Updated: Jul 10, 2020
The desert state of Rajasthan in India, had very little fresh produce and for a limited period of time during the year, for centuries. Fresh fruits and vegetables were hard to come by until the Indira Gandhi Canal was built in the 1980s; and the state saw development in irrigation, transportation and cold storage technology. Because of this the Marwari cuisine has a plethora of dishes based on dried local beans and berries, chickpea flour (besan), legumes, maize, barley and the pearl millet (bajra).
One such dish is Gatta curry! While every home in Rajasthan has their own recipe for this classic, here is my version of this classic!
Besan/Chickpea flour : 3 cups
Bajra atta/ Pearl millet flour : 3 cups
Yoghurt : 1 cup/ 250gm
Onions paste : 2-3 (blend with a little water)
Ginger Garlic Paste : 2 tbsp
Ghee/ Olive Oil : 2 tbsp
Mustard Oil/ Peanut oil : 1 tbsp
Asafoetida : 1 tsp
Red chilli powder (mathania mirch or kashmiri mirch) : 1 tbsp (per taste)
Garam Masala Powder : 1 tsp
Haldi/ Turmeric powder : 2 tsp
Jeera/ Cumin powder : 2 tsp
Dhaniya/ Coriander powder : 1 tbsp
Dried mint crushed : 1 tsp
Amchoor/ Dry mango powder : 1 tsp
Kasoori methi (dry) : 1 tsp
Baking powder : 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Lemon juice Freshly chopped coriander to finish the dish
A favourite of vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike - Gatta curry is served with lehsun laal mirch chutney and chaas. It is an incredible #glutenfree option and can easily be made #vegan by replacing the yoghurt with vegan yoghurts (soy, oats, almond etc) or simply with cashew paste and some lemon juice.
For the Gatte (chickpea dumplings)
In a big bowl add the besan, 3 tbsp yoghurt, 1 tbsp ghee, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp haldi, 1 tsp jeera powder, 1 tsp amchoor powder, salt to taste, dried and crushed mint and the baking powder.
Kneed it into a tight dough with cool water.
Oil your hands and make finger thick sausages about 4-5 inches long of the dough.
In a saucepan boil 1 L water and once it starts boiling add your dumpling sausages and let it cook for 20-25 minutes. Cut one with a knife and check if they are completely cooked.
Once cooked, cut the sausages in half inch pieces and keep in a bowl while you cook the curry.
For the Curry
Heat a kadhai and add 1 tsp mustard oil or peanut oil.
To this add Hing/ Asafoetida and raw onion paste. (You could add a spoonful of mixed whole garam masala; I don't because my family doesn't like to pick out whole cardamom and black pepper out of their curries)
Keep stirring and caramelising the onions; once pink add garam masala powder and jeera powder.
In a separate bowl mix the remaining yoghurt with the ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, coriander powder, haldi powder and salt.
Add the yoghurt mix to the onion paste, once they are nicely caramelised and golden. Keep the flame on low always so that the yoghurt doesn't split. Keep stirring and cooking the masala.
Once the oil starts to separate a bit and you can't smell raw masalas anymore, add 1-2 cups of water,
When the curry has come to a boil add the gatte and cook for 15 minutes.
Top it up with lemon juice and freshly chopped coriander.
For the Bajra (pearl millet) roti
Kneed the bajra flour with cold water.
It will resemble a cement like dough, will never get stretchy so don't add too much water.
Those who aren't going gluten free, could add a cup of whole wheat flour to the dough, that improves its malleability.
Portion the dough into balls, bigger than regular roti balls.
Now start pressing it in in between your palms till you get a round thick roti.
Put this on a hot tawa. Do not press and touch it for 3-4 minutes.
Once it starts leaving the bottom of the pan turn it around and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
End it with cooking it on direct flame. Generously apply ghee on top.
Best enjoyed with raw sliced onions and chaas for lunch.
Warning - you are going to be super drowsy and definitely want to sleep after this meal.