Pithla – No Onion No Garlic | Maharashtrian Pithla

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Pithla is a traditional Maharashtrian Curry made up of Besan (gram flour) and onions. Pithla is a vegan and gluten-free dish and is popularly served with Bhakri (flatbread) along with thecha (green chilli chutney) and raw onion.

Pithla is an authentic Maharashtrian dish from the west coast region of India. Making pithla is super easy and it gets ready in under 20 minutes. It is a staple food of Maharashtra and every household has its own unique way of making this recipe. It is mostly served with plain rice, chapati, roti, or bhakri.

This is such an easy and versatile recipe, that you can tweak it according to your taste buds. The traditional pithla is made using lots of finely chopped onions that are sauteed in oil and then the paste of besan (chickpea flour) is added and cooked on high flame. Using only two basic ingredients this pithla is regarded as one of the most loved comfort food all across Maharashtra.

There are numerous ways of making this pithla. You may add finely chopped onions and coarsely crushed garlic pods in the tempering that enhances the taste of this dish. Normally at home, we make pithla with only finely chopped onions and lots of fresh coriander leaves (cilantro).

It’s a great dish to make when you run out of vegetables and want to enjoy a nice comfy meal.

I love having pithla with lots of onion added to it. But sometimes when my laziness creeps in and I still want to enjoy the comfort of having pithla bhat (rice), without chopping onions (and crying) 😜 and cooking it for another 10 mins. That is when this no onion no garlic pithla comes into action.

This is my go-to method of making pithla with no onion and garlic but still tastes amazing! The first time I had this pithla was in a small village near Mumbai-Pune express highway when I visited a friend of mine. This garma garam pithla along with rice and papad was served for lunch. Simple & best! From then onwards this has been a family favourite.

Maharashtrian Recipes

Curry Recipes

Vegan Recipe

No Onion No Garlic Recipes

Food FAQ’s

Let’s see how to make pithla (No Onion No Garlic) Maharashtrian Style.

Pithla | No Onion No Garlic Maharashtrian Pithla
No Onion No Garlic Vegan Pithla

Serves: 2 Persons
Prep time: 05 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Cooking level: Very Easy
Taste: Spicy

  • 1 cup Besan (gram flour)
  • 1 Big Tomato (cut into 4 parts)
  • 2 Green Chilles finely chopped
  • 4-5nos. Curry Leaves
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
  • 1/4th tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/4th tsp Hing (Asafoetida)
  • 1/4th cup Coriander Leaves (Cilantro finely chopped)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 2 cups water to make batter .. quantity of water depends on how much thick or thin you want your pithla to be.

1. Let’s first make besan (gram flour) paste.

2. In a bowl, add besan (gram flour) and water. Mix besan (gram flour) well into the water to make a smooth and lump-free paste.

3. In a kadhai / sauce pan, heat oil and cumin seeds. When cumin seeds start to sizzle add hing (asafoetida), turmeric powder, curry leaves, finely chopped green chilles and tomatoes.

4. Saute tomatoes for just one minute on medium flame. Be careful as the green chilles and tomatoes splutter a lot. Now add the besan mixture and mix well. Keep on stirring continuously.

5. As the pithla cooks, it thickens hence add water at this point to adjust the consistency of the pithla. Add salt and let the pithla come to a boil.

6. Add water if required. Normally this pithla consistency is quite thin. But you can adjust according to your preference.

7. Keep on stirring continuously as due to besan this mixture does stick at the bottom. Check for seasoning.

8. Let the pithla cook on a medium flame till the raw smell of besan (gram flour) fades away and the mixture becomes glossy. Add finely chopped cilantro at the end.

9. Pithla is ready.

10. Serve this pithla hot along with plain rice, bread or any flatbread of your choice.

Traditionally this pithla is eaten with bhakri (sorghum flat bread) along with green chilli thecha (spicy chutney) made by grinding roasted green chillies, garlic and salt in pestle & mortar.

Other Variations Of Pithla:

You may add finely chopped onions and coarsely crushed garlic pods in the tempering to enhance the taste of this dish. If you are using onions, then do not add tomatoes.

Many times green leafy vegetables are also added such as fenugreek leaves, spinach leaves, or even spring onion greens which not only enhance the taste but increase the nutritional value of this dish.


Besan (gram flour) tends to become lumpy hence if desired, sieve the gram flour before adding water to avoid lumps.

Pithla should be consumed immediately after cooking, it is not advisable to keep it for the next day or eat it cold as it does not taste good.

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