Zunka, Thalipeet or Besan. Different names of the same dish. But Besan (Gram flour) we call it.
After getting married, a newly wed girl has to visit her mother’s place.Called a Pag phera rasm. My journey to my hometown in Gujarat from my inlaws place in Maharashtra is nearly 14 hours by train.
We were given a pandora box for our journey. At lunch time I opened the pandora box. One box had Methi Keema & another box has something yellow stuff which had onions, tomato, green chilly, tumeric accompanied with plain paratha’s, onion and green chilly. Methi Keema was understandable but what was the other stuff. I just looked at K.
He said with a smile it is BESAN.
My Husband being a greatest food buff explained to me this dish and the accompaniments.Its is special Marathi dish. Mostly eaten with Jowar Roti with palm crushed small onions & green chilly.
But why was this given to us for lunch?
Reason, this food can be preserved for 2 days in normal temperature. Another Very good reason. My husband is a complete gaurani ( he tells me gaurani means Complete Desi Indian guy) loves this.
I had eaten Gatte ki sabzi (Rajasthani cuisine) prepared by using besan (gram flour). But that was with gravy. I had seen my ammi preparing sev pyaz sabzi. A combination sabzi of little sev & loads of onion with spices.
But here it was like eating only Besan with few spices. Well I like to try out different cuisines but still I am very choosy in what I eat. But guys a newly married girl is little shy, I was not able to say anything. So I tried. I took a piece of paratha with Besan. Put it in my mouth. I was then instructed by Mr.K to eat a piece of onion and then a bite of green chilly. Well it was good, more than good. The accompaniment onion and green chilly infused with lemon flavor was one of the best I had in years.
The much hyped dish by K had full marks on the rating of 10. I have learnt this recipe from my lovely Ma in Law. Its now become a once in month on the monthly menu.
Now lets jump to the recipe with few pointers.
There are few instructions to be followed while preparing this dish. Most important is to cook the Besan(gram flour). You don’t want to serve this raw. You will get stomach aches. Many people don’t take care while preparing this dish. Yes, I have eaten the Raw versions too. But thankfully my first taste of this beautiful dish was tasty. So I am in love with it. I will try to explain in the easiest way to cook this dish. But still if any of you have questions, please feel free to ask.
The recipe serves 3-4 persons
1 & 1/2 cup besan (Gram flour)sieved
3 Big size onions chopped
4 Big size tomatoes chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp salt to taste (adjust accordingly to your taste)
2 chopped green chilly
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
5 Big spoon oil
1/2 tsp cumin
2 – 3 curry leaves
1/2 glass water
1. Chopped the tomatoes and onion
2. Heat oil in a deep pan. When hot add cumin. When cumin crackle, add chopped onions and curry leaves.
3. When onion becomes translucent (soft) add red chilly powder, tumeric powder and salt. Fry for 2 seconds.
4. Now add chopped tomatoes, green chillies and coriander leaves. Fry this till tomatoes have become completely soft. (Tip: Cover with lid to make the process faster on medium flame – approximately 5 minutes)
5. Now add the sieved besan (gram flour).Stir quickly to mix in with the prepared gravy.Keep stirring for 1 -2 minutes.
6. Now sprinkle little water from the half glass. and keep stirring. When all water gets evaporated again sprinkle more water.
7. Repeat this process till 1/2 glass water has finished. (On the last sprinkle of water cover the pan and cook on low flame for 1 minute. After that open the lid and fry on medium flame for 2 minutes)