Jhunka with hot rice and ghee happens to by mothers comfort food. Whenever she has to rustle up something quickly, she always makes jhunka.
But the jhunka vadi that I am talking about today is not the gravy like jhunka that my mother rustles up in five minutes. This is a little more elaborate but is easy nevertheless.
Jhunka Vadi was not a favorite with me, until I tasted this spicy, sweet and sour version made by Sachi, my sona's nanny when he was a new born baby.
Recently, when I was nursing an injured ankle, she came to help me again for a few weeks and my mother reminded me to taste the jhunka vadi that she makes.
Jhunka Vadi is a very popular side dish, eaten with wheat flour, millet rotis or rice for lunch or dinner or even as a snack along with a hot beverage in North Karnataka and Maharashtra.
Infact a thali meal in Maharashtra is never complete without Jhunka Bhakri.
These vadis or squares were so addictive that they hardly lasted on the plate when it was to be shot.
In North Karnataka and even Maharashtra, farmers and other folks in villages love to eat this with sorghum millet flat breads in the fields.
Jhunka Vadi was also part of the meal that I had cooked for my friend Sona Bahadur, the editor of BBC Good Food India and she loved its complex flavours.
This is a regional ethnic dish that is sure to tingle your taste buds. It also comprises of the six tastes mentioned in Ayurveda, sweet from the jaggery, sour from the tamarind, pungent from the chili, bitter from the cumin seeds, astringent from the fresh coriander and salty tastes.
This is vegan, gluten free and is a protein rich option for vegetarians. With little oil and packed with flavours, this is a healthy option which can be enjoyed as a simple snack or as part of an elaborate meal.
Jhunka Vadi is often eaten with other side dishes like a simple lentil dish and another vegetable dish like the ennagai or brinjal curry, which will be featured next on Divine Taste. Stay tuned for more recipes from North Karnataka. And if you try these recipes, do let me know as I would love to hear your feedback.
Jhunka Vadi | Spicy Sweet and Sour Gramflour Sqaures Recipe
You can cut this into squares or diamonds. A lot of people use onions in the seasoning, which can be substituted with cabbage for a sattvic version or for those who don't eat onions.
4 tsp tamarind
1/2 cup hot water
130 gm (1 3/4th cup) gram flour (besan ka atta)
1 1/4 cup water
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp asafoetida (hing)
1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
3 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp coriander Powder (optional)
3 tbsp jaggery
2 tsp salt
fresh coconut for garnishing
fresh coriander for garnishing
Wash and soak 4 tsp tamarind in Â½ cup hot water. Keep aside for 30 minutes.
Measure and place the gram flour in a bowl. Add water and mix well with a lump until there are no lumps.
In a wok, add the oil and after the oil is hot, put in the mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to splutter, lower the heat and add the cumin seeds. After the cumin seeds turn golden, add the asafeotida, fresh coriander eaves, red chili powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder.
Strain the tamarind water and quickly add it to the seasoning before the spices begin to burn. Put the jaggery and salt and mix well.
Add the gram flour batter and keep stirring until the mixture becomes thick and starts to leave the sides of the pan.
Once the mixture is cooked and begins to leave the sides of the pan, turn off the heat and transfer the mixture to a greased plate or pan.
Level the surface with a flat bowl.
Garnish with fresh coriander and coconut. After the mixture cools down, cut into squares or diamonds.