil on the pan. Pour the batter and spread it a little. You will get good results.
  4. Oil: I always thought that oiling the pan generously is important because that will prevent sticking of the batter to the pan. But don’t overdo it. That’s not necessary. So, brush some oil and that’s it.

Easy Swaps

  1. Veggies: Add any vegetable of choice – cauliflower, broccoli, tomato, and bottle gourd, etc. Potatoes and zucchini have starch that helps in binding the flour well.
  2. Buckwheat Flour: For fasts, try this recipe with singhade ka aata (water chestnut flour). On regular days, you can even use whole wheat flour, gram flour (besan), chickpea flour, etc.

Is this recipe vegan-friendly?

Yes. All the ingredients used in the recipe are vegan and plant-based.

How to serve buckwheat cheela?

To have the best experience, serve it hot. You can serve it with the following:

  1. Chutney
  2. Curd

Can we store the Cheela batter?

You can refrigerate it for 1 to 2 days.

The batter consistency may change because the vegetables release their liquid making the batter thinner. In that case, you can add more flour to it while making the cheelas.

Can we freeze buckwheat Cheela?

I never tried it because I prefer to make them fresh. But I have seen people making a big batch of it and freezing it for 2 to 4 weeks. If you want, you can also try that. Make a big batch of cheelas, and put them in a zip-lock bag or an air-tight container. Store them in the freezer. Reheat while eating.

Now grab all the ingredients because you are ready to make this delicious buckwheat cheela at home. It is simple, easy, and very tasty. It is filling and light which is just perfect for fasting days. This recipe is good if you want to include some detox recipes in fasting. It is one wholesome, nutritious, and vegan (or vegetarian) Indian breakfast recipe. Do give it a try and I am sure you will enjoy it.

Ingredients List – for quick reference

Kuttu Ka Cheela (Buckwheat Pancake)

More Navratri Fasting Recipes

  1. Roasted Makhana
  2. Makhana Kheer
  3. Amaranth and Dates Energy Bars
  4. Quinoa Cutlets
  5. Ultra-Soft and Fluffy Kuttu Ki Roti (Buckwheat Flour Tortilla)
  6. Sabudana Khichdi

If you like the recipe, please share the photo on Instagram and tag us too @thefearlesscooking. We love to see your recreation of our recipes.

Happy Cooking 🙂

Love from us

Richa & Jatin

Healthy Navratri Fasting Recipe – Kuttu Ka Cheela (Savory Buckwheat Pancakes)

Protein-Rich. Low-Carb. Gluten-Free.

Looking for a healthy, wholesome, quick, and easy recipe for this fasting season? 

Then simply click on this one and try it. It is protein-rich, gluten-free, and veggie-loaded. It is light yet filling and fulfilling. The flavors of different vegetables make it just so delicious. It is a MUST-TRY!



10 min

Prep Time

30 min

Cook Time

40 min

Total Time



  1. Add all the ingredients (except oil) to a large bowl. Mix it well. 
  2. Add water in parts and mix until well combined.
  3. Let it rest for at least 15-20 minutes. 
  4. Heat a pan and brush some oil on it. Keep the flame on medium.
  5. Pour around 1/3 Cup of batter into the pan and spread it a little in a circular motion. 
  6. You can make them as thick or thin as needed.
  7. Pour a few drops of oil on the top surface. 
  8. Cook until the bottom surface is cooked and golden brown. It takes a couple of minutes only. 
  9. Flip and cook the other surface too until golden brown. 
  10. Once down, remove from the pan and repeat the same for the rest of the batter. Serve hot with some curd or hung curd.
  11. This recipe makes around 7 to 8 cheelas.


What food items are allowed (or not) in Navratri?
There are two main food items that are not consumed during the Navratri season – onion and garlic. They are considered Tamsik in nature and hence to be avoided. If you are fasting, then you are not allowed to consume lentils, grains, any grain flour like whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour, salt, canned food, and the food prepared using onion and garlic. Non-vegetarian food items including eggs are also not allowed. Devotees also prefer not to smoke or drink alcohol during these nine days. Apart from that, you can consume dairy products like curd, milk, paneer, vegetables like potato, tomato, arbi, cucumber, carrot, bottle gourd, eggplant, etc. You can even consume coconut, nuts, and seeds. Spices like turmeric powder, red chili powder, cardamom, ajwain, etc. are also allowed.

Which grains can be consumed during the Navratri fasting season?

Following grain and their flours can be consumed during the fasting season:

  1. Buckwheat (Kuttu) – mostly available as kuttu ka aata
  2. Singhada (Water Chestnut) – mostly available as singhade ka aata
  3. Quinoa – It can be consumed since quinoa is a seed and not a grain.
  4. Samai – mostly available as samai rice or vrat ke chawal.
  5. Amaranth (Rajgira) – mostly available as grain or puffed.

What is cheela?
Cheela is an Indian recipe that is similar to pancakes or crepes but savory. It is generally made with gram flour or besan with some onion and tomatoes. But you can customize it as per your needs. You can add different kinds of vegetables to the batter or you can simply make a simple cheela and stuff it with some veggies or scrambled tofu. Here is my stuffed spinach cheela recipe. This recipe makes a wholesome and nutritious breakfast or is perfect for a light dinner too.

What are some protein-rich breakfast recipes?

Following are some of the protein-rich breakfast recipes:

  1. Tofu stuffed cheela
  2. No Sugar Cornflakes with nuts and seeds
  3. Buckwheat cheela
  4. Besan Cheela
  5. Oats Protein Bars
  6. Quinoa Pulao

Tell us what you think