Zunka Recipe (Jhunka) is a traditional Maharashtrian dish made using besan or chickpea flour. Zunka Bhakar is a very popular combination and is served throughout Maharashtra. Here is how to make this spicy besan curry.
What is Zunka Recipe?
Zunka and Bhakri, ever heard of this comforting and delicious Maharashtrian combination? If no, then you should definitely check out this recipe, as it is very tasty and super easy to make.
I call this my last-minute recipe! Whenever I have no time in my hands, I quickly prepare this Zunka recipe and serve it with some hot and flaky parathas. I got introduced to this Maharashtrian dry sabzi sometime back. The idea of making Jhunka when I was struggling to make something easy and quick was absolutely perfect.
Zunka is prepared with gram flour and it is actually a dry version of Pithla. The gram flour is cooked along with basic everyday ingredients to get a simple yet tasty side dish for your meals. Itis a great dish to make when you are out of fresh vegetables.
You can add in some methi, palak, or spring onions to make this dish even more scrumptious. You can skip onions and make this recipe without onions and only with green chilies and garlic.
Make sure that you eat it hot right from the stove, as if you keep it for longer it will get dry and won’t taste as good as the fresh one.
This Jhunka Recipe is,
- Easy to make
- A 15-minute affair
- Apt for everyday meals
- Made with just a few ingredients
- Prepared in every Maharashtrian household
Gran Flour – Gram Flour or Besan is one of those ingredients, that are apt to use when you are out of vegetables. In this recipe, we will roast the besan with other ingredients to make Zunka.
Vegetable Oil – Use any vegetable oil of your choice to make this dish. Traditionally, Jhunka is made in peanut oil.
Onion and Garlic – I love the taste these two ingredients add in this rather simple dish. You can also use green onions instead of onions to make this dish.
Spices – You will need some everyday spices such as turmeric powder, garam masala powder, Kashmiri red chili powder. Use Kashmiri powder as it will add a nice color to the same, without making it spicy.
Green Chillies – For that much-needed spice! You can avoid adding it if you are making the same for kids.
Other Ingredients – Other than the above ingredients, you will need hing, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fresh coriander, and warm water.
How to make Zunka?
Heat oil in a pan.
Once the oil is hot, add hing, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds and let them crackle for a few seconds.
Add garlic, fresh coriander, green chilli and onion and fry until onions turn pink in colour.
Add turmeric powder, garam masala powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, besan, and salt to taste and fry on medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
Now add warm water little by little and keep cooking the zunka. Cover the lid and cook for 5 minutes.
Remove the lid and cook it on low heat for 8-10 minutes until it is slightly dry. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, as this dish only uses Gram Flour or Besan which is gluten-free. Just make sure you avoid hing in this recipe if you want to make it gluten-free.
Both are popular Maharashtrian dishes which are made with gram flour or besan. But where Pithla is a bit liquidy, Jhunka is a dry version of Pithla.
You can check out my Pithla recipe here – Maharashtrian Pithla.
If you ask me, this dish is incomplete without onion and garlic. But if you do not eat the same, you can avoid adding them and add only finely chopped capsicum and green chilies instead to get that crunch.
Traditionally, it is served along with Bhakri, Thecha, and Buttermilk (Taak).
Zunka Bhakri or Zunka Bhakar is a popular combination in Maharashtra.
I also like to relish it with some hot and crispy Ghee Roast Dosa.
You can also serve it as a side dish with your favourite Dal and Steamed Rice.
This Maharashtrian dish, Zunka can be served only fresh. If you keep it for longer, it will become very dry and won’t taste good even after reheating.
As it gets ready in just 15 minutes, I would recommend you to make it fresh and serve right out of the pan.
If you still have leftovers, store it for about 2 days in an air tight container in the fridge.
To reheat stored Zunka, add it in a pan and sprinkle a little water on top. Heat it until nice and warm, before serving.
Pro Tips By Neha
Add water slowly while making Zunka, otherwise it will become sticky.
You can add finely chopped capsicum, greens, or green onions in the Zunka to add some texture and more flavor.
You can adjust the spices in Zunka according to your taste.
Serve Zunka fresh, as it is moist and soft. If you keep for longer, it will become dry and won’t taste good.
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- 4 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- ¼ tsp Hing
- ½ tsp Mustard Seeds
- ½ tsp Cumin Seeds
- 2 tsp Garlic (finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp Fresh Coriander (chopped)
- 1 tsp Green Chillies (chopped)
- ½ cup Onion (chopped)
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 tsp Garam Masala Powder
- 2 tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
- 1 cup Besan
- Salt (to taste)
- 1 cup Warm Water
- Heat oil in a pan.
- Once the oil is hot, add hing, mustard seeds and cumin seeds and let them crackle for a few seconds.
- Add garlic, fresh coriander, green chilli and onion and fry until onions turn pink in colour.
- Add turmeric powder, garam masala powder, kashmiri red chilli powder, besan and salt to taste and fry on medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
- Add warm water little by little and keep cooking the zunka.
- Cover the lid and cook for 5 minutes.
- Remove the lid and cook the zunka on low heat for 8-10 minutes until it is slightly dry.
- Garnish with fresh coriander and serve immediately.