Capsicum Zunka | Shimla Mirch Sabzi



For this week’s Blogging Marathon #101 theme “Cooking with Besan”, after a lot of thought, I decided to make this dish, that has been in my mind for quite some time. Zunka is a dry dish with besan, made on its own or including vegetables, and is a part of the cuisine in Maharashtra and some northern states. I didn’t want to make a gravy on its own, because I was vary of the interest of my folks. So I ended up making it with capsicum.


Capsicum is a vegetable that I have been eating almost everyday ever since I have cleaned up my diet. Not that I am diligently sticking to it and being a saint on a daily basis, but if I don’t eat at least a vegetable a day, I feel as though I am missing something. I have become this from a person who wasn’t even bothered about her greens, which I feel is a positive change. πŸ™‚ If you see the recipe, it is a tiny one, since I made the whole batch and ate it by myself. Somehow I wasn’t in a mood to shove it down the throat of my girls, so I better be eating it.


A few pointers while making the zunka – be patient! Whether it is while roasting the besan or adding it back to the capsicum mix when done, it needs to be done with light hands, or else you will end up a lump like mass, that won’t surely be good to eat! I kept the flame at simmer and roasted the besan till it turned a beautiful light brown in shade. The toss up of the capsicum is easily done, but then adding back the roasted besan can be very tricky. Do take care to add them in batches and toss them well before adding the next batch. I sprinkled in water to ensure that they were wet and cooked, which is a step you can avoid, if you like a dry version.


I enjoyed it as a low carb dinner along with some chicken on the side. It was truly delicious. I may make this a regular on my menu now for sure. πŸ™‚ This is not the first gravy I have made with besan though – this Aloo Mirchi Sabzi and the Jaisalmer Chana made me a fan of this humble flour. Off to this recipe…





5 from 2 votes

Capsicum Zunka | Shimla Mirch Sabzi

Course Main
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2
Author Rafeeda


  • 1/4 cup besan refer notes
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • A pinch asafoetida
  • 1 large clove garlic crushed
  • 1 small onion minced
  • 1 green chilli minced
  • 3/4 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 3/4 cup chopped mixed capsicum
  • 1/2 tsp kasuri methi
  • Coriander leaves for garnish optional


  • In a hot pan, roast the besan till golden brown and a nutty aroma comes. Make sure to roast on low flame, stirring as much as you can to avoid burning. Empty into a neat plate.
  • In the same pan, melt the ghee. Splutter the cumin seeds. Briefly fry the garlic.
  • Add the onion and green chilli and saute till wilted, with a little salt.
  • Add all the powders and give a good mix.
  • Add the capsicum and toss well. Cook till almost done, but still crunchy. You may sprinkle some water to avoid it from sticking.
  • Now add the roasted besan in at least three batches. Add a little, toss and coat well. Add the second batch, and toss well. Finally add the remaining and toss well. I sprinkled some water in between to avoid it from drying.
  • Cook for a couple of minutes. Add in the crushed kasuri methi and coriander leaves, if using and switch off.
  • Serve warm with chapathis, or you can eat as is, like I did!


If you do not want too much of the besan, you can reduce it to 2 tbsp.


Check out theΒ Blogging Marathon page to see what the other Blogging Marathoners are doing this BM#101.



Join the Conversation

  1. Not sure what besan is, but it surely looks very comforting and tasty.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Besan is chickpea flour… thanks a lot Angie…

  2. You should try adding aamchur or lemon juice before taking it off the stove. It would add so much more taste and flavor to this dish.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Rajani…

  3. A good one and good luck with your veggie regime. πŸ™‚ I need to yet try the zhunka recipe since it needs to be on a drier side and I am not sure that I would nail it.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Suma…

  4. Have heard abt zunka from hubby as he used to get it in his canteen.. I made it once but somehow not a great fan nor expert with besan dry dish. Urs looks quite tempting, I should admit πŸ™‚ maybe as u said, a little patience while frying the besan woould go a long way I guess πŸ˜‰

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Chitra… yes, sounds simple, but does take some effort… πŸ™‚

  5. We love this simple and rich in flavours subzi though we do not call it Zunka.. As rajani suggested try with lemon juicce it enhances the taste. This looks great with beautiful color.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      I think I will try it next time, though not a fan of sour flavors… Thank you so much Swati…

  6. I love this and every time our Mharashtrian maid comes, I ask her to make some for me…the dish is yum! and is making me drool early morning.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Vaishali…

  7. I do the same thing whenever I am not sure whether daughter would eat it or not. Make a small portion and finish it off in one sitting. The capsicum zunka looks fantastic and I could finish off that whole bowl. Yum.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Hehe the problems of being on a diet… Thank you so much Gayathri…

  8. 5 stars
    I make something similar on a regular basis but do not pre-roast besan. I should try it next time. Lovely side dish with roti and rice.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Usha…

  9. 5 stars
    This was one of the common dish at my mom’s place. Unfortunately I do not make it as my family does not like it much. You have made it so perfectly and it looks like it is bursting with flavours.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Renu…

  10. lovely dry roast capsicum with besan. I always prefer dry dishes than gravy so we can finish it off easily.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Narmadha…

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