Pitla Recipe, Maharashtrian Besan Pithla Recipe

This Pitla recipe is an authentic Maharashtrian recipe. Pitla or Pithla is a spicy and tasty Maharashtrian main course recipe made of gram flour or besan. Pithla-Bhakri is the staple food of Maharashtra especially in the villages. More than a decade ago there used to be Jhunka Bhakar kendras in Mumbai selling a dry version of Pithla known as Jhunka/ Zunka with Jowar Roti known as Bhakar/ Bhakri for Rs. 1/- only.

pitla recipe

The last time I heard about them the cost was Rs. 5/-. Still cheap considering the cost of living in Mumbai. It was an initiative started by a political party which helped you fill up your stomach with minimum expenses. I haven’t seen them in recent times. I wish they come back some day and provide a decent option for the middle class and the poor of the city to fill their bellies without burning a hole in their pockets.

In this Pitla recipe I have added Gram Flour (Besan) once the mixture came to a boil but alternatively you may mix the Gram Flour and water and then add it to the tempering. However, when you do the latter it gives Pitla a paste like texture.

If you are looking for some more authentic Maharashtrian recipes, check out Puran Poli, Katachi Amti, Batata Bhaji, Aamras, Bhendi chi Bhaji (Bhindi fry), Onion Tomato Koshimbir, Kakdi chi Koshimbir, Kande Pohe, Bhogichi Bhaji, Kanda Bhaji (Onion Pakora) and Tomato Saar.

Pithla Recipe, Pitla Recipe, Maharashtrian Besan Pithala Recipe
Recipe Type: Main Course
Cuisine: Maharashtrian
Author: Shradha
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-3
  • Ingredients:
  • 2/3 cup gram flour/ besan (1 cup = 250 ml)
  • 2 cups water/ paani
  • 3 green chillis/ hari mirch
  • 6-7 cloves of garlic/ lehsun
  • 1 inch ginger/ adrak
  • 1 medium sized onion/ pyaaz
  • 1/3 cup coarsely ground roasted peanuts/
  • bhoon kar kute hue moongfali ke daane
  • 1 tsp salt/ namak or as per taste
  • 2.5 tbsp oil/ tel
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds/ rai
  • 1/3 tsp turmeric powder/ haldi
  • a generous pinch of asafoetida/ hing
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves/ dhaniya patta

Step by step instructions for Pitla recipe:

  1. Roast peanuts/ groundnuts and crush them in a mortar pestle coarsely. We do not need a fine powder. Tip: You may use a mixer grinder on pulse mode for doing this but I prefer mortar-pestle because it gives a good texture.
  2. Crush ginger-garlic and green chillies together in a mortar-pestle. You may use a mixer grinder to make a paste of these three ingredients.
  3. Heat oil in a thick bottom pan or kadhai.
  4. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and let them splutter.
  5. Now add the ginger-garlic-green chilli paste. Sauté the ginger-garlic-green chilli paste till it turns light brown in colour.
  6. Add the chopped onion and sauté till it turns light brown in colour.
  7. Now add the chopped coriander leaves and sauté for about 5 seconds. This will enhance the taste of the pithla.
  8. Add the turmeric powder and asafoetida and sauté for just 3-4 seconds.
  9. Now add the water and the roasted ground peanuts.
  10. Let this mixture come to a boil.
  11. Now add the gram flour in parts and keep mixing so as to avoid the lump formation.
  12. Cover and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Stir at intervals. Tip: You will notice a glaze on the gram flour once it is cooked. 
  13. Lastly garnish it with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve hot with jowar roti (jwarichi bhakri) or steamed rice with a teaspoon of ghee 🙂 It tastes delicious!

I hope you liked this easy Pitla recipe. Do share it with your family and friends. Also share your feedback with us in the comments section.


For more recipe videos please SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube Channel Happily Veg and click the BELL ICON to receive notifications whenever we upload a new video.

Thank you for your time.