Sunday, September 29, 2013



Food Blogging Marathon from 2/9/2013 to 30/9/2013. 

Each day a new alphabet. 4 categories. 

Regional Food, 

Baked Dishes, 

International Flavors / Fusion flavors, 

Street Food / Condiments / Misc / Recipe less Posts on Food

"Zunka" is my 8th regional recipe and it comes from Maharashtra. It is the most famous regional recipe from rural areas. It is a quick and easy recipe. As always there are hundreds of ways to make this. Some prefer it very dry and this version is taken on travels specially pilgrimages which go on for many days. Others make it less dry sort of thick gravy like. If it is pourable consistency then it is called "PITHLA" .  Zunka is eaten with "Bhakri"which is roti made from jwari/jowar/sorghum,  bajri/millet, ragi/nachani/red millet or rice flour. 
When I was doing this after the onions were transluscent I poured the besan as mentioned and covered and forgot to take the next photographs. My husband and I were also very hungry and so as soon as the Zunka was ready I served us and we happily ate. It was only as I removed the leftover Zunka in a smaller vessel that I remembered that I had to take photographs. So I have photos half way through and then the end product for you to see. :( Sorry. 

Here is my recipe for alphabet Z - Zunka


 1 cup besan/chickpea flour
1 big onion thinly sliced
8 to 10 garlic
1+ 1/2 cup sour buttermilk
small lemon size ball of tamarind
a sprig of curry leaves
salt to taste

For tempring :
4 to 6 tblsp oil for tempering
1/4 tsp rai/mustard seeds
1/4 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
1/4 tsp haldi/turmeric powder
a big pinch methi/fenugreek seeds
a big pinch of hing/asefotida powder
1 tsp red chilli powder or to taste

For garnish
finely cut fresh coriander leaves


Mix besan in one cup sour buttermilk. Make lump free batter. If you don't have sour buttermilk then mix in with 1+ 1/2 cup of tamarind water. For tamarind water, soak tamarind for 15 minutes in  water and then gently squeeze and strain and use. Do not squeeze out the pulp or it will become very sour and the colour too will be brownish and not very appetising to look. Add salt to taste. Add the curry leaves, salt and red chilli powder. Mix well. Keep aside.

In a thick bottom pan or a kadhai heat oil till hot and add mustard seeds, wait till they splutter and then add cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds. Add asefotida. 

Add garlic and fry till golden brown. 

Add onions and cover and cook for two minutes or till translucent. 

Now pour the besan mixed with sour buttermilk and stir and cover and cook for 2 minutes on high heat. Remove cover, stir and cover again and cook for 8 to 10 minutes on low heat. Stir in between to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan. Zunka is ready when the raw smell of the besan goes and it all comes together. 

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with bhakri or roti of your choice and sliced onion and green chillies. 

I have served  regular wheat roti here as we had finished the bhakris. Also the reason for small amount of Zunka. Had thought of cooking again but last few days I was away from home and computer too. Soon I will add a better photograph of Zunka with Bhakri. But for today it is too late :)


  1. Once i tried zunka with bhindis and love it..Such a traditional Maharashtrian, love zunka with bakri..

  2. I love zunka a lot looks super inviting and awesome recipe dear :) very very yummy dish to end the series !!

  3. this is the most comforting dish for me...though i make it often at home, i personally love it when i visit my native place

  4. Oh how I love this has been really long since I had this...must make it soon.
    It has been really great running this marathon with you and it was a pleasure reading some authentic Maharashtrian dishes, besides others.

  5. that is another new dish for me!!! very inviting!!


  6. Though I have heard so much about zunka, I thought it was prepared with lesser amount of besan, nice to see the amount. I have a version where I used lesser amount and it was more of a stir fry..will try this way next time...It was wonderful reading through your recipes and your thoughts as you went about..glad you did the BM with us...

  7. Such a traditional and yummy dish. Loved reading all your posts in this A-Z series Sandhya.

  8. I picked it for regional but later on skipped . Glad you made this and next time I will try your way...

  9. Very authentic recipe.. tasty and i have same diamond pan

  10. A new recipe for me! So easy to make and sounds wonderful! Congrats on finishing the lovely marathon!

  11. never heard of this - lovely to get to know you through the blog via the BM

  12. This happens to all food bloggers. once I was baking a bread and I took step by step pictures of it. Then later, I finished off the baked bread and there was no picture to share :-))
    Zunka looks nice, and I never knew you can make it gravy style as well.

  13. Love it. BTW, pithla gets cooked in Andhra too.

  14. Zunka looks very nice. and sandhya it is wonderful that you joined bm...thanks for sharing lovely recipes!!

  15. We make a variation of this called Bombay chutney or pitla (in our language) love it puri /chapati.