Friday, October 21, 2011

Besan Ke Gattey (Gram flour dumplings in yogurt sauce)

Besan ke Gattey

Besan ke Gattey or gram flour dumplings in yogurt sauce is a very popular dish from Rajasthan, India. This rich and spicy curry is perfect for the dry and hot climate of the area. The heat level is up to you but rajasthanis spice up their food quite a bit. Eat this with banana pepper rings and roti. I learned this recipe from my mother-in-law who spent her childhood in Bikaner, Rajasthan.
This dish has undergone some transformation over the years. Traditionally very few people in Rajasthan ate onion and garlic. The gravy was made using whole spices with tomato, yogurt and a tbsp of the gram flour to thicken it. Now onion and garlic have found their way into the kitchen and so these are incorporated as well. They help thicken the gravy and add flavor.

Ingredients: (Serves 6-8)
For the besan dumplings
3 cups besan (gram flour)
1 tsp saunf (fennel seeds)
red chilli powder to taste
salt to taste
3 tbsp oil
1/2 cup yogurt

Prepare the dumplings
  1. Take all the ingredients (except oil and yogurt) for the dumplings in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and add oil. Use your fingers to incorporate this all over so that the mixture starts to resemble fine bread crumbs. 
  2. Now add the yogurt and knead the gram flour into a stiff dough. Roll the dough into several 1 inch thick rolls like a sausage. 
  3. Meanwhile keep about 3 cups of water to boil in a shallow pan. Gently lower the coils into the boiling water and boil on high for 12-15 minutes. Remove the coils onto a chopping board and reserve the water for the gravy. 
  4. Slice the coil into even sized 1 inch pieces. Slice them at an angle.
Steamed and fried Gattey
For the gravy
pinch hing (asefoetida)
2-3 bay leaves
2 whole red chilies
whole cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
4-5 whole cloves
1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
1/3 tsp saunf (fennel seeds)
1 small red onion chopped fine
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
2-3 tomatoes crushed
1 cup yogurt
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
red chili powder
2 tsp coriander powder
oil for frying 

Prepare the gravy
  1. In another pan take a few tbsp of oil and on medium heat lightly fry the gattas for about 2 minutes. This step is completely optional and is my little twist on the recipe. Remove from pan and keep aside.
  2. In the same pan take 2-3 tbsp oil and roast all the dry whole spices for 20 seconds. Add onion and ginger garlic paste and fry till golden brown. Stir frequently to avoid burning. 
  3. Add tomato and fry till it leaves oil along the sides of the pan. Now add yogurt and do the same. Add the reserved water into the gravy and bring to boil. 
  4. Gently add the fried/or not gatte into the boiling gravy. Bring back to boil and simmer for 10-12 minutes to incorporate the gravy flavor into the gatte. 
  5. Boil off excess liquid to reach the desired consistency. Serve hot garnished with fresh coriander.

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