link rel = "image_src” href=”preview-image-here.jpg” / expr:content='data:blog.metaDescription' Sukanya's musings: ZUNKA

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Thursday, May 19, 2005

ZUNKA

ZUNKA
Zunka is very similar to the Pitla. It is a drier version of the Pitla. Usually more oil is used for the Zunka as you need to cook it into a dry vegetable like consistency unlike the Pitla. This cant be mixed with rice but it has to be had with Chappati or Bhakri. You can add vegetables like Capsicum, Methi, Cabbage, Bottle gourd (Doodhi) etc to enhance the nutritive value of the Zunka.

Ingredients
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 – 2-3 tbsps

Method
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 Zunka for beginners according to my mother-in-law. As when you make a batter, there won’t be lumps and it will be easier to handle the cooking. Once it simmers. Keep the gas on a low flame and allow the water to evaporate. Keep stirring rapidly so that the besan doesn’t stick to the pan. The mixture will start to separate and loose its water content and become dry. At this point Garnish with coriander leaves and stir for a minute or two.

The Zunka is usually served hot with Bhakris or chappatis (known also as Polis). On the right is one Happy meal that can please my husband YO, A hardcore Maharashtrian anytime.

VARIATIONS TO THE ZUNKA
This type of Zunka made with vegetables is called as Pith perleli Bhaji (Vegetable rolled in Flour).

METHI ZUNKA
You can take a cup of fresh Fenugreek (Methi) leaves or if you cant get fresh methi leaves You can alternatively use Kasoori Methi. To use Kasoori Methi, Take 2 tbsps of kasoori methi in a bowl, add a pinch of salt and add warm water and let it soak for 5-10 minutes. Then drain the water, The methi will be soft like fresh methi leaves now. After you add the onions and stir fry for a while, add the Kasoori methi or Fresh methi and stir fry. You will get lovely aroma of the methi. Follow the above method of the Zunka and serve hot with Bhakri or Chappati.

SPRING ONIONS ZUNKA
Take one cup of Spring onions (Pathi che Kande). When you are using Spring Onions, use the onions as well as the green leaves of the onions. Remove the skin and chop the spring onions into fine pieces and fry with the onions. The leaves of the spring onions must be washed thoroughly and chopped into fine pieces and used in the Zunka. Once the onions are fried, Add the finely chopped leaves of the spring onions and stir fry. And then follow the above method.

CAPSICUM ZUNKA
Take one cup of finely chopped Capsicum. Once the onions are transparent. Add the Capsicum and stir fry and follow the above method.

The change in the cooking comes when we use Cabbage(kobi), Bottle Gourd (Doodhi Bhopla).

Do also try my own innovative recipes of using Ridge Gourd(Dodka) and Raw Papaya Zunka.

CABBAGE ZUNKA
Take one cup of Shredded Cabbage.
Heat oil, then temper with mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Saute the onions, then add turmeric, chilli powder, cumin and coriander powder and salt and stir for a few seconds. Add the cabbage and stir fry. Cover with a lid and allow to cook for 5-7 minutes till the cabbage is tender. Cabbage cooks very fast. At this point, Add in the Besan and mix well. Saute gently on medium heat. The flour will absorb the Cabbage juice and cook. Do not add any extra water! Cover and cook on low heat for 4-5 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves.

BOTTLE GOURD ZUNKA
Take one cup of peeled and grated Bottle gourd (Doodhi Bhopla) (dont grate very finely, use the grater with big holes, so u get thicker grates).and follow the method as in Cabbage Zunka. Allow the Besan to cook in the vegetable juice and cook. Do not add any extra water! Cover and cook on low heat for 4-5 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves.

RIDGE GOURD ZUNKA*****
Take one cup of peeled and grated Ridge Gourd (Dodka) (dont grate very finely, use the grater with big holes, so u get thicker grates).and follow the method as in Cabbage Zunka. Allow the Besan to cook in the vegetable juice and cook. Do not add any extra water! Cover and cook on low heat for 4-5 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves.

RAW PAPAYA ZUNKA*******
Take one cup of peeled and grated Raw Papaya (dont grate very finely, use the grater with big holes, so u get thicker grates).and follow the method as in Cabbage Zunka. Allow the Besan to cook in the vegetable juice and cook. Do not add any extra water! Cover and cook on low heat for 4-5 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Please do try the Ridge Gourd and Raw Papaya Zunka. The Raw Papaya Zunka tastes absolutely divine. The taste compares to no other recipe.

Its my own innovative trial and I am sure you’ll will enjoy it too. Please do try the recipesand let me know.

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