Zunka: Maharashtrian flavorsome recipe

December 11, 2021

Zunka, a household recipe of Maharashtra

Jhunka/Zunka or Pitla is a traditional and popular dish of the state of Maharashtra, India. This vegan and gluten-free dish are prepared with besan (gram flour) and it is very easy and simple to prepare.

Know more about Zunka

Zunka is the staple food of Maharashtra. It is a delicious recipe and very simple to make! If you haven’t tried it yet, just do it!

Quick fix to satiate hunger pangs

It is also known as that last-minute recipe! when you have no time on hand and are dying of hunger, this recipe is a quick fix! Serve it with hot, flaky parathas and it tastes delicious!

No veggies, no worries, make Zunka!

Zunka is prepared with gram flour and it is a dry version of Pitla. The gram flour is cooked along with basic everyday ingredients to get a simple yet tasty side dish for your meals. It is a great dish to make when you are out of fresh vegetables.

Add on ingredients if you please!

You can add in some methi, palak, or spring onions to make this dish even more scrumptious. You can skip onions and make this recipe without onions and only with green chilies and garlic.

Eat it right; eat it hot!

zunka bhakri recipe

Make sure that you eat it hot right from the stove, as if you keep it for longer it will get dry and won’t taste as good as the fresh one.

This Zunka Recipe is,

  • Easy to make
  • Vegan
  • Tasty
  • A 15-minute affair
  • Apt for everyday meals
  • Made with just a few ingredients

Main Ingredients:

Gram Flour – Gram Flour or Besan is one of those ingredients that are apt to use when you are out of vegetables. In this recipe, we will roast the besan with other ingredients to make Zunka.

Vegetable Oil – Use any vegetable oil of your choice to make this dish. Traditionally, Zunka is made in peanut oil.

Onion and Garlic – I love the taste these two ingredients add in this rather simple dish. You can also use green onions instead of onions to make this dish. 

Spices – You will need some everyday spices such as turmeric powder, garam masala powder, Kashmiri red chili powder. Use Kashmiri Mirchi powder as it will add a nice color to the same, without making it spicy.

Green Chillies – For that much-needed spice! You can avoid adding it if you are making the same for kids. 

Other Ingredients – Other than the above ingredients, you will need hing, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fresh coriander, and warm water.

Let’s get cooking Zhunka!

zunka recipe
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Prep Time: 10 min.
  • Cooking Time: 20 min.
  • Total Time: 30 min.
  • Servings: 4 people
  • Calories: 252kcal


  • 4 tbsp. Vegetable Oil
  • ¼ tsp. hing
  •  ½ tsp. Mustard Seeds
  •  ½ tsp. Cumin Seeds
  •  2 tsp. Garlic (finely chopped)
  •  1 tbsp. Fresh Coriander (chopped)
  •  1 tsp. Green Chillies (chopped)
  •  ½ cup Onion (chopped)
  •  ½ tsp. Turmeric Powder
  •  1 tsp. Garam Masala Powder
  •  2 tsp. Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
  •  1 cup Besan
  •  Salt (to taste)
  •  1 cup warm water

Step-wise instructions to make Zunka:

How to make zunka bhakri
  • Heat oil in a pan.
  • Once the oil is hot, add hing, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds and let them crackle for a few seconds.
  • Add garlic, fresh coriander, green chilli and onion and fry until onions turn pink in colour.
  • Add turmeric powder, garam masala powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, besan, and salt to taste and fry on medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
  • Now add warm water little by little and keep cooking the zunka. Cover the lid and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and cook it on low heat for 8-10 minutes until it is slightly dry. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve immediately.

Serving Suggestions:

make zunka bhakri
  • Traditionally, it is served along with Bhakri, Thecha, and Buttermilk (Taak). 
  • Zunka Bhakri or Zunka Bhakar is a popular combination in Maharashtra.
  • You can also serve it along with Phulka, Tawa Paratha, crispy & flaky Laccha Paratha, or with some hot and crispy Ghee Roast Dosa.
  • I also like to relish it with some hot and crispy Ghee Roast Dosa. 
  • You can also serve it as a side dish with your favourite Dal and Steamed Rice.

Storage Suggestions:

  • This Maharashtrian dish, Zunka can be served only fresh. If you keep it for longer, it will become very dry and won’t taste good even after reheating. 
  • As it gets ready in just 15 minutes, I would recommend you to make it fresh and serve right out of the pan. 
  • If you still have leftovers, store it for about 2 days in an air tight container in the fridge.
  • To reheat stored Zunka, add it in a pan and sprinkle a little water on top. Heat it until nice and warm, before serving. 

Quick Tips:

  • Add water slowly while making Zunka, otherwise it will become sticky. 
  • You can add finely chopped capsicum, greens, or green onions in the Zunka to add some texture and more flavor. 
  • You can adjust the spices in Zunka according to your taste. 
  • Serve Zunka fresh, as it is moist and soft. If you keep for longer, it will become dry and won’t taste good.


You can make this without onion and garlic as well. Just skip adding them.

Add water slowly while making Zunka, otherwise, it will become sticky.

You can add finely chopped capsicum, greens, or green onions to add some texture and more flavor.

You can adjust the spices according to your taste.

Serve it fresh, as it is moist and soft. If you keep it for longer, it will become dry and won’t taste good.

If lumps are formed, sprinkle some water and give a stir. The consistency is neither too thick nor thin.

Red chili powder may be used instead of green chili. Onions may be avoided.

Nutrition Facts:

  • Calories: 252kcal  
  • Carbohydrates: 21g 
  •  Protein: 7g 
  •  Fat: 16g  
  • Saturated Fat: 11g 
  •  Sodium: 49mg  
  • Potassium: 303mg  
  • Fiber: 4g  
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Vitamin A: 297IU
  • Vitamin C: 2mg
  • Calcium: 27mg Iron: 2mg


Is Zunka gluten free?

Yes, as this dish only uses Gram Flour or Besan which is gluten-free. Just make sure you avoid hing in this recipe if you want to make it gluten-free.

What is the difference between Zunka and Pithla?

Both are popular Maharashtrian dishes which are made with gram flour or besan. But where Pithla is a bit liquidy, Jhunka is a dry version of Pithla.

How to make No Onion No Garlic Zunka?

This dish is incomplete without onion and garlic. But if you do not eat the same, you can avoid adding them and add only finely chopped capsicum and green chilies instead to get that crunch.

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