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.
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!!
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