Jhunka-Bhakar-Pithla (A traditional Maharashtrian platter)


Jhunka -Bhakar-Pithla  is a staple food of rural Maharashtra.  Known as poor man’s food, Jhunka-bhakar-pithla is definitely not poor when it comes to tingling the taste buds. This platter is an example of how humble ingredients like besan (gram flour) and Jowar atta (millet flour)  can be turned into a flavourful and filling meal, something which you can eat every other day. So if you are tired of eating your regular dal roti sabji, then try this recipe for a spicy reprieve.

  This traditional , quick and simple recipe comes in handy when you have  unannounced guests at home and you are running short of time, vegetables and ideas 😉

This platter (minus the extra gur/jaggery and ghee/butter) also serves as an interesting option for diabetics and weight watchers as it is high in fibre because of the  use of whole grain flours.

Bhakri is a round flat unleavened bread/roti made of jowar flour, bajra flour, nachni (finger millet/ragi) and rice flour.It has traditionally been the farmer’s food which would be carried to the farm at the crack of dawn and make up for both breakfast and lunch.
Like any other breads bhakri is among the staple foods of India mainly popular in states of Maharashtra,Gujarat,Rajasthan,Karnataka and Konkan region.
Being made of a coarser flour bhakri is rich in fibre and is more nutritious than the refined counterpart.
In the fields Bhakri used to serve as a plate on which chutney or techa ( a paste of green or red chillies combined with garlic) were served and eaten together with Raw onions, green chillies, jaggery and makhan/ghee.Bhakri is also served with jhunka, pithla, curd, green leafy vegetables, brinjal curry and rice.

(information source-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhakri)

Jhunka & Pithla

Jhunka , a spicy preparation of gram flour and onions needs no introduction to most Indians. It is drier than pithla which is again made of gram flour but differs in consistency.Pithla alone is also relished with rice and ghee(also known as Pithla bhaat.) Though both Jhunka and Pithla are made from gram flour, to add some diversity to the platter, I have cooked Jhunka using red chillies( flavouring it with onion and garlic) and Pithla using green chillies (flavouring it with Asafoetida and coriander leaves).




Gram flour 1/2 cup

Onion 2 chopped

Tomatoes 2 chopped

Garlic Cloves 5

Green Chilli 1 chopped

Dry Whole Red Chilli 1

Red Chilli powder 1 tsp

Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp

Salt to taste

Cumin seeds/jeera 1/2 tsp

Mustard seeds/Rai 1 tsp

Oil 2-3 tablespoon

Lemon juice of 1/2 lemon

Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing 1 tablespoon chopped

Water 1 cup


Heat oil in a Kadhai/wok. Add cumin seeds & mustard seeds to it. Allow them to splutter.

Add Dry whole red chilli  and chopped garlic and cook for a minute. Now add onions and green chilli, salt and turmeric powder and cook for 2-3 minutes till the onion turns transparent.

Now add gram flour/besan to the onion mixture and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes and red chilli powder & cook till the tomatoes become soft.

Add water and stir continuously to avoid lump formation.Cover the kadhai with a lid and cook for 3-4 minutes in low flame till the water dries up.

Turn off the flame,add chopped coriander leaves and lemon juice.

Serve hot.

Serves 2




Gram Flour 1/2 cup

Green chillies 2

Asafoetida/ Heeng a pinch

Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp

Salt to taste

Cumin seeds/jeera 1/2 tsp

Mustard seeds/rai 1 tsp

Fresh Coriander leaves 1 tablespoon chopped

Lemon juice out of 1 lemon

Water 1&1/2 cup to 2 cup

Oil 2-3 tablespoon


Mix together Gram flour,salt and turmeric powder in a mixing bowl.Slowly add water and mix well to avoid any lump formation. Keep aside.

In a Kadhai/wok,add cumin seeds and mustard seeds to it. Allow them to splutter. Now add Green chillies and asafoetida. Cook for 30 seconds in slow flame.

Add the gram flour batter to the oil slowly, stirring continously for 2 minutes. Cover the mixture with a lid and cook for 4-5 minutes. Do stir the pithla mixture in between ,a couple of times.

Remove the lid.When the oil seperates from the pithla mixture  turn off the flame. (The watery batter turns into a smooth paste when done) Add some coriander leaves and lemon juice. Mix gently.

The pithla is ready, garnish with remaining coriander and serve  hot.

Serves 2




Jowar flour 500gms

Salt 1tsp

Hot Water as required

Butter/ghee 1 tablespoon


Add salt to the jowar flour.Mix well

Add hot water to make a soft dough.Knead for 5-7 minutes.(The more you knead the dough, the easier it would be to roll the bhakri).

Divide the dough into 4 parts.Make flat rounds of the dough .

Dust dry flour over rolling board (chakla) and  pat it to flatten it in to round bhakri.

Heat up a tawa /griddle. Transfer the bhakri to the heated tawa,keeping the flour dusted side upward.Turn the flame low.

Moisten the upward side of the Bhakri by applying some water on it with the fingers.

Turn over the bhakri  when the water evaporates from the surface and cook again for two minutes in medium flame.

With the help of tongs roast bhakri directly over the gas burner from both sides.

If you are making the Bhakri on a hot plate instead of  gas burner then  cook the bhakri on the tawa by putting light pressure on each side of the bhakhri with a cotton cloth till golden brown spots appear on both the sides and the bhakhri turns crisp.

Now apply ghee/butter over the bhakri and serve hot.

Makes 4 Bhakris.

The Jhunka-Bhakar-Pitla is served with raw onion,lemon,green chilli,grated jaggery,ghee,Masala chaas and Lehsun ki chutney.

Ghee-Gur-Lehsun ki chutney

Masala chaas/Buttermilk

Masala Chaas


Buttermilk 2 glass

Mint leaves chopped 8-10

Roasted cumin seeds 1 tsp

Kala namak/Rock salt 1/2 tsp

Salt as per taste.


Mix together the above mentioned ingredients and serve chilled.

P.S.You can also prepare butter milk/Indian style chaas at home. Add 2 cups of water to a cup of curd. Blend the mixture with electric blender for 3-4 minutes. When the butter comes up,remove the butter with the help of hand.Add more water if required. Add the above mentioned spices and mint leaves. The masala chaas is ready. Serve chilled.

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10 Responses to Jhunka-Bhakar-Pithla (A traditional Maharashtrian platter)

  1. Sakhi says:

    How come there are no comments. Most awesome blog ever. I saw this jhunka on David Rocco’s dolce India and wondered what it was. And now thanks to you.

  2. Bharti Khare says:

    Excellent in test!! Its a low caloriy, more fiberous, healty food for every one. Its a light diet at night in a minimum time. We can try any type of dal, pickle, curd with this. Must try once!

  3. Pooja says:

    “100 on 10″…..:-)

  4. hey lovely blog lovely dish Lovely information..Thank you 🙂

  5. Very very lovely blog Loads of information amazing recipe thank you soooo much

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