maharashtrian besan pitla recipe, regional Indian cuisine
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5 from 10 votes

Maharashtrian Pitla Recipe | Kanda Besan

Pitla is a spicy gram flour curry from the Maharashtrian cuisine in India. It is served with rustic traditional breads like jowar roti or bajra roti and spicy chutney for a complete meal. Cooked mainly with onions and gram flour, it is also popularly known as Kanda Besan.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Gluten-free, Indian, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Bohra cuisine, Maharashtrian
Servings: 2
Calories: 283kcal


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 onion
  • ½ cup fresh coriander leaves chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 cup gram flour (you can also use chickpea flour)
  • 4 cups water


  • Grind ginger, garlic, and green chilli together to a paste.
  • Heat oil in a deep kadhai/ wok on medium heat.
  • Add cumin seeds and the ginger-garlic-chilli paste. Sauté for a minute.
  • Add onions, half of coriander leaves and all the ground spices. Mix well and cook for about 2 minutes till the onions start to soften.
  • Add gram flour (or chickpeas flour) and mix well. Cook with continuous stirring for about 2-3 minutes till the gram flour and the onion and spice base is mixed properly.
  • Add 2 cups water and continuously mix till there are no lumps. Cook for 5 minutes till the gram flour curry thickens.
  • Add the remains 2 cups water, mix well until smooth and cook covered for another 10 minutes on low heat or until the desired consistency is reached.*
  • Mix in the remaining fresh coriander and serve hot with jowar roti or bajra roti.


  • The consistency of pitla is usually very thick when it is served with any flat bread like roti or paratha but when serving with rice, you might want to add more water to the pitla.
  • Pitla will stay good in the refrigerator for upto 2 days. Leftover pithla will become thicker. To reheat, heat some water in a pan and add pitla to it. Stir until well combined and cook till heated through.


Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.7g | Protein: 11.8g | Fat: 10.6g | Saturated Fat: 1.3g | Fiber: 7.3g | Sugar: 8g