If you feel Maharashtrian cuisine is underrated, you are not alone. While your Pav Bhaji and Vada Pav are worthy of all the praise and hype, there lies a world of delicacies that are equally phenomenal and unique. The Kolhapuri Mutton Thali to Nashik’s Misal, people of Maharashtra sure know how to make the best of local produce, spices, herbs et al to rustle up something sensational. 

Also Read: Dhapate: A Maharashtrian Staple Bread

Many of you may not know that a significant part of Maharashtra is not as blessed in terms of vegetation. The land is not even conducive to growing rice, and the heat deters the growth of many vegetables that you would find so easily in other parts of the country. So, millets like Jowar and Ragi take precedence, and curries like Pitla, make for a wholesome addition to people’s daily diet. What is Pitla exactly? Pitla is a comforting, thick curry made with gram flour and yoghurt.  

This easy dish can be made with a bare number of ingredients, and the addition of curd gives it the perfect, tangy, creamy feel to battle the heat. Pitla is usually paired with Jowar Roti. Jowar or Sorghum is a millet, it is dense with fibre, and also contains protein and a bevy of antioxidants. It is incredible for your digestion and heart. Since it makes you feel so full so soon, you also steer clear of eating anything heavy, salty, fattening or sugary soon after, thus keeping those extra calories at bay.  

As it turns out with millet-based rotis, you need something punchy or something spicy to undercut the heaviness of the roti. You know how a Bajra Roti is almost always accompanied with Mirchi Ka Achaar. Pitla is not a fiery curry, but green chillies, cumin seeds, and hing are added generously to add some drama to the curry.  

The curry is cooked until it obtains a very thick, almost porridge-like consistency. It can also comprise other interesting ingredients like Methi or fenugreek leaves (Methi Pitla) or Karela or bitter gourd (Karela Pitla). Here’s a no-fuss, simple recipe of Besan Pitla, try it for lunch soon and let us know how you liked it. Have it hot, and make sure your Jowar Roti is nicely smeared in ghee for an authentic experience. You can also add a bit of pickle on the side to elevate the overall flavour of the rustic meal.