During my short stint at Randstad, a member of our team brought a variety of Gujarati food for lunch every single day. Obviously being a Gujarati. This one particular day he asked me to try out a sabzi which he claimed was his favourite. A gravy with besan dumplings. The thought of besan in a north indian gravy was something I had never heard of and to me a south indian who was only exposed to north indian foods that mostly consisted of gravies made of paneer, palak, aloo, gobi. You know the typical gravies we get at restaurants and mom makes at home. But this was something different. My colleague also told me that this was a dish unique to Rajasthan. I had one bite with his wife’s fluffy tear-with-one-finger soft roti. I was blown away. The sabzi was different. Me being a huge fan of south indian ilai saapadu who severely critiqued north indian as merely a blend of the usual spices like garam and chili lacking multiple cooking techniques was stumped. I bowed to him and told him I was a fool to have thought so and that this was probably one of the best and yummiest sabzis I have ever had.
Today I was so in the mood for this sabzi. I took the recipe out and it was too bad I was out of curd. Here goes the recipe:
For the Gattes:
About 1 and a half cups of Besan/Chickpea flour
1 tbsp red chilli powder
1 or 2 green chillies
For the gravy:
1 onion finely chopped
red chilli powder
garam masala powder
ajwain seeds (optional. if you don’t have it, that’s fine. But I think the ajwain seeds add so much flavour)
ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
curry leaves – one string
yoghurt – beaten about half a cup
1. Mix gatte ingredients with some water until it forms a dough. Mine turned out a little sticky. But that’s ok.
2. Put small balls of the dough in a pan of boiling water. Let them sit for about 10-15 mins.
3. In the meantime, chop your vegetables ( tomatoes, onions) and heat oil in a kadai.
4. Splutter mustard seeds, cumin seeds and ajwain seeds.
5. Put the onions and ginger garlic paste together to avoid spluttering of the oil due to water content in the GG paste.
6. Add the tomatoes with curry leaves, turmeric, garam masala and chili powder once the onions turn translucent.
7. I did not have yoghurt. So I substituted that with 3 tbsp sour cream with 1-2 tbsp milk and mixed them until they had a beaten yoghurt feel.
8. Pour this into the pan and stir.
9. Take the gattes out of the water after 10-15 mins. Cut them into small cube-sized pieces and put them into the pan.
10. Cook this on low heat for about 15-20 mins. Serve hot with rice or roti.
The sabzi turned out really good.