Pithala is a staple food of Maharashtra. It’s hard to find someone who does not like Pithala. Pithala is basically a gram flour based curry made with chopped onions and green chilies which is very easy to make and less time consuming. In rural area, Pithala served with Bajarichi bhakari(millet flour flat bread) , raw onion and some green mango pickle. The true enjoyment is, when you go to farm… seating in the shadow of tree, having Pithala with Bhajrichi bhakari , Crushed onion with hand(not chopped) and Maharashtrian green chili chutney/Thecha. The consistency of pithala can be changed on how you like to enjoy, it can be runny to enjoy with rice, it can be thick gravy consistency also it can be dry, The dry version is also called as Jhunka/Zunaka. This is a saving dish when guest arrives unannounced or when don’t have veggies in home.
1/3 Cup Gram flour/Besan
1 1/2 Cup water
1/2 Cup chopped onion
5-6 chopped green chilies (depending on spiciness)
2-3 big garlic cloves crushed(5-7 small cloves)
1/4th Tsp Mustard seeds
1/4th Tsp Cumin seeds
less than 1/4th Tsp turmeric
Salt as per taste
2 Tbsp oil
good amount of chopped coriander
In a kadhai, heat oil on medium heat and make tempering with mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Add crushed garlic and chopped green chilies. saute for 5-10 seconds. Add chopped garlic, add pinch of salt and saute till onion turns transparent(I like edge browned onion so I saute for longer time). Meanwhile mix gram flour and 1 1/4th cup water in a bowl, make lump free batter and keep aside. Add turmeric and asefoetida in fried onion mix well. Add the remaining 1/4th cup of water and stir in circular motion. Slowly add gram flour batter with another hand and mix in circular motion to mix it evenly and lump free. Add salt at this stage, let it cook for 2-3 minutes, it will start to get thick and boil( Be careful as it flutters all around). Cover the kadhai with lid and let it cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes(stirring occasionally). Add chopped coriander and serve hot with Bajarichi bhakari/ Chapati(wheat flour flat bread) or even with rice along with crushed onion and mango pickle.
1) To make it more tasty, one can use Maharastrian green chili chutney/ hirvya mirchicha thecha. simply add the desired amount of Thecha instead of green chilies and garlic.