Pithale is the simplest and quickest dish in the Maharashtrian home cook's repertoire. It's basically a back up plan when the guests arrive unexpectedly. After all, it takes mere 15 minutes to make this dish and with plain rice, a wholesome fresh meal is served in no time. However, there are many avatars of this ubiquitous Maharashtrian dish. I am sharing my friend's Kolhapuri version today.
Whisk together :
3/4 cup besan/chickpea flour
3/4 cup buttermilk
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 sprigs curry leaves, torn
1 small onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped, smashed or minced
You will also need
2 tsp Kolhapuri chutney/Masala
1 1/2 cups water
Raw, sliced onion
1. Whisk besan/chickpea flour with buttermilk so there are no lumps. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida, cumin seeds, turmeric powder and curry leaves. As they start spluttering, add garlic cloves. Saute for 1 minute. Add onion. Stir fry till onion is soft.
3. Now add Kolhapuri masala. Saute for 1 minute.
4. Add 1 1/2 cup water and salt to taste - remember that we have also added salt in the besan mixture. Adjust accordingly. Bring to boil.
5. Switch gas to low. Add whisked besan-buttermilk mixture.
6. Keep stirring, switching gas to medium.
7. Switch off the gas when Pithale reaches the consistency of semi-set pudding.
1. We are required to add salt in besan + buttermilk mixture and then again in the boiling water. Adjust salt carefully. Also check salt content in your Kolhapuri Masala/chutney. If it already has salt, adjust your seasoning accordingly.