'Jhunka' with 'bhakari' (jowar/sorghum or bajra/pearl millet bread) is a traditional Maharashtrian recipe often considered as a poor man's meal. Jhunka is mostly very spicy and so it is needed in small quantities to eat with a 'bhakari'. Gram flour which is the main ingredient, gives it its unique flavor and taste. As it is dry and thick in consistency, it is easy to pack for travel or for lunch boxes. When prepared without onion/garlic, it stays good for up to 2 days at room temperature.
- Oil - 2 tbsp
- Gram flour (besan) - 1 cup
- Mustard seeds. - 1/2 tsp
- Asafoetida (Hing) - A pinch
- Turmeric Powder - 1/4-1/2 tsp
- Onion (optional) - 1 finely chopped
- Salt - To taste
- Red chili powder - 2-3 tsp
- Garlic (optional) - 1 tbsp finely chopped
- Mix 1 cup of water, 1/2 tbsp oil, salt to taste, and 2-3 tsp red chili powder. Add 1 cup gram flour (besan) and mix well with hands to break all the lumps.
- In a pan, heat 1 & 1/2 tbsp oil, and add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds. After they crackle, add asafoetida (hing), and turmeric powder. You can add 1 finely chopped onion or 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic, if you like. But in that case, do not add the asafoetida (hing) and stir fry till the onion (or garlic) becomes pinkish..
- Now pour the water and gram flour mixture in it.
- Keep stirring continuously as it starts thickening up.
- When further thickening has stopped, cover with a lid and let cook for 5-10 minutes on low flame.
- Keep turning every 2-3 minutes, to avoid burning at the bottom.
- Serve with 'Bhakri' (jowar or bajra bread), or Chapati, with raw sliced onion on the side.