Zunka | Dry Pithla | Maharashtrian Zunka Bhakar
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Zunka | Dry Pithla | Maharashtrian Zunka Bhakar

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Adjust Servings:
1 1/2 cups Besan/Chickpea flour
2 medium onions
a handful fresh coriander leaves
1/2 tsp cumin seeds optional
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder medium spicy chilli
to taste salt
3 tbsp any vegetable or seed oil this recipe calls for more oil, but you can adjust the quantity
as required water
1/2 tsp ajwain/caraway seeds its medicinal properties help to eliminate gas from the heavy to digest chickpea flour

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  • 25 minutes
  • Serves 3
  • Medium




Zunka Bhakar or Pithla Bhakri is a typical rural Maharashtrian staple food which is loved by everyone in urban areas too.

Zunka or dry pithla is made from besan or chickpea flour with lots of onion, some basic spices and plenty of fresh coriander leaves, that brings the real flavor out of this recipe.  It is a fairly simple recipe and can be enjoyed with bhakri (typically known as bhakar), the traditional Maharashtrian flatbread made from different flours of jowar (sorghum), bajra (pearl millet), nachni/ragi(finger millet) or rice flour or from a combination of these flours.

Zunka can be even prepared when you are falling short of any vegetables, or when fussy eaters want something else in their meal. It can be ready in about 20-25 minutes and can be enjoyed with chapati or dal-rice as well.

So lets get started.

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Preparing the mixture

Finely chop the onions and coriander leaves.
Transfer them into a big mixing bowl.
Add besan/chickpea flour, turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt to taste.
Mix well. Now stir in water, little at a time and keep mixing this batter till you get to a thick pouring consistency.


Cooking the zunka

In a deep kadhai, heat oil on a medium flame. Then add jeera/cumin and ajwain/caraway seeds and let them splutter for about half a minute on a low flame.
Then pour the mixture made above, carefully into the kadhai.

TIP: Make sure to do this slowly and pour the mixture by lowering the bowl almost into the kadhai, so that the mixture doesnt splutter on your hand or face.

Stir with a spoon. You may find it intimidating to mix this mixture, but trust me it becomes managable once it begins to cook. So mix as much as you can and then cover and cook this mixture for 10 minutes on low flame, stirring intermittently.

After 10 minutes this mixture will begin to dry out a bit. This is the time, when you start breaking the half cooked zunka into small pieces, so that the inner bits get cooked completely. Cover and cook again for 10 minutes, stirring intermittently.

Your zunka should be ready if the mixture is completely dried out, changes its color and bits are soft and cooked (taste it). In case your batter (mixture we prepared in Step 1) was little runny then your zunka will take a longer time to cook.


Minal is a designer, mother, cook, dancer, enthusiast and a creative soul. She is the founder of foodatarian.com.

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