Gatte Ki Sabzi| Chickpea Dumpling Curry


I love this delicious gatte ki sabzi from Rajasthan. I have another recipe of the Punjabi version on my blog but this is absolute delight when eaten with hot fresh phulkas smeared with ghee or of course the bajra roti which is traditionally served with this curry. Ghee is healthy and you should use it.  The gattas I made for this recipe are thinner and spicier than the Punjabi ones.

Gatta is chickpea flour dumpling that is steamed or boiled till they float up and become light. One can spice them up or keep them plain. They are so tempting and hard to resist that you may keep munching on them while making the curry and realize that there is more curry than the gattas.

Make some extra dumplings always.  You can use these  gattas or dumplings with other veggies also but this is a basic recipe.

Ingredients : 

For Gatta : 

Besan / Chickpea flour – 1 Cup

Home cultured curd / Yogurt – 1/4 Cup

Fennel seeds powder – 3/4 tsp

Ajwain – 3/4 tsp

Salt – to taste

Ghee – 2 tbsp

Chili powder – to taste

Pinch of hing powder

2 pinches of coarsely ground fresh black pepper corns

For the Curry : 

Ginger and Garlic – 1 tsp each ( grated)

Onion – 1 medium size, chopped fine

Green chilies – 2, slit or chopped

Whole red chilies – 1-2

Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp

Ghee – 2 tbsp

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Coriander powder – 1 tbs

Besan or  Chickpea flour – 2 tbs

Fresh coriander leaves – chopped – 2 tbsp

Method :

For Gatta :

Mix the dry ingredients listen under gatta except the ghee and curd.

Pour ghee evenly and rub it in the mixture. Slowly add beaten curd one spoon at a time to make a firm dough.

Divide the dough in equal parts and roll it in your palms to make a cylindrical shape.  You can make it as thin or thick but I have noticed that the thicker ones don’t cook well from the center when boiled.

Making perfect gatta is a bit tricky at times but you’ll get used to it.

Now take a deep large pan and boil enough water. Once the water boils slowly dunk the gatta in it. You can go about doing some other stuff while they cook in the boiling water. It takes a lot of time. Keep checking in between and the moment gatttas rise up and start floating take them out in a plate to cook. Throw away the water.

Once they cool, cut them into 1 inch long pieces.

Now  to make the curry :

Blend the yogurt and add the powdered masalas and salt in it. Remember that you had added salt in the gattas too. Mix well. Roast the besan and allow it t cool. Now, make a paste with  2 tbsp of buttermilk and add to the curd. DO NOT add more than 1-2 tbs of besan or it will become kadhi. You can omit besan too. I use it just to make sure that the curd doesn’t curdle.

Heat a wok or a kadhayi and put ghee in it.  when the ghee melts, add hing and cumin seeds. When they crackle , add red and green chili, stir and add ginger and garlic. Saute and add the onions. Let the onions brown a little then turn off the gas. Add the curd mixture and give it a nice stir.

Put tit back on flame and keep stirring on low medium heat till the ghee separates from the masala.

Slowly add warm water to make a curry till you get desired consistency. The gravy will thicken once you add gattas so keep that it mind.

Adjust salt and spices to your liking at this point.

Let the curry boil for sometime and then dip in the gatta pieces.

Let it cook for about 5-10 minutes and then garnish it with fresh coriander leaves.

Eat it hot with bajra roti or phulka smeared with ghee. It makes for one hell of a satiating meal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meethi Khatai- Kachche Aam ki Launji – Raw Mango Launji – Two Versions


Kachche aam ki launji is a relish that is popular all over North India and thee are many ways to make it. It is a perfect summer side dish to have with parathas, poories, cheelas etc. I sometimes just take a small bowl of it and eat it without any accompaniment. The sweet and tangy taste of kachi ambiya and jaggery spiced up by red chili and simple spices makes it a perfect summer special. While we drool over the many varieties of ripe mangoes and relish them all through the summer we also savor the raw and slightly ripe raw mangoes to makes chunda, achar, takku, murabbaand various chutnies.

Have you ever eaten slightly sweet raw mango slices dusted with cayenne pepper ? If not then you are missing out on something utterly delicious. Do try it as soon as you get hold of the mangoes.

Here I am sharing two versions of this launji. One is what my mom makes. I remember eating this every summer since my childhood. We called it Meethi Khatai . We don’t peel the mangoes in this one like the Rajasthani launji. I also leave the guthali or the mango pit to suck the sweet tangy juices from it.

Both the recipes are for small quantity. You can adjust the ingredients for a larger amount.  These will serve four people.

Here is a simple recipe to make this version of Meethi Khatai or raw mango launji:

Ingredients –

  • Raw Mangoes – 2 ( about 250 gm cubed)
  • Grated or Broken Jaggery – 200 gm
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Black peppercorns – 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Whole dry red chili – 1-2
  • Asafoetida – 2 pinch
  • Salt – to taste
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Vegetable Oil – 1 tablespoon

Steps : 

  1. Wash, peel and cut the mangoes in 1 inch cubes with a part of the hard shell (guthali) intact. Remove the paper thin layer from the guthali pieces by scraping it with the knife or peeling it from one end to the other. ( you can see it in the first picture)
  2. Take a heavy bottom pot and put it on low flame. Add oil and when it gets warm put mustard seeds in it.
  3. Once the seeds start to crackle, add fenugreek seeds and hing. Adding them at this time brings out a nice flavour. Also add the whole red chilli.
  4. Take the pot off the stove so that the spices don’t burn. They should just get slightly roasted and give a nice aroma.
  5. Add the raw mango pieces, salt and turmeric powder. Stir well.
  6. Now add water to the mix. Add 1 1/2 cup first. The pieces should be immersed in the water.
  7. Stir well and let it cook covered on low heat.
  8. After five minutes check for the tenderness of mango pieces. They should not become mushy but the skin should become slightly soft. Al dente to be precise.
  9. Now add the jaggery to it and mix well. Keep the heat to medium low.
  10. Cook it covered for another ten minutes & check for consistency. It shouldn’t be thick. Add one cup of warm water and stir well. There should be enough liquid in the dish. Once the dish cools it will thicken so keep a good liquid margin.
  11. Bring it to boil and turn off the heat. Let it sit for ten minutes on the counter.
  12. Take a little Meethi khatai in a tasting bowl and check for salt and sweetness. You can add more jaggery, salt or red chilli at this time.
  13. The dish should have a slightly sour sweet taste perfectly balanced. Too much sourness or sweetness will kill the flavours.
  14. Your Meethi Khatai is ready to serve.
  15. Serve this delightful dish with hot chapati, paratha, poori or just spoon it in a bowl to relish it just by itself. The tangy sweetness will tickle your taste buds like nothing else.
 
The other version is slightly thicker and uses some other spices too which are mostly the mango pickle spices.

Pickle spice mix

Fennel seeds/ saunf – 2 tablespoon

Nigella seeds / Kalonji – 1/4 teaspoon

Mustard Seeds / Methi Dana – 1 teaspoon

This one tastes completely different from the one above but both these launjis stay for at least a month without refrigeration.
 
The steps to make this launji are same as above. Just add the whole spices when the oil warms up. When the spices begin to crackle  add, red chili,turmeric, salt , mango pieces and a little water. Follow the instructions given above to make a delicious tangy sweet launji. Unlike the first version I do not keep too much liquid in this one. This is more like a pickle.
 

Do try both these recipes and enjoy the goodness of the mangoes till it is in the season.

My Tip: Always choose unblemished raw mangoes. Taste for sourness and adjust the sweetness accordingly. Traditionally it is made a little thin but you can keep the consistency according to your taste.
Do not use mangoes meant for Pickles as their skin is hard and they are too sour.
Eat the meethi khatai a little warm or at room temperature. The other version with pickle spices should be eaten at room temperature. 
You can use sugar but the taste won’t be the same. Do adjust the ingredients as per your taste and the amount you make.
You can peel the mangoes id desired. I like t suck and chew on the flavorful skin so keep it. You can dice them in long thin slices too.
Do try making this delicious tangy sweet relish. If cooked properly this stays for about 6 months in the refrigerator and for about 2 months at room temperature. I make this in small quantity throughout the season and then make two batches for the coming months at the end of the mango season.
I have some more recipes with raw mango. do look for them through the search option.
If you make any of these recipes do let me know your experience.

Peanut Garlic Dry Chutney Powder


I am a sucker for garlic and this Maharashtrian dry chutney is my favorite. We also make other variations of it by adding channa daal / sesame seeds / curry leaves / dry roasted coriander seeds or grated dry coconut but today I will share the basic recipe for lasun shegdana kordi chutney or podi.

It is simple, flavorful and goes well with anything from chapati, bread, pav, dosa or cheela or idli. Layer it inside the vada pav or toss a little over some salad.

Bajra Bhakri With Lasun Peanut Chutney

(The authentic vada pav chutney has grated roasted  dry coconut it in. Will share that recipe soon.)

You can also eat it with hot steamed rice. Just don’t forget to top it up with hot ghee (clarified butter) for that yummy taste. The minimal ingredients make it very versatile in use.

This chutney pairs well with bhakri made with either jowar (sorghum flour) or bajra (Pearl Millet flour). A dollop of fresh butter and the hot chutney adds to the flavor of the freshly made bhakri. I make Zunka Bhakar and serve it with this chutney and some raita or plain yogurt. A wholesome rustic meal full of nutrition.

To make this spicy chutney powder you will need :

Ingredients :

Raw Shelled Peanuts – 1 cup

Garlic – 8-10 cloves

Dry Whole Red Chilies – 4-5 ( use them as per your heat threshold)

Groundnut Oil – 3 tablespoon

Asafoitida – 1/4 teaspoon

Tamarind – lemon size ball ( deseeded)

Salt – To taste

I

Method:

  1. Dry roast the peanuts and rub them to remove the skin. Blow the sking away. Keep the peanuts aside to cool. Always roast a few at a time and on slow heat or they won’t get roasted properly. Either they will burn or remain raw. Nuts do not like crowding. 🙂
  2. In a kadhai or pan add a little oil and caramelize the garlic cloves. Keep 2-3 aside if you like the raw flavour of garlic otherwise saute them all. Once done, take them out in a plate and chop roughly.
  3.  Now roast the whole red chilies for that deeper flavour. You can omit the roasting of garlic and chilies if you wish but roasting them adds to the flavour and helps to keep the chutney powder for longer time.
  4. In a grinder add all the ingredients and pulse it to a medium coarse powder. Do not make it very smooth or the oil from peanuts will start separating. Also ensure that the peanuts are cooled before grinding. Always pulse slowly to get the right coarseness. e don’t want a garlicky peanut butter, do we?
  5. While grinding stir the mixture with a spatula between each burst to ensure even grinding. The chutney tends to become clumpy so loosening it helps in a good texture.
  6. Take it out in an air tight container and use when desired.
  7. You can store it for at least 2-3 weeks. Longer than that may turn the peanuts rancid and the chutney will go waste.
  8. Some people dry the chutney powder in the sun for an hour or so to remove all moisture and then store it a bit longer. I prefer to make in small quantities. The freshness of the chutney is the key to the authentic aroma and flavour.
  9. The spicy garlic peanut dry chutney powder is ready to eat.

 

 

 

Recipe – Elephant Yam Dumpling Curry (Suran Kofta Curry)


This is a traditional recipe made in many kayastha homes in Uttar Pradesh. Sooran/ Suran/ zamikand/jimikand in hindi or Elephant Foot Yam/Indian Yam in English, is an ugly tropical tuber wit ha thick hide. It is very high in carbohydrates and a good source of proteins, key and trace minerals like copper, zinc, magnesium etc, It also has some vitamins and antioxidants and has high dietary fiber content. Yam is also very low in saturated fats and sodium. You can find all the health benefits on Google. 😀

I love yam for many reasons, unlike arbi ( Colocasia), yam is easy to digest. I have a sensitive digestive system and yam suits me perfectly. We cook this vegetable in many ways. Mom remembers my granny making sooran ki sabzi and chutney especially during Diwali when they lived in Banaras. She also makes the maharashtriyan or Konkani style of curry. My dad was from Allahabad so we got to eat the delicious kayastha cuisine too. This particular recipe is my innovation of a recipe from my dad’s side.  The mixture used  for making dumplings or koftas can also be used for making kabab but I don’t add so much of besan (gram flour) to the kabab mixture.

To make the Dumplings/Koftas you will need :

Yam – 400 Grams

Onion – 1 medium (finely chopped)

green chilies – 2 medium (finely chopped)

Ginger – 1 teaspoon (grated)

Salt – to taste

Garam masala – 1/2 teaspoon

Amchoor (mango powder) or anardana powder (pomegranate seed powder)  – 1/2 teaspoon

Red chili powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Roasted cumin powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Coriander greens – 2 tablespoons – finely chopped

Besan ( gram flour) – 1/2 cup

For the Curry you will need –

Onion – 1 large (finely chopped)

Tomatoes – 4 big ( grated)

Ginger – 1/2 inch

Garlic – 4-5 pods.

Coriander greens – 1/4 cup (finely chopped)

Coriander Powder – 3 heaped table-spoon

Haldi (Turmeric) Powder – 1 teaspoon

Garam Masala – 1/2 Teaspoon

Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

Asafetida – 2 pinches

Salt – to taste

Bay leaf – 1 ( if Garam masala doesn’t have it)

Green peas – 1 cup (optional)

Oil – for deep-frying and cooking

To make the Koftas or Dumplings –

Scrub and wash the Yam properly and peal a thick layer of skin. Wash it again to remove any dirt that may have remained from the skin.

Cut the yam in 2 1/2 inch thick broad pieces . Put them in a steamer or pressure cook till soft (2-3 whistles is good) . ( I usually put it in arhar (Toor) daal while cooking. Doing this takes away the itchiness of sooran and gives the dal a very good flavor. )

Once the yam is soft take it out in a plate and cool.

In a bowl place cooled yam pieces and all the ingredients listed under dumplings. Mash the yam well so that you get a smooth mixture. Use your hands. It will make it easier for you to judge the consistency of the mixture and working with fingers will also help the air pass through the mixture and that will make them soft and fluffy.

Once the mixture is ready, make small round dumplings or koftas, about the size of a walnut in its shell, and keep them ready in a plate.

In a kadhai (wok) heat mustard oil or any vegetable oil you use. (If using mustard oil, make sure to bring it to smoking point and then turn the heat down)

Slowly add the dumplings to the hot oil and let them deep fry till golden brown from all over. Keep the flame medium low so that the koftas get cooked from inside too.

Take out the koftas on a kitchen napkin to remove excess oil.

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Now for the gravy / curry :

In a wide pan heat a little oil ( 4-5 tablespoons) ( use the oil in which you fried the koftas). Once the oil heats add cumin seeds and asafetida. Add finely chopped onions and stir. (you can add bay-leaf if your garam masala doesn’t have it)

When the onions become translucent, add finely chopped or grated ginger and garlic. (I avoid paste)

Let it brown properly. Adding a little salt and 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar helps in browning .

Add red chili powder and a little water ( 2 tablespoons) to give that rich brown color to the gravy. Let it cook for a while. Once the water reduces a bit add coriander powder, haldi powder, garam masala powder and stir. let the masala cook on medium to low heat for a few minutes.

Add tomato purée or grated tomatoes at this point. (I discard the seeds of tomatoes)

Stir the mixture properly so that all the spices get incorporated properly. Cover the pan with lid and let it cook for sometime on medium heat. Once the masala starts leaving the sides and the oil separates, add a little water and peas and finely chopped coriander greens . Mix well and cook for sometime.

Add 2 cups of water to make a thick gravy and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes.

You can add koftas at this time and cook for another ten minutes before taking the kofta curry out in a bowl to serve. I keep the curry and koftas separate and add them half an hour before serving. That way the koftas don’t dissolve in the curry and taste nice too.

Take out the delicious , soft from inside and crispy from outside yam kofta curry in  serving dish and eat with rice or parathas. You can place the fried koftas in the serving dish and pour the thick hot gravy on top too. Garnish with fresh finely chopped coriander greens.

There is another tip for the koftas – If you are preparing this dish to be had later you can half fry the koftas and keep them covered in a bowl.  About half an hour before serving you can deep fry them again and add to the curry.  Koftas stay crisp and it saves time if you are working or need to go out for somewhere. half-done koftas can be kept in the fridge to be used the next day too and will taste exactly like the freshly fried.)

To make the kababs – prepare the mixture as you did for the koftas. You can reduce the amount of besan in this recipe. I add only two tablespoon. The mixture should be gooey for the kebabs to taste good. Trust me you will forget shammi kebabs once you eat these.

Wet your palms and make tikki (cutlets kebabs) from the yam mixture. Keep the edges rough. Brush the non stick frying pan with ghee or oil and gently place the kebabs once the oil/ghee is hot. Keeping the heat medium – low. Turn the kebabs when one side is done. They should be golden brown and crisp from both sides. Serve with green chutney and onion rings.

( If using the desi variety of elephant foot yam always apply oil to your hands or use gloves while handling it as it can be very itchy.)

I also make sooram chutney (rarely), chokha and bharit or bharta. Will put up the recipes soon.

Include this healthy vegetable in your daily diet. It can be a good substitute for potato and can be used in Paleo diet too.

How do you cook this vegetable ? Do share your views.

Winter Favorite – Punjabi Kadhi With Methi Pakoda


Chickpea Flour Fritters in Spicy Yogurt Gravy 

(Gluten free) 

This what is known as comfort food.

Kadhi is one of my favorite winter dishes though we make it in sumers too. Be it mungodi ki kadhi or the ever popular besan ke pakode wali kadhi, it is eaten with gusto by everyone. You can have a huge variety of pakodas for the kadhi depending on what’s the mood of the day. 🙂 I come from the a family where I was fortunate to savour cuisines from both Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. We make the zirya miryachi kadhi as well as the simple pakodiwali kadhi UP style. Kadhi can be spicy, muted, thick, soupy, depending on who is making it.

I can eat the dish with plain boiled rice, chapati or just simply without any accompaniment. It is filling and healthy. Usually I make enough kadhi to last a few days. It is believed that kadhi tastes even better the next day.

This one is a panjabi variation  which I learned at my inlaws’ place then added my twist t oit later on. It tastes awesome with makki (corn flour) ki roti. The combination is out of the world.  I love to add fresh methi leaves (fenugreek leaves), palak ( spinach leaves, finely chopped potatoes to the pakodas. Sometimes I just use onions. As I said it all depends on what’s available and the mood that day. Methi/ spinach enhance the taste of the dish. You can remove methi from the pakoda recipe and add it to makki / wheat flour roti too. My mother makes UP style Kadhi with plain pakodas ( just mildly spiced chickpea flour. No added veggies).

Best Kadhi is made with sour curd and is eaten usually at lunch as sour curd is not eaten at night. The trick is in following the recipe properly or the kadhi won’t come out well.

In North India, kadhi is seasoned at the end just before serving. sometimes individually. A whole red chilli and tempering in ghee for each bowl. It is milder in taste and texture in comparison with panjabi kadhi. You can either season it before adding the liquid curd mixture or at the end once the dish is ready to serve. Both have their distinct flavours and aromas.

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Ingredients for the pakodas (Dumplings) –

Besan ( gram flour/ chickpeas flour) – 1 cup

Ajwain ( carom seeds) – 1/4 teaspoon

Onion – roughly chopped 2 medium

Potato – finely chopped 1 medium ( optional)

Methi leaves ( fenugreek leaves) – fresh, finely chopped, a handful

salt, red chilli – to taste

assafoetida – a pinch

garam masala ( homemade) – 2 pinch

Green chilli – finely chopped 1 small

Oil – to fry

Tempering :

Onion – 1 large , finely chopped

Whole red chillies – 2-3

Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon

Coriander seeds – 1 teaspoon

Fenugreek seeds –  1 teaspoon

Curry leaves – a few

Mustard oil or any other oil – 2 table-spoon

Garlic – finely chopped 4-5 pods

Ginger – finely chopped  1/2 inch

Asafoetida – a pinch

Preparing buttermilk for Kadhi :

Take 2 cups of sour curd. beat it properly and dilute it with water to make a homogenous buttermilk. Usually 2 cups of water is enough but you can adjust it as per need. If you like the kadhi thinner then use another cup full of water. Add salt ( a little, remember the pakodas have salt in them too), turmeric power, garam masala, coriander powder , red chilli powder and about 4 tablespoons of chickpeas flour to the buttermilk and stir properly. I put 1 teaspoon each except coriander powder which is 2-3 teaspoons. I dip two stems of curry leaves in the butter milk at this time.

Keep aside.

To make the Pakodas:

Take besan in a wide-mouthed bowl. Add all the ingredients to it and mix well. Slowly add water and whisk it allowing the air to pass through the batter.  It will make the pakodas lighter. I don’t recommend eating soda etc.

The batter should be light and fluffy like cake batter. Test – drop a drop of batter in a bowlful of water. if the batter floats it is ready to fry.

Now heat a wok ( Kadhai, preferably iron one) and add oil ( I use mustard oil but you can use any vegetable oil or even bake the pakodas) . Let the oil come to smoking point . For mustard oil, it is essential. For others, just make sure the oil is hot enough to fry.

Keep the heat medium and gently drop the pakodas into the oil. I use my fingers to lift the battter for pakodas. Once the pakodas have swelled to become doble their size and are fluffy and nicely browned from all sides, drain them on an absorbent paper. The inside should be airy and gooey and outside they should be crisp.

You can always make some extra ones and keep them for future use. I avoid too many pakodas in kadhi as they absorb the liquid. Less pakodas mean less oil too 😉

Now to make the Kadhi 

Keep a large pan add a little mustard oil for tempering. ( You can do this step later also. If not tempering now then just add the buttermilk mixture into the pan and keep stirring till it boils. Heat should be high in the beginning and medium to low later.

If tempering at this stage then 

Add asafoetida, and all the spices into the hot oil. once they start to crackle add onion, garlic, ginger, curry leaves ( take out the ones you had dipped in buttermilk earlier) and let the mixture sizzle. Stir it to let it roast properly . The raw smell of ginger , garlic should go and onions should be nicely browned.

Add the buttermilk slowly to the tempering , stirring continuously till the mixture begins to boil. Always stir in clockwise direction. Make sure you take a large deep pan as the buttermilk will froth while boiling.

I let it simmer on low heat for 10-20 min sometimes even more. It depends on how thick or thin I want the kadhi to be. You can add pakodas to it at this time or , like me, add them half an hour before serving so they keep their shape and don’t become soggy. If your pakodas are slightly hard then it is better to add them while the mixture is boiling and leave them in.

Pakodas soak up the kadhi so make sure there is enough liquid. The pakoda – buttermilk proportion should be right.

Taste the kadhi at this point for salt and spices. Whatever you feel is less simply add according to your taste.

Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves. Serve with rice, roti or eat it plain without any side dish.

Enjoy the Hot spicy Panjabi Kadhi with a little poem by Priyanka Dey, our very own indiblogger  😀

 

“Take a dip
or a sip, if you like
please you senses
get intoxicated,
by simply looking at the sight..
winter’s on a roll
as the warm bed is a matter of delight
see how everything turns to yellow
green silver and bright.”