Being married to a Maharashtrian exposed me to the rich Maharashtrian cuisine and one of the best things I learned and absolutely adore is their Pitla and ocfourse Zunka which is a slight variation to the Pitla. This can be had with Bhakri(A jowar or Bajra roti) or Chappati. It is an instant dish and can be prepared in a jiffy. If you don’t have any vegetables at home except onions and you are hungry and need to dish up something, Pitla would be the best option.
Besan (Gram flour) – 1 cup
Onion - 1 finely chopped
Green Chillies – 2 finely chopped
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
Salt to taste
Curry leaves - 1 sprig (optional)
Coriander leaves for garnish
Oil – 1-2 tbsps
Fry the besan in a little oil till it turns light brown. It should loose its raw smell. Keep aside.
Heat some oil and add the mustard seeds, once it starts to crackle, add the onions and fry till the onion becomes transparent and nicely fried. Add the curry leaves and fry for a minute.
In a bowl, Take the Besan, turmeric powder, red chili powder, asafoetida and salt and mix it with water, to form a batter with a liquid consistency. This is a sure shot method of preparing a successful Pitla for beginners according to my mother-in-law. As when you make a batter, there wont be lumps and it will be easier to handle the cooking. Once it simmers. Garnish with coriander leaves. The Pitla is usually in liquid consistency like the Dal. So you can even mix it with rice and eat.
Serve the Pitla hot with chappatis or white rice.