Lily tells us about Gatte ki Sabzi and the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan, in the weekly column, exclusively for Different Truths.
The land of Maharajas, deserts and scenic lakes, Rajasthan, has much more allure than its royal history and colourful culture. The sand dunes have given us some incredible music and breathtaking folk dances
Since there is a scarcity of potable water, there are a lot of recipes that have milk, curds or buttermilk as the base ingredient for the curry. Some of the most lip-smacking dishes on a buffet menu in Rajasthan are oozing oodles of chilly and clarified butter. Offhand, I can think of Mava kachori, daal baati choorma, Gatte ki Sabzi.
In this unique, culturally rich and vibrant state of colour splashes , I want to share the formidable taste of the Gatte ki Sabzi. As all of us can appreciate, there is hardly any vegetation in the arid desert state. Well, that is no more the case now, canals and drip agriculture and various other means like cloud harvesting have greened the undulating sands of Rajasthan.
I have already talked about the dried vegetable called Ker Sangri in a previous episode.
Most of the cuisine we see now is an amalgamation of Marwari, Shekhwati, Bikaneri and Mewari.
The royal kitchens set trends for rich foods and sweets. Royalty has always been a trend setter since times immemorial.
Gram flour or besan as it is known locally is used as an important ingredient to make up for the lack of fresh greens.
A labour intensive preparation , gatte ki Sabzi is vibrant to look at and an utter treat to eat.
Gatte are steamed gram flour dumplings that are put in a curd based gravy. A must taste dish if one visits Rajasthan.
There are two or three variations of the dish. Let me share the easiest one with you.
400 gm besan or gram flour
2tsp coriander powder
4 tbsp ghee or clarified butter
300 gm curd or dahi
1 tsp red chilly powder
I pinch haldi or turmeric
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 tsp oil
Salt to taste
Method -Add red chilly powder, coriander powder, salt, and ghee to besan. Mix well. Prepare a stiff dough. Make thin cylindrical rolls of the dough and boil them in water till they are cooked and then cut them into pieces. For the curry add red chilly, salt, turmeric and coriander powder to the strained curd. Mix well and add cooked besan pieces to the mixture . Heat oil and add cumin seeds and the curd mixture. Cook till it comes to a boil . Cover and cook on medium flame for 5 minutes.
Voila! It’s ready. The exotic versions have poppy seeds , groundnuts, ginger garlic paste, green chillies, milk cream added to enhance flavour and texture.Mint leave , curry leaves, tomato purée and cloves may also be added.
My mouth is watering with the aroma and my eyes are streaming at the thought of the chillies but as for Gatte ki Sabzi– Let’s taste it !
Pictures from the internet.
#HistoryAndMystryOfFood #IndianCuisine #VegetarianCuisine #RajasthaniFood #GatteKiSabzi #DifferentTruths
Lily Swarn won the Reuel International Prize for Poetry 2016, Global Poet of Peace and Universal Love, Global Icon of Peace from Nigeria, Virtuoso Award and Woman of Substance. A postgraduate in English from Panjab University, she taught at Sacred Heart College, Dalhousie. A gold medallist for Best All-round Student from GCG Chandigarh, she has University Colours for Dramatics. Widely published and interviewed, she authored, A Trellis of Ecstasy and Lilies of the Valley.