Gluten Free Pithala – Vegan Chickpea flour curry
Everyone has a set of those foods that one never seems to be bored off. Pithala is one such food item for me. It’s something my mom usually made when we were in a hurry and had to accomplish multiple tasks, dinner being one of them.
And to everyone’s satisfaction whenever Pithala was put on the table it ended up being the most interesting, stress relieving and a fun dinner option that bought everyone together.
Moreover, Pithala which is also known as Besan curry or Chickpea flour curry is non fussy as it uses just a handful of ingredients; is Vegan (no dairy or cruelty); is completely gluten-free (celiac safe); can be assembled in under 20 mins (hurrah!); is nutritious (high in fibre and protein); kid friendly and tastes absolutely fab. Its a serious dream come true for a busy mom!
Pithala – Vegan chickpea flour curry
Please note that Pithala is the curry made out of the chickpea flour and not the chickpea itself and has no resemblance to chickpeas whatsoever.
This recipe hails from the western region of India called Maharashtra and is best enjoyed with flatbread made out of sorghum or millet flour. Raw onions are an essential team up with Pithlala. If you go to some interior parts of Maharashtra you can see restaurants serving Pithala with raw onion that is essentially smashed between the palms of both the hands. – True story!
Even today when our whole family gathers for dinner we have a small friendly competition of strength based on who can break the onion within the palms of their hands.
PS: I have tried doing it multiple times and have never succeeded in breaking that thing apart. Its a serious sport back home and I fail miserably :p
Without further adieu – lets dive in then:
Pithala - Vegan | Gluten Free
- 1/2 Cup Chickpea Flour
- 2 Cup Water
- 1 Medium sized onion finely chopped - 1
- 1 Medium sized tomato finely chopped - 1
- 2 tbsp Mustard /Avocado / coconut oil
- 1/2 tbsp Mustard seeds
- 4 Green Chillies - 4 medium sized
- 1 tbsp Coriander powder
- 1/4th tbsp Turmeric powder
- 1/4th tbsp Chili powder
- Himalayan fine pink salt - as per taste
- Finely chopped coriander leaves
- To a heated skilled add mustard or any other oil that you are using
- Once adequately hot add in mustard seeds
- Once they start crackling in – add in the chilies and sauté them for 5-10 seconds
- Next add in the onion – along with a little salt (approx 1/4th teaspoon) and sauté them on a medium flame for up to 10-15 mins until they are translucent and slightly golden brown
- While the onions are cooking make the chickpea batter – combine 1/2 cup chickpea flour and 1 cup water in a bowl and mix well until all the lumps vanish. (Always maintain the ratio of 1 part chickpea flour to 2 part water for this recipe)
- Once the onions are done add in the tomatoes and the spices- coriander powder, turmeric powder and chilli powder
- Mix well and sauté for 4-5 mins
- Next add in the chickpea batter & mix well (a bit slowly this time) until the batter thickens up considerably (about 30 – 45 seconds)
- Then add in 1 more cup of water & mix well until all lumps vanish and you have an even textured curry
- Add in the salt at this stage and mix well again
- Cover the skillet and cook the curry for 4-5 mins
- After 5 mins your pithala / besan curry / chickpea flour curry should be ready
- Garnish with coriander leaves
- Serve hot with steamed basmati rice or flatbread made out of sorghum flour or millet flour!