Pithla

5 from 3 votes

Pithla is a traditional Maharashtrian dish made using chickpea flour or besan. Make it using my easy recipe.

Also, try some other traditional Maharashtrian dishes from the blog: Misal Pav, Bharli Vangi, Shengdana Amti, and Puran Poli.

Pithla served in a bowl.
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Some traditional recipes are very simple but have a unique taste and texture. This Pithla recipe is one of them! When we moved to Pune, we saw many hoardings on the road promoting restaurants selling Pithla Bhakri.

When researching the dish, I also learned that there is a dry version called Zunka, which is also very popular in Maharashtra. It is made slightly different and instead of being creamy like pithla, it is textured.

Every household has its own way of making pithla. In this post, I am sharing the recipe I learned from a neighbor during our stay in Pune.

About Pithla

Pithla is a traditional Maharashtrian recipe made with besan (gram flour, chickpea flour).

It is a pasty curry that goes very well with bhakri. Pithla Bhakri Thali is very popular in Maharashtra; It consists of Pithla, Jowar Bhakri, Gavar ki Sabji, and Thecha. You can make it slightly thinner to serve with rice.

This recipe can also be made without onion and garlic. Just skip adding them to the recipe.

Ingredients

Besan makes the base of pithla recipe.

Onions – Onions add a nice crunch to the soft pithla.

Green Chili Ginger and Garlic are used to flavor it.

Spice Powders – To spice it up, use basic spice powders such as Kashmiri red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, and salt.

Oil – This dish is traditionally made in peanut oil. If it’s not available, use any other cooking oil.

Others – You will also need cilantro (fresh coriander leaves), curry leaves, asafetida (hing), brown mustard seeds, and cumin seeds for the tempering.

Skip adding hing for a gluten-free recipe.

You can add some yogurt to the besan mixture to make dahi pithla.

Add chopped greens like fenugreek leaves (methi), spinach(palak), or spring onions to the pithla to make a new version. You can also add chopped green bell peppers (capsicum).

How To Make Pithla

Add the following ingredients to a mortar and crush to make a coarse paste.

  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies
crushed ginger, garlic and chilli.

Sieve 1 cup of besan using a large sieve to avoid any lumps.

Sieved besan.

Add the following ingredients to the bowl and mix well.

  • ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
Chilli powder, turmeric powder and garam masala powder added to the bowl.

Add 3 cups water slowly and whisk to make a lump-free batter. If the batter still has lumps, you can pass it through a mesh strainer.

Besan mixed with water.

Heat 2 tablespoon peanut oil in a pan over medium-high heat.

Add the following ingredients once the oil is hot, and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.

  • ¼ teaspoon asafetida
  • ½ teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
Asafetida, mustard seeds and cumin seeds added to hot oil.

Add garlic green chili paste, and 8-10 curry leaves, and saute for 20-30 seconds.

Ginger garlic chili paste and curry leaves added to the pan.

Now add 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro and ½ cup chopped onions and cook for 1 minute.

Onions and cilantro added to the pan.

Reduce the heat to low.

Add the besan mixture and 1 teaspoon salt to the pan and mix well.

Besan mixture added to the pan.

Cook the pithla on low heat for 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently. The consistency of pithla is like a thick paste.

Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot.

Ready pithla garnished with chopped cilantro.

Storage Suggestions

Pithla is best served hot. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to two days. It has a tendency to thicken as it starts to cool. Add a few tablespoons of water before reheating it in a microwave or in a pan.

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Add the besan mixture to the pan and mix well.
5 from 3 votes

Pithla Recipe

Pithla is a traditional Maharashtrian dish made using chickpea flour or besan. Make it using my easy recipe.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies
  • 1 cup besan (chickpea flour, gram flour)
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil (or any other cooking oil)
  • ¼ teaspoon asafetida (hing) (skip for gluten-free)
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (fresh coriander leaves)
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
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Instructions 

  • Add ginger, garlic, and green chilies to a mortar and pestle and crush to make a coarse paste.
  • Sieve besan using a large sieve to avoid any lumps.
  • Add chili powder, turmeric powder, and garam masala powder to the bowl and mix well.
  • Add water slowly and whisk to make a lump-free batter. If by any chance there are still lumps in the batter, you can pass the batter through a mesh strainer.
  • Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, add asafetida, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds, and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.
  • Add garlic green chili paste, and curry leaves, and saute for 20-30 seconds.
  • Now add cilantro and onions and cook for 1 minute.
  • Reduce the heat to low.
  • Add the besan mixture and salt to the pan and mix well.
  • Cook the pithla on low heat for 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently. The consistency of pithla is like a thick paste.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot.

Notes

You can add some yogurt to the besan mixture to make dahi pithla.
Add chopped greens like fenugreek leaves (methi), spinach(palak), or spring onions to the pithla to make a new version. You can also add chopped green bell peppers (capsicum).

Nutrition

Calories: 194kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Sodium: 624mg, Potassium: 306mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 167IU, Vitamin C: 42mg, Calcium: 40mg, Iron: 2mg
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