Gatte ki subjee ~ traditional Rajasthani savory

Gatte ki Subjee

Rajasthani/Marwari cuisine is spicy, aromatic and full of variety. The olden days of Rajasthan had seen unavailability of water and green, lush vegetables which in turn gave birth to the much glorified usage of curd, buttermilk, milk, vast species of spices, lentils, legumes, daals and various flours. These ingredients make Rajasthani cuisine, a delicacy to relish and an experience to cherish.

GATTE ki subjee or GATTE ka saag is one such mouth watering, very famous marwari dish, which can be savored with any Rice preparation or chapattis/ parathas/ pooris. Without this, the rajasthani thali is incomplete which is a treat not to miss. For this, you don’t need any green/fresh vegetables and that’s the specialty. You can prepare it when you missed shopping for fresh, green vegetables for any reason. You just need some besan/ gram flour, basic ingredients of an Indian gravy and some curd with some very-indian spices/masalas which give strong flavor and pungent aroma. For this, the besan dumplings are steamed and lightly fried (optional, to enhance the taste) and then simmered in the curd rich tomato-onion gravy.

Contrary to the belief, this rajasthani delight is not laden with ghee and is light on your stomach. So, over to the method.





Gatte ki Subjee


For the dough to prepare GATTE:

    150 gms besan / chickpea flour/ gram flour
    2 tsp. ajwain/carom seeds
    salt to taste
    2 tsp. oil for kneading dough + more for frying
    1 tsp. each of jeera powder + coriander powder +amchoor(dry mango powder)  + 1/2 tsp. haldi/turmeric powder
    2 pinch hing / asafoetida (or as per your taste)
    water to knead dough

For the gravy:

     2 medium onion
     4-5 garlic pods
     2 green chilies
     1 tsp. red chili powder – hot variety
     1 tsp. deghi mirch – to bring in a deep color.
     2 ripe medium tomatoes 
     1/2 cup sour curd, well beaten (fresh curd is okay)
     salt to taste
     1 tsp. turmeric
     1 tsp. coriander powder
     1 tsp. kitchen king (I usually omit garam masala and use this)
     Coriander leaves for garnish.
     2 tbsp. oil


     Pour the besan in a bowl. Add all the dry masalas for dough in it. Mix well.
     Now add 1 tsp. oil and mix. Once the besan takes some texture rather than powder, add very little water and mix until a dough is prepared.
     Plz be careful that extra water can spoil the dough, dough has to be a little hard and non crumbly. Even to this day, I also fail at times to prepare a good dough in 1 shot and end up mixing some more besan.
     Rest the dough covered for 10 mins.
     Prepare onion-garlic-chilies paste separately and tomatoes paste separately.
     Keep water for boiling in a thick bottom pan/kadhai.
     Now take the dough, make small balls. Roll out each ball in to cylinders. Each around 4-5 inch long and 10 cm in dia. These measurements are just approximation and you can refer to the pics for the size.
     When the water is just about to boil, put these cylinders in the water, not overlapping each other and cook covered in low-medium heat for 10-12 mins. The besan should be cooked from inside. The cylinders will automatically come up and float once done. To check more precisely, cut a cylinder in two parts and check the inner portion. If not cooked, again keep in hot water for a min or so.
     Now bring out the cylinders, cool then and pat them dry with a clean cotton cloth.
     You may see small blisters on the cylinders, which is alright.
     Cut the cylinders in to roundels of 1/2 inch sizes as shown in the pics. These are the GATTE, ready to be used in kadhi or pulav or in subjee
     Now heat oil in a non-stick pan and lightly fry them for a min & gently not to break them. This will further cook the besan if uncooked properly. This is an optional step, but enhances the flavor of gatta.
     Now, heat oil in a pan and splutter jeera-rai.
     Add onion paste and cook until golden brown.
     Now, add tomato paste, turmeric, salt, both red chili powders, kitchen king and coriander powder. Cook until oil separates.
     Now beat curd, add very little oil in it and mix. This will avoid the curdling in the gravy.
     Add this curd to the gravy and mix well. Cook covered for 1-2 min.
     Now add water and gatte and mix well gently.
     Simmer for 5 mins until the gravy thickens and takes a good red/orange color.
     Relish with jeera rice!!


Gatte ki Subjee


You can use the dry gatte in Kadhi or to prepare pulav. Gatte when kept in very thin, 2 inch long cylinders form, they are called as bela and that is a more preferable variety for me. But, I go with masses (family) and do the traditional Gatte


“Katori Chaat” ~ Heavenly taste filled in basket


A bowlful tanginess

What an eternal bliss mother’s love is!! I was thrilled some weeks back (20 days precisely speaking) for her arrival. Overjoyed with my list ready in my mind (so was Romesh) of the foods we would ask her to cook for us. More was the joy of meeting her after a big gap of 6 M and tons of gossips, we were missing together…of relatives, neighbors and more…winks, wink…Devil. And who doesn’t enjoy such fun??

We talked about close friends, distant relatives, “never-so-discussed-far-long-forgotten” people in the past, abt my office and her house hold chores, I sulked, shouted, cribbed over the issue of “never a good job done by domestic help”, I cursed “Bina” – my baby’s caretaker for many of her mistakes she does day by day…seemingly never ending. I cribbed, but she heard me patiently, suggested and expounded. We shopped often…though bought very less stuff that includes 1 damaged sari Sad smile.

Among many such fun things and masti, I did not forget very important things too. I fully exploited the free time I was getting those days due to less project activities (and more over, I am working from home these days). I learnt making her-types “jhol wala alloo”, the right way to prepare “lauki ke kofte”, Bread Pulav (her signature recipe – probably will come later in this space) and many super delicious recipes. One such crunchy-munchy-tangy-very-indian recipe is “KATORI CHAAT”.

Katori means bowl. We prepare katoris using maida(all purpose flour) dough. And place the spicy, tangy, yummy  chaat mix inside this katori, sounds yum. Isn’t it??The chaat mix contains the stuff like onions, tomatoes, coriander, curd, green chutney, tamarind chutney, spices, chilies and some boiled choley and potatoes too. So,off to the method

Serves : 10 katoris


For “Katoris” –
    1 cup Maida
    1 tsp. ajwain (carom seeds)
    1 tbsp. oil , more for frying
    water to knead dough
    salt to taste
    4-5 medium size sharp edged steel bowls. ( the bowls should have regular edges, not fancy and curvy)

For “Chaat” –
    1/2 cup overnight soaked and boiled chholey (chickpeas)
    1 boiled potato, peeled and cubed. 
    2 onions, finely chopped
    1 tomato, pulp removed and finely chopped
    1/4 cup any green, all purpose chutney
    1 lemon size tamarind pulp, soaked for an hour
    chaat masala
    2 green chilies, finely chopped
    coriander for garnishing
    salt per taste
    red chili powder
    bhujiya (sev), preferably thin variety.
    1/2 cup curd
    jeera powder
    chili powder
    some sugar for tamarind chutney (according to your required sweetness)
    a pinch Rai for tamarind chutney


For Katoris:

    Take the maida in a bowl, pour oil, salt and ajwain in it.
    Mix until maida takes a crumbly form. If you bind the maida in your fist, it should bind and not fall apart. If not so, add some more oil and repeat the process. (this is called moran). This gives crispness to the katoris.
    Now add water enough to bind the dough, it should not be soft like a regular dough.
    Now make lemon sized balls from the dough. Use dry maida to roll out the balls in to chapattis if required. Meanwhile heat enough oil for frying in a deep kadhai.
    Now take the bowls up side down and place the chapatti onto it.Paste this on chapatti firmly and edges of the chapatti with the edges of bowl and remove the excess dough. Make sure, the maida has been pasted using fingers carefully without any ruptures and some crease in the maida is fine.
    The oil should be hot now. Place one katori at a time into it. Once the maida starts leaving the edge of the bowl, hold the bowl using a kitchen plier carefully and remove the maida katori into oil and take off the bowl. Pour the oil of bowl into the katori. This fries the inner side of the katori. Now flip the katori up side down for complete frying. Once fried fully, remove from the oil on a paper napkin for absorbing excess oil. Please be extra careful while frying the katoris.
    Follow the same process for all katoris.
    Make sure, you clean the oil properly from the used bowls if you are using them again for preparing katoris.
     Now, store the katoris in a paper lined air tight box, can be used anytime in next 7 days




For “Tamarind Chutney” –

    Squeeze the tamarind pulp through a sieve to deseed it.
    Heat oil in a pan. Splutter some Rai.
    Add tamarind pulp and salt, some sugar, red chili powder, jeera powder and mix well.
    Add water for your desired consistency.
    Bring it to boil.

tamarind Chutney

For the “Katori Chaat

    Lightly fry the chholey and potato cubes in some hot oil with salt.
    Now place 2 spoons of chholey-potato mix in a katori. Put some onions, tomatoes & curd.
    Now top with both green and tamarind chutney.
    Sprinkle some green chilies, chili powder, jeera powder, salt & chaat masala.
    Top with bhujiya and coriander.
    Your bowl of delicious chaat is ready, Attack! 

A bowlful tanginess


As this is a chaat dish, all the items may vary in quantity according to your choice. Bcuz this is 1 item zara hatke, I am categorizing it in party menu.

Chutneys, curd, chholey and katoris, all are salted. So adding salt in the chaat should be takes care of.

Radha Ballabhi ~ Daal stuffed Pooris


Festivals are the time, when you are free to dig into rich aromatic food. Rakshabandhan is yet another day to celebrate food apart from the sibling-bond. So, I decided to rejoice the day with my family with some special food and nothing is as festive as “Pooris”. But pooris are just so common, and spontaneously, I recalled the Radha Ballabhi made in one of the food shows.

Radha-Ballabhi, a fancy name, sufficient enough to bring the fancy of the delicious food to you. It’s a Bengali dish prepared by stuffing urad daal mix in the pooris made out of maida (all purpose flour). The traditional way to relish it is – with any kind of aloo subjee. I used wheat flour instead of maida and moong daal instead of urad daal purposely as this was going to be Mahi’s 1st Poori experience, so should be easily digestible to her. I had some left over stuffing which I used to roll out parathas for lunch the next day and I personally clubbed it with kheer, strange combination?? but trust me, it really tasted awesome. So, spoil yourselves with Radha Ballabhi in the next festival mood.

Serves: 10-12 Radha Ballabhis depending on the size


Daal stuffing

      Dehusked Urad daal, soaked for an hour ( I used dehusked moong daal)
      oil for deep frying the pooris.
      An inch ginger pc.
      1 tsp. cumin / jeera
      2 tsp. fennel seeds / saunf
      a pinch of heeng/asafoetida
      1 tsp. red chili powder
      1/2 tsp. garam masala
      1 tsp. coriander seeds 
      2 tbsp. ghee
      Salt per taste


      1 cup maida (I used wheat flour )
      warm water to knead dough
      a spoonful ghee
      Salt per taste



Daal stuffing

      Remove the water from the daal and grind with all the ingredients (except ghee) using minimum water.
      Heat oil in a heavy bottomed wok/pan.
      Add the daal mix and stir continuously.
      The daal mix usually has a tendency to stick to the pan, so stir continuously.
      When you are fatigued with the stirring, and the mix turns into brown color emanating a rich spicy aroma, you are ready with the mix.

Radha Ballabhi

    Knead the dough a little hard than you do for chapattis. This will ensure that daal mix will be intact in the pooris.
    Make small lemon sized balls and using your thumbs and fingers, make small disc.
    Place a spoonful of daal mix in the center of the disc and close the edges of the disc to make a ball again.
    Roll in to flat discs using some oil and a rolling pin.
    Make sure, that the daal mix does not come out or the pooris do not rupture.
    Heat sufficient oil in a deep frying pan or a kadhai.
    Deep fry these radha ballabhis, once one side turns brown, flip it and fry the other side.
    Drain them on paper towels to get rid of excess oil.
    Relish with any aloo subjee preparation and get yourself lost in the rich aroma.


Parting Notes:

I grinded the khada masala and powdered masala in the mix to make it effortless chewing for Mahi. You can grind the daal, ginger and coriander seeds and rest all can go into the roasting part.

I have not mentioned the time here as this is an elaborate preparation. So keep your calendar busy . Roughly, soaking takes 1 hr, preparing the mix takes 30 mins and deep frying the pooris take 20 mins. Phewww…worth devoting to Radha Ballabhis… Open-mouthed smile

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