Gatte ki sabji

Gatte ki sabji ( chickpea flour dumplings in a yogurt gravy)

 

I was intrigued. A dash of cream???.yes, confirmed the Maharaj.Imbued by his expertise,I left like an excited kid convinced in my head that finally I will master the art of making the perfect Gatte Ki Sabji.

No ,this is not a script of a kingdom tale that you may assume but my conversation with the maharaj(the masterchef ) at the not so old 5 star luxury hotel,Sofitel(www.sofitel.com) at Bandra Kurla Complex. Tuskars,the special gujrati and rajasthani restaurant there, I guess takes the whole concept a tad bit too traditionally calling the master chef “Maharaj”. For the global audience ,the term “Maharaj” was coined   or rather conferred upon the  Chef in Royal families in olden times and
still exist as a designation in many traditional royal families in the country.

Anyways,talking of Sofitel, am so glad that the high and dry BKC finally has some decent place for dining out especially for the corporate executives, having worked in that area earlier, we hardly had any hangouts for our lunch, and had to most of the time resort to either the pizza hut , the food court or the lousy office canteen.
I would have preferred the more friendly and open coffee shop but chose Tuskars instead for our
lunch meeting.I cant rate the cuisine there but definitely for the Gatte sabji,
I have to say that its taste, flavor, texture and aroma can have competing claims for
serving the best gattes  in the country.
Gatte ki Sabji

Gatte ki Sabji

Gattes always intrigued me and for the love of it I have tried various versions of it at different places.Intriguing ,coz I could never conquered the perfect consistency and the flavor, aroma and visual appeal hitting the bull’s eye though. I wasnt the perfect cook,my skills betraying me while  making gattes, especially the gravy.

 Archana +archana pant , a close friend and an ex collegue acted as  the biggest influencer to my comfort with Rajasthani cuisine. A wait for her to join me at the lunch table each day ensured that I get a taste of rajasthani food every day from her lunch box while weworked for a reputed fashion house of the country,one of the biggest infact. And”gatte” from her lunch box  was my favorite, followed by the dahiwale aloo(potatoes in curd ).

So I realized that gatte was cooked with a base of  dahi (curd), but it still took me sometime to understand that it fluctuates sometimes  with ingredients by adding tomatoes to the gravy and a bit of gramflour as well

But what I relised at Sofital had a dash of cream as well to lend a certain richness. It was spendid in taste as the cream, onion tomato amalgamation worked in tandem to create the most spectacular gatte ki sabji I ever had. I knew I had to learn this recipe .The management arranged for the
master chef(maharaj that they call the chefs there),  to share with me the recipe  thus exhibiting stupendous  hospitality and customer service  .Another amazing habitability that I witnessed was at Arola(http://www.restaurant-arola.com/en/chef, the
Spanish Restaurant and Bar, at the J. W Marriot(www.jwmarriotthotelmumbai.com where I had the most incredible Spanish steamed prawn dish ,just with the mix of aromatic herbs and olive oil..Shall post that recipe sometime later in my blog.

Right now, here it is, Gattes  straight from the Chef”s kitchen at Sofitel..

 

Ingredients:

 

For the gatte:
Besan(chickpea flour)- 1 cup
Curd-1/4 cup
Asafodeia(Hing)-a pinch
cumin seeds(jeera)-1/4th tsp
red chilli powder-1/2 tsp
turmeric powder-1//2 tsp
aijwain-1/4 tsp
coriander powder-1/2 tsp
oil-1/8th cup/ ghee
For the gravy
Onion- 1/2 cup cup finely chopped
3/4 th cup tomato puree(or 1 cup  tomato finally chopped)-I used tomato puree as instructed by the chef
ginger-1 pinch grated
garlic- 4 cloves
cream-2 tbsp
curd-1 cup(mix it or strain until there are no lumps )
coriander powder- 1tsp
cumin powder-1tsp
cashewnut paste-1 tsp(optional)
asafodia- a pinch
fenugreek seeds-1/2 tsp
mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
red chilli powder-1/2 tsp
amchur powder(dry mango powder)-1/2 tsp(optional)
garam masala-1/2 tsp(optional)
oil-2 tbsp
Method:
 For making the Gattes
  • Take a bowl and mix all dry masalas  and oil in besan  .Slowly add curd . Do not    add all together as otherwise the besan tends to get sticky. You may not need
    all the curd.
  • Make  into a firm dough (firm enough to roll it into cylindrical
    shapes .Take a small ball
    of the dough and roll it into 1/2 inch thick cylindrical shape (about 6
    inch long  strips or so).
  • Put these strips in boiling water and cook for about 10-12 minutes.  Once  done, drain the gatte rolls out of water and cut them into small pieces, about 1/2- 1 inch thick. Do not throw
    water as you can  use it for the gravy.
Gravy
  • Add  coriander powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder to the curd and mix it well till smooth.

 

  • For homemade tomato puree: Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water with some red chilli powder .Remove the skin , mash them and strain it through a liquidiser.
  • Take a wide pan, add oil .Add mustard seeds,cumin seeds and let them splutter .Now, add ginger and garlic and fry for a
    minute .Add asafedita and then add onion and fry till it is translucent .
  • Add tomato/tomato puree(i used tomato puree as instructed by the chef) and fry till it is all mushy
    (cover the lid, it will be quicker) .
  • Add the curd and mix till the gravy
    starts boiling and starts separating oil .Add salt .
  •  At this stage add the cream and keep
    frying.Add the cashewnut paste..
    Now, add the gatte pieces in it, cover
    and cook for  5 more min. Add saved water  as needed.  Gattes are  ready !!!

The flavor that is formed is from the mix of the tomato puree and the curd,and the cream lends a certain richness to the dish and takes it to an elevated level.Which is why the onions are very faintly used, just to break  the tanginess and give some sweetness.

This is undeniably tempting and perfect in
aroma and flavor. Well, I gotta rush, for a meeting, its getting cold in mumbai,12 degrees yday, which is unheard of but so pleasing.I finally took out  my woolens from the closet yesterday.  Packed my french toasts (my breakfast, which i couldn’t finish coz i was trying to publish this post)which I shall consume in the car  while  i  drive….Oh yes, my daily doze of vitamin C, an orange tucked inside my bag as I rush out…..
Have a cheerful day….Enjoy…..

 

 

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