Gatte Ki Sabzi has its roots in the land of warriors, Rajasthan, where it is a popular vegetarian main course item for every household. Gatte refers to steamed or fried gram flour dumplings cooked in the tantalizing curry of yogurt and gram flour. From the ancient time, Rajasthani cuisine is influenced mostly by two factors, lifestyle of Rajputana Royalty and second availability of ingredients in this arid region. The scarcity of water and low produce of green vegetables can nowhere be seen in Rajasthani Cuisine, it is so full of bursting flavors and vibrant colors, like the culture of the region.
While undertaking post graduation degree in Rajasthan, Gatte Ki Sabzi was every week’s affair in the hostel mess, that was my first encounter with the strange name “Gatte”. But even when Gatte Ki Sabzi was cooked for masses the kitchen staff never went wrong with the flavors, the soft, mouth-melting dumplings were perfect accompaniment along with hot phulkas. One day, a friend originating from Marwar region invited us for dinner at home. His sweet wife cooked a pure vegetarian Marwari thali meal for us – Gatte Ki Sabzi, Aloo ki Sabzi, Dal, Baati, Bikaneri Papad, Bhavnagri, Gathia, Aloo Bhujia, Meetha Pulao accompanied by sleek, ghee laced phulkas. I must accept that it was the simplest yet best Rajasthani meal I have ever eaten.
Here is the recipe for how to make delicious Gatte Ki Sabzi:
Gatte Ki Sabzi Recipe
Ingredients for the Gatte
- 1 1/2 Cup gram flour besan
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 fennel seeds pounded
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 Cup yogurt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 3 tbsp cooking oil
Ingredients for the gravy
- 2 medium size onion
- 1 green chili
- 2 - 3 cloves of garlic
- an inch piece of ginger peeled and grated
- 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 Cup yogurt
- 1/4 tsp asafetida
- 2 tsp red chili powder
- 2 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tbsp of cooking oil
- To prepare the gatte, in a mixing bowl combine together gram flour, cumin, fennel, salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, baking soda and oil. Combine well.
- Now using curd bind stiff, pliable and smooth dough. If required use little water to bind the dough. Add a a teaspoon or so of oil to make it easier to handle.
- The consistency of dough for gatte is similar to that for making puri. Cover the dough with a wet cloth and let it rest for 15 - 20 minutes.
- To cook the gatte, boil 4 - 6 cups of water in a large saucepan ( buy it here ).
- Now just divide the dough into 5 - 6 equal portions and roll them out into long thin strips of even thickness.
- Add these strips in boiling water in small batches. They will be delicate so handle them with extreme care. Once cooked take them out. Similarly cook the remaining strips.
- Cut the cooked strips into smaller coin like pieces horizontally of even thickness. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- At this stage you can either shallow fry the gatte or use them as it is in the curry. I prefer shallow frying them for the crisp texture.
- While shallow frying once Gatte are nice and golden brown take them out and set aside while you prepare the curry.
- To prepare the curry, make paste of onion, ginger, garlic and green chili in grinder.
- Heat oil in a kadhai ( buy it here ) over medium heat. Add the asafetida and fry for few seconds.
- Add the onion paste and saute till it turns dark brown in color.
- Add the spices, salt along with a tablespoon or so of water. Fry for 5 - 10 minutes or till oil starts separating from the masala.
- Whisk yogurt nicely in a bowl to remove any lumps. Add the whisked yogurt slowly into the curry stirring continuously.
- Let the curry simmer for sometime till it thickens. You can add Gatte at this stage or later once the curry is ready. I prefer adding gatte halfway through cooking curry.
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
- Serve Gatte Ki Sabzi warm with hot phulkas or baati.