Zunka or Jhunka is a traditional dry curry prepared in the region of Maharashtra, Goa and north Karnataka. The main ingredient for this subzi is besan or gram flour or kadalai maavu.
It is traditionally prepared using only the gram flour and served with bhakri rotti (Jowar flour roti) and thecha (green chili chutney). but it goes well with wheat flour roti and also hot steamed rice.
It is also called as pithla and the preparation of the plain pithla is very easy if the gram flour is roasted well. To its variation, I have added capsicum. I also prepared it using the other vegetables like okra, beans and carrot.
As capsicum is most liked vegetable in our household, I used to make this capsicum Zunka very often to go with roti. Here is the simple, my way of making Capsicum zunka.
I have used more oil as gram flour tends to dry very quickly and cooked capicum by covering the pan. This way we can increase the moisture in zunka which doesn’t need extra water to be sprinkled. but if you still find the zunka dry, feel free to sprinkle some water while cooking the besan.
I originally tried it from a foodie friend Radhika of tickling palates couple of years ago but now modified it after many trials and here is the final version. Hope you enjoy it.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Oil – 3 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Onion – 3/4 cup, finely chopped
Capsicum – 1 and ½ cup, cubed
Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Besan / Gram flour – 5 tbsp
1) Dry roast the besan/ Gram flour until it changes the colour slightly. Make sure not to burn the gram flour.
2) Heat 2 tablespoon oil in another pan.
3) When it is hot, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves.
4) Let all of them splutter and then add chopped onion.
5) Saute the onion till it becomes soft and translucent.
6) Once the onion becomes soft, add the capsicum.
7) Give a nice stir. Cover the pan using the lid and cook for 5 minutes
8) After five minutes, when the capsicum is almost cooked, add the red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt to taste.
9) Stir fry it till the raw smell of masala goes off.
10) Add the roasted besan to the cooked capsicum and stir it well without any lumps.
11) Cover the pan again and cook for 5 minutes. Before that, if you find the subzi is dry, sprinkle little water and cover the pan.
12) Cook covered for 5 minutes. After five minutes, uncover the pan, add remaining oil, stir it and continue the cooking for few more minutes or until you don’t see the raw smell of the gram flour.
13) Serve hot.
1) It is a subzi which will be served with roti or rice as a side dish.
1) Make sure to roast the gram flour well to avoid any raw smell.
2) Add chilli powder and gram flour when the capsicum is almost cooked but retains its shape.
3) If you find the subzi is very dry, sprinkle little water after adding the gram flour and cook covered.
4) Instead of capsicum any any other vegetables can be used. Example: beans, okra, carrot and spring onion.