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.

 

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Gatte ki Subjee

Ingredients:

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

Preparation:

     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

Notes:

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

Begun Bhaja – Fried Eggplant/Aubergine/Brinjal

begun bhaja

Once, I had an awesome lunch with my Bengali friend – Arpita at her house. I was expecting that time, so, I could not imagine anything more than food! And what a splendid lunch it was (Daal fry, Pulav, plain rice, begun bhaja, bhindi fry, dahi wala parwal, some jackfruit preparation…and many more to add), simple-no-so-rich-not-so-spicy, well suited to my ‘then’ taste buds yet so delicious. I became fan of “Begun Bhaja” when I came to know about its very existence that time. I left with a wish to prepare such authentic (or may not be 100%) regional foods, be it any region/culture.

And, I saw it in one of my fav food shows a few weeks back and realized, YOU don’t need to be a Bengali to prepare a begun-bhaja. And then I waited for the best shiny, firm, spotless, scar-less  baingan to arrive home to be converted into bhaja. I do it now, often.

Time: 15-20 mins (excluding marinating)

Serves: 10 slices

Ingredients:

    1 big firm, shiny eggplant – the purple variety for bharta
    2 tbsp. mustard oil (see notes) 
    1 tsp. turmeric powder
    1 tsp. garam masala (optional)
    salt to taste
    1.5 tsp. coriander powder (optional)
    1 tsp. amchoor/ dry mango powder (optional)
    1 tsp. red chili powder

Preparation:

    Wash and pat dry the baingan.
    Slice it in 1/2 inch thin roundels( 1 large eggplant gives 10-12 slices)
    Meanwhile, add 1 tbsp. oil in a bowl, mix all the spices.
    Coat this spice mix onto the slices, from both the sides.
    Keep them covered for marinating for 15-20 mins. (optional step though recommended)
    Now heat the remaining 1 tbsp. oil in a flat pan, preferably nonstick.
    once the oil is hot, arrange the slices in 1 layer, should not be overlapping with each other.
    Cook covered for 5-6 mins in a low-medium flame or until the lower side is brown.
    Flip all the slices up side down and fry the same way.
    Do the remaining slices in the same fashion.
    If required, add a few drops of more oil
    Relish with plain RICE and Daal or as finger food/starters with some chaat masala sprinkled over them!!

Begun Bhaja

 

Notes:  (tooooo many this time Smile)

Eggplants taste great with mustard oil. But you can use regular oil of your choice.

I did shallow frying but deep frying is what they usually do. I feel (it’s just me!!) that deep frying stripes off the spices coating from the eggplant slices. & aren’t  they more healthy, my way?

You can adjust the spices as blend with your taste. Marinating is something, I have not read in many of its recipes over the net but, it actually permits the spices mix reach inside the slices properly.

You can use garlic paste in the spice mix, just a hint of it, for a distinct strong flavor. Though, I am obsessed with garlics, be it a strongly flavored use or just a mild touch and I thought of using it in the marinade, I took a chance to skip and, voila, the slices were very biteful and yummylicious.

Bread Poha

Bread Poha

Poha is such a common, well known face for Indian mornings, we enjoy it almost once every week. Simple to make, fast and less chances to turn into blunders. But, if you want a twist in the POHA, replace it with brown bread and make it more healthier, yet different.

Time: 25-30 mins

Serves: 3

You Need:

    10 brown Bread slices (cut off the edges if you wish)
    1 medium Onion, chopped
    1 medium tomato, chopped
    1 medium potato, cut into thin slices
    2-3 green chillies, finely chopped
    1/2 cup sour curd (fresh curd is also okay)
    2 Tbsp. oil 
    1 tsp. jeera(cumin) seeds
    a pinch Rai(mustard) seeds
    1 Tbsp. peanuts(moongfalli)
    1/2 tsp. turmeric powder    
    salt as per taste
    1/2 tsp. coriander powder
    1 sprig coriander, chopped 
   

How To:

  1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed wok/kadhai.
  2. Add peanuts in the hot oil and fry till brown.
  3. Add cumin and mustard seeds and splutter them.
  4. Add onions and roast them to golden-light brown color.
  5. Add chilies and tomatoes and roast them until tomatoes are soft.
  6. Add potato slices and cook them till soft.(can skip this step)
  7. Add beaten curd and mix well and add turmeric powder, salt and coriander powder.
  8. Cut the breads into small squares.
  9. Add these squares in the kadhai and mix well.
  10. Heat for 2 more minutes to get the spices infused properly with the bread pieces.
  11. Garnish with chopped coriander .
  12. Relish with your morning tea!

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Parting Notes:

Curd is required to keep the moisture in the poha intact, otherwise bread pieces may get hard. You can add other vegetables like carrot, peas etc. of your choice.

Boondi bahar!!

You are running short of time and the fresh pile of veggies is also vanished. Why not try something really simple and fast then? Boondi is a common stuff available usually in our kitchen. Instead of making a Raita this time, give it a twist. Prepare a curry and surprise all with the innovation.  🙂 

I am always in for such short and sweet (read salty) preparations. I learnt this during my Hyderabad days of bachelorhood from a Punjabi rommie. 

 You need:

  • Salted / Masala Boondi – 1 cup
  • Onion – 1 pc, coarsely chopped
  • Tomato – 1 pc, medium, finely chopped
  • Curry leaves – 1 stem
  • Sour Curd – 3-4 Tsp, beaten
  • Hing – 1 pinch
  • Mustard and cumin seed – 1 tsp together
  • Salt- per taste (boondis usually have salt)
  • Turmeric – 1 tsp
  • Coriander pwdr – 1tsp
  • Oil – 2 Tbsp
  • Water – ½ cup

How to:

  1. Heat oil in a wok/pan.
  2. Add seeds and let them splitter. Add curry leaves. Mix a pinch of hing.
  3. Add onions and roast them till light brown
  4. Add tomatoes and cook until disintegrated.
  5. Now add the dry spices.
  6. Then add the sour curd and keep stirring for 2-3 mins on medium flame to avoid the curd from splitting.
  7. Once curd gets mixed properly, add water and salt and bring it to boil.
  8. Now add boondi and cover for a min.
  9. Adjust the consistency by adding hot water if it is too dry for you.
  10. Done

Relish with Daal-Rice. My all time fav for Sunday lunch to save my energy for the eve outing. 🙂

Parting Notes:

Do not overcook boondis as they are very delicate and 1 min on the flame is sufficient to soften them.

 Keep a check on the quantity of tomato as we are using sour curd. So adjust the amount of tomatoes accordingly.

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