Flour Power - Fenugreek Zunka

Zunka is considered the quintessential Marathi dish; not without reason since it is prepared in almost all homes across the state. Zunka and bhakri (jowar bread) is a common, daily meal in rural Maharashtra. While urban households may replace bhakri with chapati (roti), zunka still finds favor without question.

I think this is because the recipe is highly versatile - as long as you have some chickpea flour handy you can make this dish. Since my family likes leafy vegetables (weird I know), I like to make zunka with fenugreek. The nutty taste of the flour compliments the bitterness of the greens nicely.


METHICHA ZUNKA (Fenugreek with chickpea flour)
(serves 2)
2 bunches of fenugreek
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 cup chickpea flour (besan)
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
a pinch of asafoetida
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (or to taste)
1/4 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp jaggery (optional; if you find fenugreek too bitter)
salt to taste

Wash fenugreek in 2-3 changes of water then chop finely. Roast the flour on low heat just till it changes texture and doesn't smell raw.

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When they splutter add asafoetida and garlic. Add chopped onion and saute till it turns translucent. Next add turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander powder and garam masala. Mix well.

Add fenugreek and season to taste. Cover and cook on steam till done. Add roasted flour gradually mixing all the while. Sprinkle a little water as necessary to combine the mixture. Cook on low heat for a few minutes.

Remove from heat when flour is cooked. Don't cover the pan.

* Zunka can also be made with onions, cabbage and scallions (spring onions)



Blogger Lakshmi said...

Hi Ashwini,
The Fenugreek Zunka looks so good, haven't tried this sort of recipe, will do next time.
thanks for the nice easy recipe.

9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You reminded me of my moms dish..... I just love this one.... thanks for sharing..... now I know what to make for dinner tonight :)

1:38 AM  
Blogger Vaishali said...

Ashwini, you mention Zunka & Bhakri but forget Bal Thackerey? How unfair!!! ;-) ;-)
Anyway, as usual, a great photograph. :)

5:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks good! Us Gujjus make this too,but ours has a runny consistency..I should try your version and see if my family likes it.Thanks!


6:32 AM  
Blogger FH said...

Ashwini, Zunka looks fabulous! I make with just Besan and spices.Your's sounds so good ,yummy.Thanks:)

7:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Iam curios to know what is B Thackerey got to do with Zunka :)and one more Q, any dry vegetable curry with besan is zunka is it ?? please enlighten me :)

I would love to have this bitter & spicy dish with mildly sweet phulkas. Looks FAB Ashwini !

9:38 AM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Lakshmi - thanks. Try it, you will look at methi differently :-)

Rooma - let me know if dinner was a hit :-)

Vaishali - How could I? :-D
The way they used the dish as part of their political propoganda I'd say zunka belongs to them!!!

Trupti - The watery version is called pithale in Marathi and is equally delicious

Asha - thanks

Priya - Enlighten you?!! Bal Thackeray's party made a huge deal about setting up zunka bhakri stalls across Bombay as a means to provide inexpensive meals to citizens. Like most of their badly planned and even worsely implemented ideas, it didnt work.
There are two terms for dry subjis with besan in Marathi - zunka and peeth perun (flour sprinkled in). If the dish has more besan its zunka, if it has a little it is called peeth perleli bhaji (this is made with bell peppers/ okra etc.) A slightly wet curry is also made with besan and is called pithale. End of lesson 1 :-D

10:01 AM  
Blogger Anupama said...

Methi is my favourite vegetable and I do make a similar dish. I call it Methichi gola bhaaji. I'll try it your way next time I manage to procure some decent fresh methi. Its becoming increasingly difficult.

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great photo! I have some reluctance in eating methi. Must try this way.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ashwini -
I love how fresh and inviting the photo looks! I think it is a cool idea to add a little jaggery to offset the sharpness of fenugreek, will have to remember that :)!

12:07 PM  
Blogger Krithika said...

Looks absolutely delicious !
Loved the write-up about Zunka and Bal Thackarey :-)

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ashwini,
Very nice write up about Zunka, very new to me but planning on making today using cabbage.
I have a question, should we roast the chickpea flour before adding ? Please Let me know ....
Thank you for the recipe.

1:23 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Anupama - I love methi too. I make a gola amti post your gola bhaji ..sounds interesting.

Laksmi, Monisha, Krithika - thanks

Madhu - it is not absolutely necessary to roast the flour before. I do it because it gets rid of the raw besan smell and also reduces cooking time when added to the vegetable. The zunka combines well in my opinion. Let me know how it goes.

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the dish looks very appetizing. So can zunka be made with gravy too?

2:06 PM  
Blogger Nabeela said...

oh I love how you show such authentic dishes here..the pictures look great and the recipe sounds if only i had fresh besan flour..mine is probably a few years old and only worthy of trash :(

3:53 PM  
Blogger archana said...

Your photos are always very refreshing. I have never tried Zunka before, thank you for the recipe.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Priya said...

The recipe looks really yummy Ashwini, I tasted the Cabbage Zunka just last week when one of my dear frnds got it in her lunch box. That was the first time I was tasting it and just loved it. Will try making it myself for my next cooking turn :-)

4:16 PM  
Blogger Seema Bhat said...

wow this looks fantastic and healthy too ...lovely the way i like your kadai a lot :)

4:18 PM  
Blogger Seema Bhat said...

oops missed to say that i am right away adding you to my link list so that i dont miss out any of your recipies from now on
Good going gal!!

4:19 PM  
Blogger Shah cooks said...

I have heard abt this from my friends, good to see an authentic recipe. will be trying this definitely.

8:05 PM  
Blogger Sri said...

Hi Ashwini,
Your zunka looks good. I have a recipe for zunka but never tried it yet.

8:34 PM  
Blogger Viji said...

Something new for us south indians. Looks very nice. Sure will give a try. Viji

10:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dinner was super hit ;) !!!!!

11:46 PM  
Blogger Mandira said...

The methi zunka looks delicious ashwini.. and you made khichuri. It's my favorite food for rainy days with bhajas... :)

10:00 AM  
Blogger Rajesh &Shankari said...

My mom used to make something like this, I guess she learnt it while we were in Belgaum!

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ashwini, this is totally new to me. Definitely something to try next time I see fresh methi. I have so far only put it in dals. Looks really good!

12:40 PM  
Blogger Sia said...

beautiful, refreshing snaps ashwini:) looks absolutely divine

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you have the coolest cookware! Look at that kadai. Is that stainless steel and it is almost spotless.

10:56 AM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Nalini - yes it can

Nabeela - you can store besan in the fridge so it stays longer

Archana, Seema, Shaheen, Sri, V, Supriya, Mandira, Shankari, Linda - thanks

Priya - cabbage zunka is made very regularly in all Marathi homes. Isnt it a good idea? Make a zunka of all veges that arent normally liked :-)

Rooma - yay!! so good of you to let me know :-)

Gini - thanks! I dont have a lot of steel utensils actually. I use these when serving very traditional fare at home... pretending as if we are eating at one of those authentic joints in India :-) Spotless because I wash them by hand!

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So good to see you after a long time. The zunka looks too good! Once I have my kitchen set up, I will definitely try it. (Man, the to-do recipe list is just growing like Hanuman's tail).


3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,I tried out your recipe and used one green bell pepper along with methi. It came out so well; looks, smells and tastes delicious. Thanks for the great but simple recipe.

8:50 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Hema - thanks for writing in. Glad you liked zunka

10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ashwini,

You have a great site, Your picture of Methi Zhunka was so appealing , that I had to rush to the store to get methi.

But mine turned out very brown & powdery ? after adding red chilli powder & coriander powder to the onions the color changed.

It is very suprising to me the color in ur picture, mine was nothing close to it ... Could you please clarify??? Thanks

6:03 AM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Hi Aruna, glad you liked my blog.
I think the color could have differed because of frying the onion too long, or roasting the besan or perhaps because of the masalas.
In any case the color of the zunka isn't important - my scallion zunka gets brown in color too. As long as it tastes great ;-)

1:16 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Ashwini ,
The Photo looks so yummy in the steel kadai :) . I too have methi in my fridge and was wondering what to prepare tonight.
So my tonights dinner is fixed , methi Zunka , Bhakri , rice and tomatoe saar with some lasun chutney .
Thanks Ashwini .

2:06 AM  
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2:12 AM  

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