Besan or gram flour is abundantly used in Indian cooking in every part of Indian subcontinent. Mostly as batter for making addictive and irresistible deep fried finger foods like crunchy pakora, onion bajji, chilli bajji and some famous sweets like ladoo. Gram flour is now sold in major supermarket stores in world foods aisles. Another unique dish to prepare using besan flour is Pitla, a remarkable regional recipe from the state of Maharashtra.
Pitla is an easy to cook vegetarian and vegan friendly recipe that uses ordinary daily vegetables and simple ingredients. Moreover, it is quick to cook, so your midweek meals are ready without any fuss or long preparations. Use of a variety of dry and fresh spices make this dish full of flavours and aromas. A definite ‘try at home recipe’ for a very different and distinctive experience. Traditionally served with jowar (sorghum) roti, but you can enjoy it with rice or paratha too.
Maharashtrian Pitla Recipe
Here is Your Recipe
3 tablespoons besan (bengal gram flour)
1/2 tsp hing (asafoetida)
1 medium tomato chopped finely
1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
1 sprig curry leaves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 small onion, chopped finely
1 tsp roasted cumin-coriander powder
1 tablespoon lemon juice/tamarind juice
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Fry the besan in a little oil till it turns light brown. Set aside.
Heat some oil and add mustard and curry leaves.
When they crackle, add onions and fry till they turn brown.
Add the cumin-dhania, red chilli and turmeric and fry for a minute.
Now add the besan and keep frying for 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and the coriander and some water to get a liquid consistency.
Add salt to taste.
Now add the lime/tamarind juice and heat through till it boils.
Add hing and serve hot with sorghum roti or chapatis or white rice.
You can prepare two styles of Pitla, one is slightly dry and other is semi liquid type. Just change the quantity of water you add while cooking.
Make sure to stir frequently once besan or gram flour added otherwise there is a chance it get burnt.