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Pen Bhaji
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4.75 from 8 votes

Pen Bhaji

A gluten-free, vegan dish from Maharashtra-Karnataka
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Maharashtrian, South Indian
Keyword: Gluten-Free, Vegan
Servings: 4
Author: Gayatri Singh


  • 1 cup pigeon peas Toor dal
  • 1 big onion large diced
  • 6 cloves garlic crushed
  • 3/4 cup cluster beans (gavar) cut in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp raw groundnut (peanut) powder
  • 4 tbsp Niger seeds powder (karal seeds)
  • 3 nos or to taste green chillies chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp or to taste red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 10 curry leaves
  • Water to cook
  • 3 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander to garnish
  • Salt to taste


  • Add 2 cups of water to the pigeon peas with water and salt. Keep it on a low medium flame. Once it is halfway cooked add in the cluster beans and cook till the pigeon peas are al dente. Cooked but holds its shape and dry, if it is too watery then strain it.
  • In a heavy pan heat oil, add in the mustard seeds and asafoetida. Add curry leaves.
  • Add in the garlic, saute for 30 seconds. Add in the onion and fry for 2-3 minutes till it is golden in colour.
  • Add in the spice powders and green chilli. Mix well and add in the salt, groundnut and niger seeds powder. Fry for 1 minute.
  • Add in the cooked dal and cluster beans mixture. Mix it well. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium flame
  • Adjust the seasoning. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot with bhakris.