Indulge in the heartwarming flavors of Maharashtra with our irresistible Pithla recipe! This classic Indian dish, made from gram flour and a medley of spices, is a true comfort food favorite. Whether enjoyed with bhakri or rice, it's a delightful culinary journey you won't want to miss.
Pithla - a simple, tasty, and versatile dish prepared quickly and easily, making it a perfect choice for weeknight dinners. It is a thick, spicy, and tangy curry made with gram flour (besan) and a few basic spices. Typically, served with rice or Indian bread (roti or bhakri). This recipe is vegan and gluten-free.
Pithla is a traditional dish from the western Indian state of Maharashtra and is a popular vegetarian dish.
Pithla, is made with gram flour (besan), onions, garlic, green chili, and a few basic spices. It is a thick, spicy, and tangy curry typically served with rice or Indian bread (roti or bhakri). I like to serve it with Palak paratha and Jeera Aloo for a complete meal.
To make pithla, mix besan with water to form a smooth batter. Then cook this batter over medium heat with spices like cumin, mustard seeds, turmeric, and asafoetida, as well as vegetables such as onions, garlic, and green chili peppers. Cook over medium to low heat until the mixture thickens and starts to leave the sides of the pan. Finish it off with some freshly squeezed lemon juice, cilantro, and a dollop of ghee or oil.
The consistency of the dish can range from a thin soup-like consistency to a thick, stew-like consistency.
What Is Pithla
Pithla is a traditional Indian dish that originates from the state of Maharashtra, located in the western part of India.
It is a simple yet flavorful dish made primarily from gram flour (besan) and seasoned with various spices.
Pithla is known for its quick preparation and its ability to be paired with a variety of accompaniments such as bhakri (a type of flatbread), rice, or even bread.
The dish is prepared by cooking a mixture of gram flour, water, and spices until it thickens to a creamy consistency.
It is often seasoned with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida, and other spices, giving it a distinctive aroma and flavor.
Pithla can also include ingredients like onions, green chilies, and ginger-garlic paste to enhance its taste.
Pithla holds a special place in Indian cuisine, not only for its deliciousness but also for its simplicity and versatility.
It can be found in both rural and urban Maharashtra and is often enjoyed as a comfort food.
The dish is not only cherished for its taste but also for its cultural significance, as it reflects the culinary traditions and flavors of the region.
Why You'll Love Pitla
Flavorful: Pithla is a delicious and flavorful dish, made with a combination of spices and seasonings that add depth and complexity to the dish.
Versatile: serve it as a main course or a side dish, paired with a variety of Indian bread or rice.
Nutritious: made with high in protein and fiber, gram flour, a good source of nutrition. The addition of vegetables also adds additional nutrients to the dish.
Comforting: Pithla has a comforting and satisfying texture that is perfect for a hearty and filling meal.
Customizable: easily customizable to suit your taste preferences, making it a versatile dish
Ingredients For Pithla Recipe
here's a description of the main ingredients used in Pithla:
- Gram Flour (Besan): Gram flour, also known as besan, is the key ingredient of Pithla. Gram flour adds a nutty flavor and a smooth, creamy texture to the dish. It's a good source of plant-based protein and dietary fiber.
- Aromatic Spices: Pitla is seasoned with a variety of aromatic spices like mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and asafoetida (hing). These spices contribute to the dish's distinctive flavor profile and enhance its overall taste.
- Onions: Chopped onions are commonly used in Pithla to add sweetness, texture, and depth to the dish. They meld with the spices and gram flour to create a harmonious flavor.
- Green Chilies: Green chilies provide a mild to moderate level of spiciness, depending on your preference. They add a subtle heat that balances the other flavors in the dish.
- Ginger-Garlic: Fresh ginger and garlic adds a wonderful aroma and flavor. It's a common ingredient in Indian cooking that adds depth and complexity to many dishes.
- Turmeric Powder: Adds color and a warm earthy flavor to Pitla. It's also known for its potential health benefits due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Red Chili Powder: Red chili powder adds additional heat and a rich red hue to the dish. The amount used can be adjusted according to your desired spice level.
- Oil or Ghee: A small amount of oil or ghee (clarified butter) is used for sautéing the spices and onions, providing richness and depth to the dish.
- Fresh Coriander Leaves: Chopped fresh coriander leaves are used as a garnish. They add a burst of freshness and color to the finished dish.
- Optional Ingredients: Depending on personal preference, Pithla can also include ingredients like tomatoes, bell peppers, spinach, green onions, or coconut for added flavor and nutrition.
These ingredients come together to create the harmonious blend of flavors, textures, and aromas that make Pithla a beloved dish in Indian cuisine.
How To Make Pithla
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the gram flour, turmeric powder, and water until smooth.
Heat oil or ghee in a pan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and asafoetida and allow them to crackle for about 30 seconds.
Add the chopped onions, garlic, and green chili peppers and cook until the onions are soft and translucent about 5 minutes.
Pour the gram flour batter into the pan and stir well to combine. Cook the gram flour batter over low to medium heat and stir constantly to prevent lumps from forming.
Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. (optional) Drizzle some mustard oil and achar masala.
Serve the Pithla hot, garnished with fresh cilantro. Enjoy with rice or Indian bread.
Note: You can adjust the spiciness of the dish to your taste by adding more or less green chili peppers. You can also add different vegetables such as spinach, carrots, or potatoes to make it a more complete meal.
Rice: serve it with steamed white rice or flavored rice such as jeera (cumin) rice or lemon rice.
Indian bread: serve with Indian bread such as roti, naan, or bhakri for a filling and satisfying meal.
Yogurt: A dollop of plain yogurt on the side can help balance the spiciness of the dish and add a cool, creamy texture.
Pickles: serve with Indian pickles such as mango or lemon pickle for a burst of tangy flavor.
Papad: serve roasted or fried papad (thin, crispy Indian crackers) as a crunchy and flavorful accompaniment.
Chutney: A side of mint, tamarind, or coconut chutney can add a fresh and tangy flavor to the dish.
You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat it on the stove or in the microwave before serving.
You can freeze pitla for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
There are several variations of Pithla that you can explore to add your own twist to this traditional dish. Here are a few ideas:
- Vegetable Pithla: Enhance the nutritional value by adding vegetables like tomatoes, bell peppers, spinach, or fenugreek leaves (methi). These vegetables not only add color but also contribute to the overall flavor and texture of the dish.
- Tangy Pithla: Incorporate a tangy element by adding a splash of tamarind juice or dried mango powder (amchur) to balance the flavors and give the dish a slightly tangy profile.
- Pithla with Fresh Coconut: Some versions of Pitla incorporate freshly grated coconut, adding a mild sweetness and a rich texture to the dish. The coconut complements the savory flavors of the gram flour and spices.
here are some tips to keep in mind when preparing Pithla:
- Gram Flour Consistency: When preparing the gram flour batter, make sure it's smooth and free of lumps. Gradually add water while whisking to achieve a thick yet pourable consistency.
- Cooking Temperature: Use medium heat when cooking the Pithla to avoid scorching or burning. Stir continuously to prevent lumps from forming and sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Spice Levels: Adjust the spice levels, including green chilies and red chili powder, according to your taste preferences. Start with a small amount and add more if needed. Remember that it's easier to increase the spice level gradually than to reduce it after adding too much.
- Fresh Ingredients: Whenever possible, use fresh ingredients like onions, green chilies, and spices for the best flavor.
- Consistency: The ideal Pithla consistency is smooth and pourable, similar to a thick sauce. Adjust the amount of water as needed to achieve the desired consistency.
- Asafoetida (Hing): Asafoetida can be quite strong, so use it sparingly. A pinch is usually sufficient to enhance the flavor.
- Lemon Juice: It gives the Pithla a tangy flavor, but you can also use tamarind paste for a different taste.
- Mustard Oil (Optional): I like to drizzle some raw mustard oil and sprinkle some achar masala for added flavor. It's optional, we love the pungent flavor of mustard oil and lip-smacking achar masala. Do give it a try and let me know your thoughts.
- Fresh Garnish: Add chopped fresh coriander leaves for a burst of freshness and color just before serving.
Yes, Pithla can be a nutritious choice when prepared with balanced ingredients. Gram flour is a good source of protein and fiber, while the addition of vegetables further enhances its nutritional value, making it a wholesome and flavorful option.
Pitla is primarily made from gram flour (besan), water, and a blend of aromatic spices. It often includes ingredients like onions, green chilies, and ginger-garlic paste, resulting in a creamy and flavorful Indian dish.
Pitla in Marathi refers to a traditional Indian dish made from gram flour and spices. It's a versatile comfort food enjoyed with various accompaniments like bhakri or rice.
The calorie content in Pithla can vary based on the ingredients and portion size, but a typical serving of Pithla (approximately 1 cup) can range from around 150 to 200 calories, with most of the calories coming from the gram flour and any added oil or ghee.
Maharashtrian Pithla Recipe
- 1 cup gram flour besan
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 2-3 green chili peppers chopped; adjust to taste
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- pinch of asafoetida
- 3 cups water
- salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons mustard oil or ghee
- Fresh lemon juice to taste
- Fresh cilantro chopped, for garnish
- For Garnish: optional
- 1 tablespoon mustard oil
- 1 teaspoon achar masala
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the gram flour, turmeric powder, and water until smooth.
- Heat oil or ghee in a pan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and asafoetida and allow them to crackle for about 30 seconds.
- Add the chopped onions, garlic, and green chili peppers and cook until the onions are soft and translucent about 5 minutes.
- Pour the gram flour batter into the pan and stir well to combine. Cook the gram flour batter over low to medium heat and stir constantly to prevent lumps from forming.
- Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan.
- Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. (optional) Drizzle some mustard oil and achar masala.
- Serve the Pithla hot, garnished with fresh cilantro. Enjoy with rice or Indian bread.Note: You can adjust the spiciness of the dish to your taste by adding more or less green chili peppers. You can also add different vegetables such as spinach, carrots, or potatoes to make it a more complete meal.
- Serving suggestions for pithla
- Tips for making perfect pithla
- Frequently asked questions
Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.
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