I saw a question on some food forum, somebody has asked, "What is Zunka?".
A member answered: " Zunka or Zhunka is a Maharashtrian delicacy prepared with Besan (Gram Flour- More commonly Chick peas, but Some people like Bengalis prefer the Peas Flour. I didn't know there was a chick pea flour in Manipur) as the base."
I was told that original Zhunka was prepared only with Onions, lots of it, with Besan. Another Maharashtrian friend told me the more authentic version was prepared by soaking Chick Pea Daal, or Chana daal overnight, and then crushed to a paste, mix with masalas and then prepared. Yours truely have yet to prepare that version. Authentic or not, It sounds very yummy, though.
Some poeple have told me that Zhunka can be made with many vegetables with besan as the base. I had cooked Capsicum Zhunka, and it was quite a hit, eh!
Here as well as with my friend.
The other day I happen to taste this particular version of Zhunka ( or is it Zunka? Never mind it is not an English word anyway) from the tiffin of the same guy who had introduced me to Capsicum Zhunka. I liked it too. It was made from Tondli ( or Ivy Gourd, Tindora , Kovakku, Dondakaya, whatever We have no name in Manipuri. We don't get it in Manipur, though it looks like what we call Lam Thabi or Wild Cocumber). Thanks to him, I had another variety of Zhunka. I made this Tondli Zhunka, and I quite liked it. Capsicum Zhunka was the best though :-).
I made it the same way as I prepared the Capsicum Zhunka, with a little difference. I have improvised over last time, with suggestion from a reader. I added Tomatoes.
Wash properly and Cut 250 grams of Tindora into small discs, like the picture above.
Chop Two large onions into small pieces.
Chop two tomatoes.
Chop 2 green Chllis.
Heat oil in a thick Bottom Pan, and add a tsp each of Mustard seed and Jeera into the oil.
Immediately add the onions and green chillis.
When Onions are limp, add tomatoes, and saute for some time.
Add the Tindoras.
Add salt to taste, and half tsp of red chilli.
Cover and cook in low heat for 15 minutes, opening the lid and stirring from time to time.
After the 15 minutes, add a cup of Besan or Gram Flour.
Mix well, and keep stirring in low heat.
Sprinkle some water with fingers so that it is not dry.
Cover it, and keep stirring every couple of minutes.
Should be done in 15 minutes.
Have with Hot Chappatis
This is also my entry to Sweetnick's ARF/5-A-Day Tuesdays