Rajasthani Pitla ~ Quick Besan Curry with Chandra Kataria

by on August 15, 2016

A quick side-dish made with besan (gram flour), Rajasthani Pitla is a popular recipe from the desert state of Rajasthan and the ultimate comfort food. This recipe was shared by Chandra Kataria, a beautiful Rajasthani and an impeccable hostess living in Bengaluru. Here is a snippet from the interview with them.
 
Chandra Bhabhi, I still remember the mud chulha in your kitchen. I think it continued there long after your other relatives transformed their kitchens.

Chandra: It is still there, though barely used now. But I firmly believe that food cooked on it, especially in mud pots and brass vessels, is tastier and more aromatic than food cooked on gas and other modern-day appliances.
 

Tell me something about the recipe you are going to share!
She: Traditionally, Pitla was made without onions, tomatoes and garlic in Jain homes, and tasted equally delicious. Often, it would be made just as dinner was being served, and eaten hot and fresh! When kept for a few hours, it tends to thicken. In that case, simply add some hot water, mix well and cook for a few minutes before serving.
 
Rajasthani Pitla

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup gram flour (besan)
  • 1 onion; chopped fine
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida powder
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
  • 2 green chillies, chopped fine
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 1 tomato; chopped fine
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing
  • 2 tbsp oil

Method:

  1. Churn the besan in 2 cups of water using a hand blender.
  2. Heat the oil in a thick-bottomed (or non-stick) pan. Add the mustard; as it starts popping, lower the flame and add the asafoetida powder.
  3. Add the chopped onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the finely chopped garlic, green chillies and curry leaves. Sauté for a minute.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the gram-flour liquid and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring continuously so no lumps are formed. (You may need to add another half cup of water if the mixture is too thick. Its consistency should be like cake batter.)
  6. When the mixture leaves the sides of the pan, switch off the flame. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  7. Serve hot with puris.

Photo Courtesy: Harmony Magazine
 

Part-1 of this post is the interview with Chandra & Mahavir Kataria, a Rajasthani couple from Bengaluru.
First published in ‘Heart to Hearth’ – a column in Harmony Celebrate Age, a magazine about silvers.

 

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