Friday, January 18, 2008

Kanda-Daalicha Zunka

Onion plays a very important role in the Indian kitchen. There are many recipes with onion as a star ingredient. One of my most favorites and a fairly humble fare from Maharashtrian kitchen is "Zunka" where onion is tempered and then smeared with besan. There is another variation to this zunka where instead of using besan, soaked/ground chana daal is used. The result is awesome. It may remind you of Parippu Usili of Tamilnadu or Patholi of Andhra Pradesh. But that's the magic of Indian cuisine. Each state boasts a plethora of unique culinary delicacies and somewhere suddenly you meet something which appears so similar yet different.

Kanda-Daalicha Zunka
कांदा - डाळीचा झुणका

1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions/spring onions including white and green parts
1/2 cup chana daal
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp chili powder (or more)
salt to taste
sugar to taste
1 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, finely chopped

1. Soak chana daal in water for 4 - 6 hours.
2. Grind chana daal coarsely along with turmeric powder, asafoetida, salt, chili powder.
3. Heat oil in a wide kadai/wok. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
4. As the mustard seeds start to splutter, add chopped onions. stir fry for 5 minutes.
5. Add some salt & sugar to taste. Remember that salt is also added to the chana daal mixture. So adjust accordingly.
6. Now add ground chana daal. Stir fry for another 5 minutes.
7. Cover the kadai/wok with a lid. Turn the gas to low flame. and let it cook for 30 minutes.
8. Stir in between. Add lemon juice. Mix together.
9. Stir in cilantro leaves. Remove the lid. and fry for another 5 minutes.
10. Serve with chapati and yogurt on side.

Note -
As time goes, this zunka gets drier and drier. So always serve with a little yogurt or yogurt-based koshimbeer/raita on side.

This post is my contribution to Jihva: Onions hosted by Radhika of Radhi's Kitchen

Jihva series is started by Indira of Mahanandi.


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