Zunka – Spicy Gram Flour Preparation – Maharashtrian cuisine

As a working mom, I am always juggling work and home just like a lot of you. There are times when I can spend more time at home cooking with kids and there are times when I am buried in work and barely manage to put food on the table in between emails and urgent phone calls. Sometimes getting the grocery has to be put on hold. I know you will say, why can’t you send your other half but if you know me, you know what a control freak I am when it comes to grocery. Well, grocery and some more things. 🙂


Maharashtrians have a perfect remedy for the time you can’t find any vegetables in the fridge and no time to buy them. Zunka, usually eaten with Jowar (Sorghum) or Bajra (Pearl Millet) roti, some garlic chutney and onion. This dish is mainly eaten in the farmer’s homes in Maharashtra region. Since it is made of Gram flour, it has lot of protein so it would also be a good recovery food for all of those Runners out there.


When I make it, I have it with usual wheat roti and sometimes add up Cucumber Raita to the menu.

Following recipe serves 2 if you do not have any other accompaniments.


Besan/Bengal ram Flour 1 cup

Chopped Onion ½ cup

Curry Leaves 5-6

Mustard Seeds ½ tsp 1

Ginger Garlic paste 1 ½ tsp

Cumin Seeds ¾ tsp

Turmeric Powder ¼ tsp

Asafetida 1/8 tsp

Green chilies ½ tsp chopped (optional)

Salt per taste

Canola or Grape-seed Oil 1 Tbsp.

For Tempering

Canola or Grape-seed oil 1Tbsp

Asafetida 1/8 tsp

Mustard Seeds 1tsp

Garlic 2 cloves chopped or paste

Red Chilies Dry 2

For Garnish

Coriander/cilantro a handful chopped

  • Heat oil in a pan and add Mustard seeds. When the seeds pop, add Asafetida, Cumin Seeds and Curry Leaves. Wait for 15 seconds.
  • Keep about 1 ½ cups of water on the heat to make it hot but not come to boiling point or microwave it for 1 1/2 minute and keep aside
  • Add Ginger-Garlic paste, Turmeric powder, Green Chilies if using and chopped Onion. Sauté for 2 -3 minutes.



  • Add Salt, give it a stir and then add Gram flour. Sauté the mixture for about 3 minutes until Gram flour turns fragrant. Make sure to stir it frequently so the Gram Flour does not burn.
  • Add the hot water to this mixture and mix well on low heat. Try to smooth out any lumps. Sauté for 3 minutes or so until the mixture has thickened but not dried out. It is important that you keep it a bit runny and let it cook after the heat is turned off.6
  • For tempering, heat oil on high flame. Add Mustard seeds and let them pop. Add red chilies and Garlic. Sauté and just a bit and add the Tempering to the Zunka, Mix well and Enjoy!!zz1



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