Vegan Breakfast Ideas | U.S. News

4. Savory vegan protein pancakes Though we usually think of pancakes as being sweet, there’s…

4. Savory vegan protein pancakes

Though we usually think of pancakes as being sweet, there’s no rule that says they have to be. In India, a savory pancake called besan chilla is a common high-protein and high-fiber breakfast option that includes no animal products and can make a great addition to your vegan breakfast rotation.

“If you like a savory breakfast, this is a hearty meal and full of fiber from the veggies and an immunity and digestive boost from the spices, especially the nigella seeds,” Rajan says.

Nigella seeds are a small, black seed from a plant indigenous to parts of the Mediterranean that have been widely cultivated across North Africa, the Middle East and southern Asia. Nigella seeds impart an oregano-like, herbaceous flavor that’s slightly bitter and reminiscent of toasted onion.

But you don’t have to use them if you don’t have them, Rajan says. “If you don’t have all the spices, just the cayenne or pepper will do the job. You can skip the fennel, nigella seeds, etc.”


  • ½ cup grated butternut squash.
  • ¼ cup grated carrot.
  • ½ chopped onion.
  • ¾ cup chickpea flour or black gram flour (called besan, available at specialty shops and online).
  • 1 tsp turmeric.
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds.
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds.
  • 1 tsp cayenne.
  • ½ tsp baking soda.
  • Salt to taste.
  • 1 cup water.

The veggies can be grated in a food processor. You can also use zucchini, tomatoes or another variety of squash.


  1. Mix all the dry ingredients first. Once mixed in well, add the water little by little to get a pancake batter consistency.
  2. On a hot pan, add a coin-sized ladle-full of batter to form pancakes. Once the edges seem done and you can spot some bubbles, flip them to cook the other side.
  3. Enjoy hot with ketchup, guacamole or salsa.

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