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Zhunka Bhakar - The Rustic Meal

Tikuli Dogra
20 minutes
Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
4 People
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ABOUT Zhunka Bhakar - The Rustic Meal RECIPE

This rustic meal consists of zhunka, which is a vegetable made with onions and chickpea flour and bhakar / bhakri , an unleavened flat bread made with jowar (sorghum) / bajra (pearl millet) or rice flour. The basic farmer’s meal used jowar for bhakar. The meal is best served with lasun shengdana chutney ( garlic/peanut chutney) / tak (buttermilk) / Pithala (a guey version of zhunka) or simple yogurt. I love it with jaggery, ghee (clarified butter ) or white butter too.Include millet in your daily meals and stay healthy.

Recipe Tags

  • Veg
  • Medium
  • Everyday
  • Maharashtra
  • Pan fry
  • Roasting
  • Main Dish
  • Gluten Free

Ingredients Serving: 4

  1. For Zhunka - Spring Onions (scallions) – 1/2 kg
  2. Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  3. Whole red chili – 1 big or 2 small
  4. Chickpea flour (besan) – 1/2 cup
  5. Red chili Powder – 1/2 Teaspoon
  6. Turmeric Powder – 1 teaspoon
  7. Asafoitida - 1-2 Pinches
  8. Salt - to taste
  9. Mustard oil – 4 - 5 tablespoons
  10. For Bhakri - Bajra flour – 2 cup
  11. Hot water – For making the dough
  12. Salt – 1/2 teaspoon


  1. For Zhunka - Clean /wash the spring onions and separate the bulb from the green tops. It is easier to cut this way. Now chop them fine and keep aside.
  2. Put a skillet pan or wok on high flame. I use iron kadhai for making this. Once the kadhai is hot turn the flame to medium and add mustard oil. Bring it to smoking point and turn the flame low. It is important to smoke mustard oil.
  3. Add asafoetida, cumin seeds and whole red chilli (some people add garlic too. I don’t). Once the seeds start to crackle add the chopped spring onions and give it a stir.
  4. Add salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder and stir. put the lid and let it cook till the onions become soft. Be careful about salt as the onions will wilt and lessen in quantity.
  5. Open the lid and sprinkle chickpea flour or besan over the spring onions. Don’t dry the liquid from the vegetable. It will keep the zhunka soft yet crisp. Keep mixing the flour to avoid lumps. Add enough to thickly coat the onions.
  6. The traditional recipe calls for the chickpea flour to be mixed in water and then added. I prefer the taste of this one.
  7. Increase the flame to medium-high and cook it covered for 5 minutes then uncovered till the flour (besan) browns nicely. Stir the vegetable so that it browns properly but doesn't burn.
  8. Some people like it dry but I love the softness and add besan accordingly.
  9. Again lower the heat and cook it covered for 5 minutes before turning off the heat.
  10. Your fragrant, delicious zhunka is ready to be served with the bhakar.
  11. To make Bhakar/ Bhakri - Making flat unleavened bread with these grains is a tad bit tough and needs a little practice.
  12. Take out two cups of bajra flour in a parat or any other broad utensil. Add salt to it.
  13. Heat some water beforehand. Make a well in the middle of the bajra flour and slowly add water to it. Knead it as you gather the flour with your fingers. First it will be crumbly but slowly it will begin to bind.
  14. Go easy on water or you will have a mess in your hands. The dough needs little water.
  15. Knead the dough with your fist and palm properly for 5-7 minutes till it is soft and nice.
  16. Drizzle a little oil if you wish to avoid the skin to form on the dough. I keep it covered with a moist cloth.
  17. Heat the tawa/griddle on medium flame while you divide the dough in equal size balls. The size depends on how big you want your bhakri to be.
  18. Now, sprinkle some dry flour in the parat and flatten the ball with your palm. Keep flattening till it is round in shape. Wet your hands or sprinkle some dry flour if it sticks. Pat the dough between your palms to make a round bhakri.
  19. It needs practice to do so but you can use rolling board or chakla too. Spread cling wrap on the chakla. Place the ball of dough on it, Sprinkle dry flour.
  20. Cover with cling wrap and roll with rolling pin to get a nice round bhakri. Use large zip lock bag to do this if you have one.
  21. Once the bhakri is made, gently transfer it to the tawa/ griddle. When the upper surface become dry and puffs up in places, apply a little water to the surface and flip.
  22. Your bhakri will have brown spots on the other side. Let it cook and flip again. Cook again for a few seconds. Keep the heat low-medium.
  23. Once the bhakri is browned from both sides, take it off the tawa and cook on direct flame for a few seconds with the help of tongs/chimta.
  24. If you are cooking the bhakri on hot plate or cant use tongs then press the bhakri with a cloth or flat wooden spoon on both sides alternately to fluff it.
  25. Once done , take it off tawa and apply generous amount of ghee / butter.
  26. Enjoy this hot and fresh hearty meal any time of the day for good health and soak in the flavours of rustic nutritious food. Do include garlic Peanut chutney , raw onion slices and curds / Tak (Buttermilk) to complete the meal.

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Evelyn Shilpa
Evelyn Shilpa   Jun-10-2016

comfort food at its best..thanks for explaining everything so well.

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