KK Challenge: Whole Wheat Chatti Pathiri- Savory layered crepes with chicken masala filling

This is my new favourite fancy party dish, the one that will wow my guests and have them think I am some sort of culinary Goddess. This is my new favourite, "Look T! see what I made for lunch!" dish. I may even make it for breakfast, infact this might be the biggest motivation to get up in the morning!

Chatti Pathiri also called Chatti pathal is commonly made by the Malabar Muslim community in Kerala during Ramadan at Iftar, the period where Muslims break their fast, and also at wedding and special occasions. It can be made with sweet filling as a sweet dish and also made with savory meat filling, it is also called Atti Pathal. (As from Shab's Cuisine

What it is- layers and layers of soft, spongy crepes with a spicy masala / or sweet cardamom scented coconut and raisin filled in between them. Malayli's Lasagna is definitely the best description for it! 

When I first encountered this on Ria's blog, I just about fell off my chair. What was this strange creature? 
I had never heard of it before, much less tasted it. My faith in my knowledge of Kerala cuisine-( the food of my people, the one I grew up on for crying out loud!) was shaken. It was at that moment that I realized that what I knew was probably just a drop in a vast sea of culinary treasures. There was so much more to learn about it, the cuisine of one tiny state, in a vast country of contrasts. That was when The Kerala Kitchen- a monthly cooking event featuring dishes inspired by Kerala, was born. Along with Ria, and our wonderfully talented members, we are on a mission to rediscover the cuisine of Kerala. To learn and share what we learn, but most of all, to have fun, to cook and eat some really good food :) Join us!

For our very first Kerala Kitchen Challenge- to take us out of our comfort zones and attempt a new dish we may not have tried before, it had to be the Chatti Pathiri, which was was new, strange and exciting, not just to me but to many Malaylis who were not so familiar with the Malabar cusine.
If you would like to take part in this challenge and make your own Chatti Pathiri, come join us at the Kerala Kitchen on our new blog here

In the beginning I was very intimidated, just because it looked so complicated. It's not! You just make the crepes as you would pancakes or dosa, spreading the batter in a skillet or non stick pan and then stack them in layers, with the filling in between in a cake tin or saucepan with tall sides so that it forms the round shape of the pan. That's it! It takes just a little time, not even waay too much, but it's definitely more than worth it for the "Oh wow!" reactions you get to soak up later :) 

I used Ria's recipe, but wanted to try it with Whole Wheat flour and coconut oil and I have to say, it is one of the best things I have ever made! Thanks again Ria, for another great treasure!
Ria prefers the AP version, so I suggest that you try it with AP flour too. We love whole wheat flour and love the nutty, rustic taste of it, but Ap flour will yield even softer results.

You can also make the Chatti Pathiri with vegetarian fillings and I have mentioned some suggestions.

Also check out the awesome Kerala cooking queen Shab's version of a sweet Chatti Pathiri

Whole Wheat Chatti Pathiri
Recipe source: Slight variation from Ria's recipe here

For the filling:
Minced chicken/Boiled & shredded chicken- 500g ( I used bell pepper and garlic stuffed chicken sausages which I slit the casing of and cut up into tiny pieces with kitchen shears) 
Coriander powder-1 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp 
Salt-to taste
Onions-2 big, chopped fine
Ginger - 1" piece minced
Garlic paste- 6-7 cloves
Green chillies- 4, or to taste
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Garam Masala powder- 1 tsp ( Optional- not part of Ria's recipe)
Coriander leaves-1 bunch,chopped
Oil-  2 tbsp(preferably coconut oil for the authentic taste)
Ghee- 1 tsp ( I did not use) 

Filling variation:
Vegetables like onions, mushroom, bell peppers, tomatoes, as well as paneer and soy nuggets can be used instead of the chicken- cook them with coriander powder, turmeric and salt and chop them into tiny pieces
This can also be made with ground beef instead of the chicken.

For the pancakes:
Flour/Maida- 2 cups ( I used 2 cups whole wheat flour instead for a nutty, rustic flavor, but Ria recommends sticking to Ap flour for softer results)
Water- as needed ( I needed about 2 and a half cups to achieve a crepe like consistency- but add water a little at a time and keep checking so it's not too watery but a pourable consistency similar to crepe or dosa batter and not as thick as for pancakes) 
Salt- to taste ( I used about 1/4 tsp) 

For assembly:
Coconut milk- 400 ml ( I used canned coconut milk like Ria, so it was thick. She states that you can use thin or thick milk)
Coriander leaves- 4 sprigs, chopped
Ghee/Clarified Butter- 2 tsp ( I used 2 tsp coconut oil instead)

Equipment: You can make the crepes in a flat bottom pan like a non stick/cast iron skillet/ Dosa kallu and you will need a cake pan ( if you plan to bake it) or a mid size (8 inch) sauce pan ( If you plan to cook it on the stovetop which is what I did) Basically the size doesn't really matter- make the crepes about the same size or slightly larger than  the saucepan/cake tin.Do not use a cake tin/ sauce pan that is much larger than the crepes, otherwise the layers won't stack as neatly.

For the filling:
  • Cook the chicken mince ( or vegetables, if using) with coriander powder and salt till tender & all the water is evaporated.( I did this in the saucepan) 
  • Grind ginger, garlic and green chillies together. ( I just minced them fine with my knife, didn't grind them)
  • Heat oil, add the onions and saute it till transparent. Add the ground/minced ginger, garlic and green chillies and stir for a while.
  • Add the cooked minced chicken ( Or cooked vegetables if using)  and mix well. Add in the powders and chopped coriander leaves and mix well.
  • Check for salt.Drizzle the ghee/coconut milk, mix well.Keep aside.
For the crepes/dosa/pancakes:
  • Whisk together the flour, salt , egg and enough water to make a smooth , not-so- thick batter.
  • Line your work area with newspaper or parchment paper.
  • Heat a flat bottomed pan/ nonstick/cast iron skillet/pancake griddle/dosa kallu, pour a ladle full of batter over it and make thin crepe/dosa/pancakes out of it. ry and make the crepes about the same  diameter as the cake tin/saucepan you will be layering it in later. They don't have to be perfect, slightly bigger than the cake tin/saucepan  is ok. Try not to make them too small or too thick. If you rip some a little don't worry, you can still use them.
  • Do not flip, just cook on one side.
  • Transfer them to the newspaper/parchment paper so that they don't stick to each other. ( I had very little issues with sticking maybe because I used whole wheat flour)
  • Mix the coconut milk and coriander leaves together.
  • Take a medium sized saucepan (8") or a cake tin of the same size and smear the bottom of the pan with 2 tsp of ghee/ coconut oil
  • Take a crepe/dosa/pancake and dip it in the coconut milk ( don't dip for more than  2-3  seconds, as it wil get soggy and might rip off) and put in the pan.
  • Sprinkle some filling over it. Cover it with another coconut milk-dipped crepe. Repeat till the crepes and filling is over. You can dot some ghee/coconut oil in between each layers too.
  • Pour the remaining coconut milk over it. It may or may not cover the whole assembly of pancakes.
  • Put the saucepan over medium-low heat and cook till the coconut milk is absorbed.
  • If you are baking, pre-heat the oven to 180C and bake till the coconut milk is absorbed.
  • (You will clearly see that the edges have become dry, that's when you need to switch off the flame or take it out of the oven.)
  • Invert a plate/serving dish over the saucepan/ cake tin. Then holding the plate firm against the mouth of the tin/saucepan, flip the tin/pan so that it is now resting on the plate.
  • Carefully remove the cake tin/saucepan.
  • Look at the wonder you have created and pinch yourself in case you think you are dreaming! 
Serve immediately so that it is still warm. I put the left overs in the fridge and the next day it was a little dry. This however, made it even easier to cut into neat slices. Then I reheated the slice in the microwave and it was soft and moist again.
The whole wheat gave the crepes a rustic, nutty taste (vaguely like rotis and paranthas) and  made this very, very filling. After two slices, we were stuffed! The coconut oil was a wonderful choice as it complimented the coconut milk to give some strong Kerala flavour. If you don't like the taste of coconut oil- then you are clearly not a true Malayali :P In that case use ghee or melted butter instead.

If you rip or tear the crepes a little you can still use it. But if you tear them a lot/make them too thick or are generally not too happy with them, don't throw them away, make some mock kothu paratas by cutting them into small pieces, stir frying them along with some of the filling, and scrambling some eggs over them as well, a tip I got from the beautiful blog of Archana 
If you have left over crepes and filling- make Khatti rolls, by putting a generous amount of filling on a crepe and rolling it to encase the filling inside.
I snacked on so many crepes while I was making this, that I had to make a second batch of crepe batter :(

If you enjoy this and like cooking with Whole grain, check out my other whole grain recipes here
For more Kerala Recipes, click here 
Or go to our treasure trove of Kerala inspired dishes from all our wonderful members over at the Kerala Kitchen


  1. Super aayittundu...I have had them...but never tried making it...your words makes me feel that its very simple...:)I think I shud give a try:)...Thanks for sharing...


  2. Thanks Divya and Reshmi :) It is very simple! Come try it with us this month at the Kerala Kitchen.


  3. Hey Rose, It has come out really well !!! The picture is tempting me to try it out soon !!! :-)

  4. Sneha, do try it! After all it is part of The Kerala Kitchen challenge this month and you are a good member aren't you ;)

  5. Lovely!!! The pics definitely are gorgeous! The 12 layers definitely does intimidate me. Can we reduce the number of layers to 4 or 5?

  6. Yes, of-course I am a good member. I am definitely going to make it. But I am scared about the outcome. I can't accept any flop shows in my kitchen !!! I love the all new look of Kerala Kitchen !!!

  7. Hey magpie, you are done with the challenge- already?!! It looks wonderful, loved your shots too!

  8. its does sound elaborate but looks absolutely delicious..
    PS: i used to have those exact same corelle plates back in India:)

  9. Rose, next time try it with all purpose flour itself...it's so so much better in taste! It's very soft. I had once tried it with unbleached flour,which tastes like whole wheat, atleast when I made this dish...nah, we didn't like it here. I mean, it's difficult for us to switch from APF to WW for this dish now :)

    Thanks for trying!

  10. Must try it with AP Ria, but we have a sort of acquired taste for whole wheat I guess so T and I loved it! The crepes had a earthy sort of parantha/khatti rolls type taste and the filling is so yummy too!

    @Sarah- don't be a Madichikutty! if you can make 4-5 you will feel like doing more and more!until there isn't any space left in the pan! I'm telling you all- it's much easier than it looks- if I the queen of Madichis can do it, you can surely top it!

    @Nashi- coming from you Ms stunning photos- that means a LOT! thanks! Am trying to prop and style my shots now a days instead of clicking them while they are still on the stove or on my plate!

    @ An open book- hehe we have a Corelle outlet near where we live- my whole kitchen is furnished by Corelle/Pyrex now!
    My mom is a Corelle fanatic so I think I got it from her! I even have a few of their stove top range ( which some ppl think is scary) but I love it for water based cooking-boiling, soups etc.- goes from stove to oven to table to fridge to microwave to dishwasher :)

  11. Fantastic attempt. Have never seen anything like this. I have to try it,though am slightly intimidated.

  12. lol... ok Magpie! I'll try for 12 :)

  13. I wanna make this Sometime..Looks absolutely delicious..!!!

  14. This is a very delicious Keralite dish and it has come out perfect... Love ur blog... glad to follow..

  15. I need more articles and blogs please post soon.
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