Saturday, October 2, 2010

Spring Onion Stirfry/ Zhunka

Zhunka can be prepared with many vegetables like methi or fenugreek, cabbage, carrots, spring onions and onions. I got a couple of bundles of spring onion from my local grocery store and planned to make this dish. The base is made of besan or chick pea flour which is rich in protein. The process involves partially cooking the vegetables and then coating them well with chickpea flour. The vegetables are then cooked to perfection along with the chick pea flour. In Maharashtra it is also called poor man's dish as the ingredients are readily available at low cost and the nutrition content is also very high. It goes very well with roti, but traditionally people have it with bhaktri or millet (Jowar/Bajri) rotis. 

I also use non-stick utensils to make zunka as it is easier to cook chick pea flour. If cooked in traditional iron or steel pans the chick pea flour sticks to the bottom and gets burnt and the flour on the top half doesn't cook well. 

3 cups chopped spring onions
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
4-5 cloves of garlic (around 3 tablespoons)
4 finely chopped green chillies or as per taste
1 cup besan or chick pea flour
1 tablespoon jaggery
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
pinch of asafoetida
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
4-5 curry leaves or karipatta 
salt for taste
1 tablespoon oil

Fry the chick pea flour on low flame for 4-8 minutes or till the raw smell goes away. Keep aside to cool down. Crush the ginger and garlic to make a fine paste and keep aside. 
 Heat oil in a non stick pan and add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds splutter, add curry leaves and asafoetida. Coat the curry leaves well in oil and then add garlic and ginger paste. Fry on low flame till the raw smell goes away and then add chopped green chilies. Cook the chilies for a minute and add chopped onions and saute it for 4-5 minutes. Add the spring onions and cook uncovered for 4-8 minutes till the spring onions are half cooked. and the raw smell is gone. Salt the vegetables as per taste. Add jaggery, red chili powder and turmeric powder and mix well. 
 Now sprinkle the besan in 2-3 batches on the vegetable mixing well each time. Sprinkle few handful of water or as required to make the besan a little moist. Cook covered stirring occasionally to avoid big lumps on besan from forming.