Besan Ke Gatte (Preparation Time: 45 Minutes, Serves: 2)

Born to parents who hail from Lucknow, and having spent all my life in Jaipur I have been fortunate to get a taste of the cultures and cuisines of both places. I am married into  a Rajasthani family, so the food I cook is truly a confluence of Awadhi and Marwari cuisines.

I have learnt most of my cooking from my mother and my mother-in-law. Both of them are great cooks and have passed on their passion for cooking to me. Over the past few years, I have honed my culinary skills, thanks to their great recipes and tips. I keep trying new ideas and yet a new treasure of recipes keeps opening upon me.

This time, I am sharing one of my favorite recipes from Rajasthan, Besan ke Gatte. Those of you who know a little about Rajasthani food may have noticed, that very little vegetables are used in this cuisine - probably because Rajasthani cuisine is affected by the scarcity of vegetables and water. Most of the preparations use besan (chickpea flour) and curd (yoghurt) in one form or the other. 

Other popular food preparations from Rajasthan include pittod ki subzi, papad ki subzi, aaloo pyaaz ki subzi, lehsun ki chutney, mirch ke tapore (sort of chili pickle), dal-baati-choorma, pyaaz ki kachori, mirchi bade....all of which are absolutely delectable!

Rajasthani food is known for it's spices; so make sure to keep a glass of water near you whenever trying one of these dishes. In my recipes, I have toned down the level of spices.

I will be sharing some of the Rajasthani recipes in the months to come, along with, of course more from the Awadhi front (read non-vegetarian).

Ingredients - dough for Gatte

  • Besan (chickpea flour) - 1 cup
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp sabut dhania (coriander seeds)
  • 1 tsp saunf (fennel)
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of red chili powder

Ingredients - for curry
  • 3 medium sized tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • A pinch of heeng (asafoetida)
  • 1 tsp jeera (cumin)
  • ¾ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp dhania powder
  • Salt to taste

Steps
  • Coarsely grind cloves, peppercorns, coriander seeds and fennel using a pestel and mortar

  • Take besan in a paraat/mixing bowl, add the spices mentioned above along with salt and chili powder; add oil and mix well

  • Collect this mix into a dough and leave it for 10-15 minutes

  • Add a little water and make a soft dough (quite like the dough for chapatis); divide the dough into four - five small balls

  • Gently press each ball  between your palms and roll the dough into a cylinder; the rolled up dough should resemble the size and shape of a sausage
  • In a saucepan, add the bay leaves to 4 cups of water and bring to a boil; add the gatte to the boiling water

  • In about 10 minutes or so, the gatte should rise up and float at the surface (an indication that they are cooked)

  • Take the gatte out; set the water aside to be used to make the curry, later

  • Cut the gatte into small pieces; each (sausage) should yield 8-10 - set aside

  • Heat oil in a wok, add asafoetida and cumin seeds, allow them to crackle, add grated tomatoes along with the spices for the curry and saute till the tomatoes are dry and the oil separates

  • Add about 1½-2 cups of retained water (depending on how thick you want the curry to be) to the tomatoes (using water from the boiled gatte adds flavor and texture to the curry), let it come to a boil, add the gatte,  cover and cook for about 7-8 minutes

  • Turn off the gas once done and serve hot, garnished with finely chopped coriander
Tips: Retain some of the boiled water to dilute should the gravy thicken

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