Z is for Zhunka

It’s hard to translate Zhunka. It has its origins as peasant food – the Indian equivalent of a ploughman’s lunch. It is and has been a very popular and quick meal option, usually served with Bajrichi bhakri (millet chapati). Bajra is a warming grain ideal for winter meals.

The Zhunka-Bhakar combination always brings back memories that make me chuckle.

As kids, my sister and I indulged, as most kids do, in a great amount of pretend play. One of our favourites was to play act being peasants and we would squat on the kitchen floor (our field). Mum, to give her credit, played along and served us our lunch of zhunka bhakar with great enthusiasm and carried on a conversation as if there was nothing unusual about the event.

I can see that the pretend play genes have been passed on to the next generation. I hope the love for zhunka-bhakar has been passed on as well.

Zhunka - bhakar

Zhunka – bhakar

Ingredients:

1 cup besan (chickpea flour)

2 cups water

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon PP sambhar

1/2 teaspoon coriander-cumin powder

salt to taste

a pinch of asafoetida

2 tablespoons oil

1 large green chilli, chopped

2 large onions, chopped

2 tablespoons coriander, chopped fine

2-3 kokum

 

Comfort food in winter - Zhunka bhakar

Comfort food in winter – Zhunka bhakar

Method:

1. In a bowl, combine the besan, spices and salt. Add water and whisk until smooth and any lumps have dissolved.

2. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the asafoetida, chopped chilli and onions. Saute until onions are translucent and slightly softened.

3. Add the besan and spices mixture to the pan. Stir constantly to avoid lumps. (A whisk works best.)

4. Once the mixture starts cooking it will thicken to a consistency of potato mash. At this stage, add the kokum pieces and coriander. Take the pan off the heat.

5. Serve hot with a bajra bhakri and a generous dollop of ghee.

 

Notes:

If you are a spice buff, you can up the ante on the heat and serve this with a fresh green chilli as an accompaniment. (as is seen in the picture) That’s the traditional way of eating this dish.

 

About The Weekend Baker

Weekend baker, cook book collector, gatherer of family recipes.. I have inherited my love for baking, cooking and experimenting in the kitc
This entry was posted in A-Z Blogging Challenge 2015 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Z is for Zhunka

  1. Eli says:

    Hahahaa- happy to hear about your play genes! Thats fun! And a lovely recipe for sure:-) have enjoyed your theme so much this year -your memories connected to them and lots of inspiring recipes waiting to be tried out:/) hugs

  2. Shalzzz says:

    Congrats on completing the challenge! 😀 Woohoo!! I will get back to your recipes to try them in my kitchen 😀

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