God is the best and oldest matchmaker of all. His expertise in the romance department might be debatable for few but human proficiency in forming perfect food pairings is undoubtedly beyond question. Waffles taste better with maple syrup while pizzas not loaded with cheese are just, not pizzas. Closer home, shrikhand puri, idli sambar, khichdi kadhi etc always go together. One such dish is gatte ki sabzi, which finds a permanent place with dal baati and churma.
Gatte ki sabzi is part of the delectable Rajasthani/Marwari cuisine. Gatte are classically besan dumplings that are added to spicy gravy. There are different variations to this gravy like adding onion, garlic and tomatoes and/or whole/powdered garam masala. Personally, I like the one with curd, curry leaves and only basic spices. They can occasionally also be made dry with some added roasted peanut powder.
Surprisingly, I didn’t fancy this flavourful dish although it was often made in my Marwari home. Mom liked the one with the curd gravy while Dad liked it dry. She patiently prepared both versions every single time and never gave up on insisting me to try it. Once during a family function some glaringly disapproving eyes spotted me discarding it in my plate. I reluctantly took a bite to save my skin from burning out under their gaze, and guess what, I loved it! Just like that, gatte and I developed a lifelong friendship. 🙂
There is one fun incident attached with this dish. I lived with a Maharashtrian friend of mine for two weeks when I shifted to Mumbai for work before marriage. She had heard a lot about Marwari food and had tasted some of it when Mom packed it for me on my visits. She hadn’t tasted gatte ki sabzi though. It was a joke between us that making this dish for her and her family was my rent for the stay.
Aunty (her mother), she and I got all the ingredients together and ventured expectantly towards their kitchen on a Sunday. None of the men were home. I hadn’t confessed to them both that I had made it only once before, that too under Mom’s watchful eyes. Everyone from Siddhivinayak to Saibaba was quietly summoned by me and their blessings sought. It is amusing how little faith I had in myself. To their credit (and mine), it went fine. Well, most of it.
There was one instance when the curd split up because the temperature of the pan was too high. I still maintain that our incessant chatting and momentary neglect had nothing to do with it. My face fell looking at the colourless liquid which should’ve been a lovely reddish yellow. We did some immediate damage control by adding more curd and shutting Aunty and her ‘I told you so’s’ off. Our final labour of love, after striving for another fifteen minutes, gave us tears of joy, literally. The smoke in the kitchen coupled with the spicy tadka had given us both a fit of cough. 🙁 😛 😀
Humans have a tendency of seeking out the unknown. We don’t mind paying through our nose for trying out new international cuisines. However, at times we fail to see the rich culinary heritage we have right under the same nose. Gatte ki sabzi was one such thing for me. I now make it at home and prod my kids to try it. 😛 They give in but am not sure they like it as much yet. I know they will come around someday. 🙂
Have you tried gatte ki sabzi? Do you have any favourites from the Marwari cuisine? Tell me.
This post is written for #BlogchatterA2Z and #AtoZChallenge for April 2019