This is a quote in sanskrit . It means "A guest(atithi) is like God(Devo) visiting himself" so we should serve him/her/them with love and great care.
We,Indians quite live by this adage, even to this day. If you have a guest visiting, it means laying out the best fare...welcoming them warmly into our home with open hearts.
Honestly, when I was living with my parents,I wasn't really happy all the time we had guests (and trust me we had plenty!). We kids had to be at our best behaviour, forgo any other commitment unless absolutely necessary, and be present to welcome the guests. Feed them and see to their comfort before our own.
I didn't quite understand the emotion of the host-hostess (read 'my parents') I guess.
Now that I am married and am the lady of the house, each time we have guests I am on my toes and thinking of new dishes to serve,lighting of the house, what linen to use, et al.
If I stand back and look, I realize that I am doing what my mum did and I actually cringe at the thought that how much trouble my parents went through trying to help us be at our best, cater to our tantrums; and at the same time seeing to the smallest need of the guest and all that goes into the elaborate affairs of hosting a party...phew!
This was one of the dishes that I had prepared for the very first guests (DH's paternal uncle, aunt and their two kids) at our house. They had not eaten this dish before and loved it. Uncle had instructed aunt that she take the recipe from me. :)
I remember clearly the gratification I felt after their visit. I still feel that same surge of satisfaction and pride, each time we cater to our guests and when they leave our home, taken care of, well-fed and happy.
Maa and Papa, if you are reading this...I now understand the feeling and respect you even more.
India is a land of varied cultures...its tolerance of different religions and cultures shows in its people and their food. India spans over a large area so she has the mountains,the plains, the beaches, the coastal area, the plateau and the deserts.The landscape too affects the cuisine of each region.
Gatte ki sabzi is a dish from Rajasthan, Western India. Since this is the dry desertbelt of the country,cuisine is predominantly vegetarian and dazzling in its variety. Food is cooked with minimum use of water and people prefer to use more milk, buttermilk and clarified butter. Dried lentils, beans from indigenous plants like sangri, ker etc. are used liberally. Gram flour/chickpea flour is a major ingredient here.
Gram/chickpea flour is also known as "besan." It has a slightly nutty flavor and earthy aroma. The high-protein content makes it ideal for the large vegetarian population in India. Used widely as a thickener in curries, it also is used to make fritters called pakoras.
Gatte Ki Sabzi is a popular Rajasthani curry recipe. Gram flour is the major ingredient here. This a totally desert dish, as in Rajasthan–Desert of India. There are no vegetables used, just gram flour dumplings('gatte') that are simmered in a curd sauce/curry ('ki sabzi').
Gatte ki Sabzi
(Chickpea flour dumplings in a spicy curd sauce)
1 1/2 cups chickpea flour
2 tsp coriander powder
2 1/2 tbsp ghee/clarified butter
1 cup curd, lightly beaten
salt, to taste
2 tsp oil
2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 cup water
In a bowl, mix chickpea/gram flour with salt, 1 tsp red chilli powder,1 tsp coriander powder,1/2 tsp turmeric and 2 tsp oil. Sprinkle a little water to make a stiff dough.
Make 5-6 thin and long strips of the dough.
Put these strips in boiling water and cook for 5 minutes.
Tip:You can tell that the 'gatta' strips have been cooked, when the dough strips rise and float on the top, of the boiling water.
Cut each of these gattas' strip into small pieces/cubes.
To the lightly beaten curd, add salt,1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp coriander powder and 1/2 tsp turmeric. Mix well.
Heat 1 tbsp clarified butter in a kadai. Add the cumin and mustard seeds till they splutter. Add the ginger-garlic paste, and add the curd mixture. Add a cup of water.
Cook it for 5-7 minutes while stirring continuously till it comes to a boil.
Add the gatta pieces.
Simmer the flame and cook for another 5-7 minutes.Turn off the gas.
Prepare the tempering, of red chilli powder with one tsp of clarified butter/ghee that is heated.
Pour this over the curry.
Serve warm with paratha or steamed rice.
This goes out to JFI: Chickpea hosted by MS (of SometimeFoodie).