Cabbage Zunka/ Junka (Cabbage and Besan/Chickpea flour stir-fry)

Cabbage Zunka/ Junka (Cabbage and Besan/Chickpea flour stir-fry)

Zunka/Junka is a common Maharashtrian dish which is also known as pitle/pitla in some places. The basic dish is made with besan/chickpea flour and water with a tempering of onions, ginger and garlic. This simple and quick dish is mostly eaten with bakhri made from either rice or jowar.

Kobiachi(Cabbage) Zunka is a variation of this dish by first adding cabbage and then the rest of the Zunka ingredients.

Cabbage Zunka/Junka

Ingredients for Cabbage Zunka:

  • Cabbage- 2 cups (finely chopped)
  • Onion- 1 cup (finely chopped)
  • Besan(chickpea flour)- 1/2 to 3/4 cup
  • Garlic pods: 3-4
  • Turmeric- 1/4 tsp
  • Hing/Asafoetida: a pinch (optional)
  • Chili powder- 1-2 tsp(as per your spice tolerance)
  • Garam masala- 1/4 tsp
  • Coriander leaves : 3 -4 tbsp (finely chopped)
  • Oil- 2-3 tbsp

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a kadai and add the smashed garlic and hing(optional). When it turns slightly brown, add the onions and saute till the onions turn translucent.
  2.  Then add turmeric, chili powder, salt and stir fry for a few seconds.
  3. Add the cabbage and mix well such that the spices coat the cabbage evenly.
  4. Cover and cook. The cabbage will go soft and release its own juices after about 7-10 minutes.
  5. Now quickly stir in the besan/chickpea flour and saute gently on medium heat. Make sure there are no lumps of the flour. The besan will absorb the juices and cook.
  6. Cover and cook on low heat for another 4-5 minutes.
  7. Now open the cover, check that everything has been cooked well and mixed. The besan should give out a wonderful cooked aroma.
  8. Garnish with lots of chopped coriander and serve hot with rotis or even hot rice, dal and pickle.

 


Khaman Dhokla (Steamed Chickpea flour snacks)

Another steamed dish that can be had for breakfast or as a snack-tastes great with some spicy chutney.

Ingredients for Khaman Dhokla:

  • Besan (Gramflour/chickpea flour): 2 cups
  • Yogurt: 1 cup
  • Water: 1 cup
  • Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
  • Ginger+green chili paste: 1/2-1 tsp (as per your heat tolerance)
  • Lemon juice: 1 tbsp
  • Fruit salt(eno)/ Soda bicarbonate: 1tsp
  • Coriander leaves/cilantro: 2tbsp finely chopped
  • Grated coconut:  3tbsp fresh/frozen
  • Salt: to taste

For the tempering:

  • Mustard seeds: 1tsp
  • Sesame seeds: 1 tsp
  • Green chili- 1/2 finely chopped (optional)
  • Oil: 1 tsp

Method:

  1. Mix the besan well with the yogurt,salt and about a cup of water making sure that there are no lumps.
  2. Let it ferment for about 1-2 hours.
  3. Then add the ginger+chili paste, turmeric, lemon juice and mix well.
  4. Add water to the steamer and let it boil. When it is ready, add the fruit salt/soda bicarbonate to the batter and mix well.
  5. Grease a pan/thali (you could even put the batter into idli moulds) and pour the batter into it.
  6. Steam for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Once they are ready-pour  the tempering (heat the oil, add the mustard seeds, when it starts to pop, add the sesame seeds, green chili(optional) over the dhokla.
  8. Garnish the dhokla with chopped coriander leaves and grated coconut.
  9. Cut and serve with spicy mint and coriander chutney.

Here are other Healthy Snack Ideas:

  1. Baked Sweet Potato Fries/snack
  2. Baked Carrot Fries/snack
  3. Fruit Chaat/ Fruit Salsa 
  4. Crispy Kale Chips 
  5. Handvo
  6. Fish Cutlets/Patties

 


Kadhi(Yogurt curry)

Kadhi is one of our favourite dishes, and something which reminds my hubby of his mother’s cooking(which is a HUGE compliment)! It’s a quick dish and I usually make it on days when I have to cook in a rush. It’s a combination of curd(yogurt) and chikpea/gram flour,which means nutritionally it’s loaded with calcium(yogurt) and protein(gramflour) . The actual Indian recipe has ‘Pakoda’ (a deep fried item made with a combination of gramflour,onions,chillies) but you could however,add the Nucchina Unde/Steamed lentil ball,the recipe was sent to me by my friend Suma. These could be added to the gravy,just before serving.

Kadhi(Yogurt curry):Serves 4
Ingredients:

  • Curd/Yogurt: 2 cups
  • Besan/gram/chickpea flour: 2 tablespoons(make a smooth paste with cold water)
  • Ginger+garlic paste: 1 teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Jeera/Cumin seeds: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Methi/fenugreek seeds: 1/4th teaspoon
  • Hing/asafoetida: a pinch
  • Turmeric: 1/4th teaspoon
  • Coriander/Cilantro leaves: 2 tablespoons(finely chopped)
  • Salt: to taste
  • Oil: 1teaspoon
  • Water:2-3 cups

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick kadai/wok.
  2. Add the mustard,cumin and fenugreek seeds. When the mustard starts to pop,add the turmeric,hing and the ginger+garlic paste.
  3. Fry for a minute and then add the curd and stir for another minute.
  4. Add the besan/chickpea paste and 2-3 cups of water,salt and stir.
  5. Cook till it starts to boil.
  6. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  7. Serve hot with rice.

Note:I add the pakode( fried chickpea flour batter fritters) or steamed lentil dumplings or sometimes falafel after cooking the kadhi so that it doesn’t break. 


Besan Dosa/ Besan Chila (How to make chickpea flour crepes/pancakes)

Besan Dosa/ Besan Chila (Chickpea Flour Crepes)

Besan or chickpea flour or gram flour is a great source of fiber, is GLUTEN FREE and can be helpful in lowering cholesterol and blood sugars.

When I was growing up in Bombay,Besan dosa was a very popular dish in most Udupi restaurants and was even sometimes called “Vegetarian Omelet”. Besan dosa was also sold as a filling inside sandwiches which were named “Veggie omelet sandwich”! Funnily enough,I hated them at that time and preferred my regular ‘egg omelet’ to the veggie omelet. Finally,one day I tried it out and to my amazement, loved it(thankfully it was appreciated by hubby and little brat) and so now it’s a regular feature at home. Make sure you use a good non-stick pan when you make this-that way,you won’t need to use a lot of oil.

Besan or Chickpea flour is a high fibre, high protein, gluten free flour which is made from garbanzo/chickpeas. Being high in fibre, it can be helpful for lowering blood sugar levels and cholesterol.

Here is a quick and easy recipe that can be had for breakfast or even lunch/dinner:

Ingredients for Besan Dosa/Chila (Chickpea flour crepes):Serves 4

  • Besan/Gramflour/Chickpea flour: 2 cups
  • Rice flour: 2 tbsp (optional)
  • Onion:1/2 small(finely chopped)
  • Tomatoes:1 small(finely chopped)
  • Green chillies:1-2(finely chopped)
  • Corriander leaves/Cilantro: 2 tablespoon,finely chopped
  • Grated zucchini/ bottlegourd: 1/2 cup (optional)
  • Hing/asafoetida: a pinch
  • Turmeric powder: 1/4th teaspoon
  • Jeera/Cummin seeds:1/2 tsp
  • Baking soda: 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Salt:to taste
  • Oil/Butter/Ghee: to grease the pan

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients.
  2. Add enough water to make a batter of dosa/pancake consistency. If adding zucchini/bottlegourd, you may need less water as the bottlegourd/zucchini will leave some of its moisture.
  3. Spread the oil on a non-stick pan on medium flame.
  4. Pour a ladle of the batter and spread like a dosa. Cover for a 3-4 minutes.
  5. Then,flip the dosa over to the other side and cook for another 1-2 minutes.Make sure not to burn them.
  6. Serve the besan dosa hot with mint,ketchup or a spicy chutney.

Indian Dietitian Online