Bombay Chutney

besan chutney, kadalai mavu chutney, besan pitla, pitla, zunka
       Bombay Chutney

Bombay Chutney is a delectable side dish, which my family loves especially with Idlies though it can be used for other breakfast dishes too. This is a easy recipe, which involves no-grinding, no much chopping and prepared with regular basic ingredients. Never knew how the name came into existence but the Bombay Chutney or besan chutney was prepared during olden days in a small eateries in the town side. This dish was one of the side dish, which some eateries followed may be because of the quantity one can create with no grinding involved as during those days only traditional motor and pestle was present, which involved time and effort. Some call the Bombay Chutney as Besan Pitla too. The dish may carry various names and variations too.

The dish is so versatile that it goes as a side dish with a number of breakfast items of South India like Idlies, dosas, pooris and chapatis. The main ingredient of the Bombay Chutney is the chickpea flour (besan). This is combined with water and a thin batter is formed. Just to drive away the raw smell ginger garlic paste, onions, and ripe sour tomatoes along with curry leaves and coriander leaves are used and finally gives the Bombay Chutney the unique flavour. 


1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tbsp. bengal gram (channa dal)
1 tbsp. urad dal (black gram)
5 to 6 green chilies (slit into half)
1 onion (chop finely)
2 tomatoes (chop finely)
few curry leaves
2 tbsp. ginger garlic paste (where ginger garlic ratio should be 1 :2)
handful of coriander leaves
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp. oil
water 4 cups

Cooking Method:

1. Mix 1 cup of besan in 3 cups of water adding turmeric and salt. Mix well to form a lump free thin batter.

2. Heat oil in a pan, adding mustard seeds. Once this splutters add channa dal and black gram and wait for 2 min to change its color to light brown keeping the flame at low.

3. Add curry leaves followed by green chilies and onions. Once onions turns transparent, add ginger garlic paste.

4. Cook the ginger garlic paste until the raw smell disappears stirring constantly. Add tomatoes and cook them until mushy (cover the pan with lid).

5. Finally add the besan water to the sauteed ingredients and cook it until everything gets well combined. Cook this until you get a gravy consistency for around 10 minutes on low flame. Finish off with coriander leaves and serve this chutney with idlies, chapathi and pooris.

Note: Let the batter be little watery as the chutney gets thick upon boiling. One can adjust the water content depending upon the desired consistency.

side dish for idlies, dosas, pooris, chapatis, rotis, bakri, pitla bakri
Besan Pitla

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