Zirka Of Nashik Is A Burst Of Flavours! Have You Tried It Yet?
Image Credit: Madhurasrecipe.com

You would have been humbled if you had ever visited a Maharashtrian family as a guest. The community is renowned for its exceptional hospitality. Foods of this place add to one's experience of its cultural extravaganza. Maharashtrian cuisine varies from region to region and contains subtle variations as well as robust flavours. Once upon a time, feasts in the most affluent homes of antiquity frequently began at noon and finished after sunset. One can imagine how food occupies a central place in this community. Maharashtrian cuisine captures the essence of its culture. Zirke or Zirka has to be mentioned explicitly among its variety of culinary offerings.

Western India's Nashik district of Maharashtra is home to the spicy, garlicky Zirka, a peanut and sesame gravy. It can also be described as a stew, which can be transformed into your favourite comfort food. The use of peanuts and sesame seeds makes it a healthy dish, and they also add to its richness. 

Zirka's Recipe


  • 1/4 cup peanuts 
  • 2 tbsp white sesame seeds or til
  • 8 large garlic cloves
  • 4 spicy green chillies 
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander 
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • Salt to taste

For Tempering

  • 1.5 tsp oil (groundnut/peanut oil preferred)
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, rai
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, jeera
  • 1 pinch asafoetida or hing

Zirke, famous dish of Nashik, Image Source: aahaaramonline.com


  • To make the peanut powder, heat the pan over medium flame and dry roast the peanuts until they pop.
  • On a platter, spread out the peanuts to cool. To remove the skin, rub the peanuts between your palms. Use the chutney grinder to ground the peanuts into a rough powder.
  • Keeping the heat on medium, dry roast the sesame seeds until they change colour.
  • Let the seeds cool, then grind them to a smooth paste with water.
  • Make the coriander leaves paste, pour the greens into the grinder and pulse to crush the leaves. Do not grind to a paste.
  • To make the chilli garlic paste, grind the green chillies and garlic into a coarse paste.
  • Heat the oil over medium flame in a heavy-bottomed vessel or a kadhai.
  • Put the mustard seeds and cumin seeds into the oil and let them splutter
  • Add the hing and the green chilli-garlic paste, and stir-fry till the raw smell of garlic disappears.
  • Blend in water, add salt and turmeric for seasoning and let the water boil.
  • Pour the sesame paste, coriander, and peanut powder. Mix thoroughly, then allow the Zirka to boil for a few minutes.
  • Turn off the flame and take the zirka off the stove.

Zirka is ready to devour!

You can also add dried coconut powder to make zirka richer. Enjoy this native dish of Nashik which has an interesting flavours profile.