Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Gatte ki Sabzi

"Atithi Devo Bhavo"

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).

This also goes out to Cooking For Kids- Milk event, held at Neivedyam.

Also this goes to MLLA- 7th Helping, brainchild of Susan and now hosted by Srivalli;

and to a dear friend, Harini/Sunshinemom (of ToungeTicklers) for FIC-Yellow.


  1. oh this one is a personal favourite. seriously, having guests over and playing the hostess is a huge huge responsibility. like u, even i understand this now, after being married....hehehe. but u r such a great cook...tui amar bari te ele...ami tokey e bolbo amader ranna korey khawate....hehehe...of course i shall be ready with my apron on...for any assistance....lolzz

  2. I love to jus read what all you write..
    Even i was lazy to welcome guests when i was a kis..as Arundhuti puts it,its a huge respo and we all are trying to play perfect hosts..We have to..the content smile of a guest is worth it..
    and the curry looks perfect and colorful..

  3. Beign a rajasthani, i too make it quite regularly, only diff. we don't add ginger garlic(in most of tradional recipes)
    Also call it Gatta kadhi..

  4. Wow i heard and saw this in Tv and magazines but never tried this recipe. Looks yummy...

  5. Thanks guys. You are the ones that make the effort worth it. :)

    Ya Neha, I know ginger-garlic is my addition as it takes the flavour a notch up.

  6. I'm a big fan of things made with chickpea flour (not to mention being a big fan of chickpeas themselves), but I hadn't come across this dish before - sounds great, I will have to give it a try!

  7. Taken care of, well-fed and happy is how I feel when I read your posts... = )

    I really would like to learn more Indian dishes. Where do you get your curd from? I am a fan of dumplings.. mum made something similar but I have never worked with chickpea flour before, is it readily available? I was meaning to ask, are you in the UK?

  8. Hi Navita ..
    First time here..Great recipes..This dish looks yummy ...Never tried this ..will surely make soon ...Thanks for stopping by and leaving ur words...
    keep in touch

  9. Hi Navita,
    your gatte ki sabzi looks delicious. I make something similiar called pitod ka saag or patod ka saag. Thank you very much for your lovely entry to JFI Chickpea,

  10. This gatte ki sabzi looks wonderful and a very education post for me. I love Indian food and definitely want to learn more about it. We can't find a good Indian restaurant we like in our area, so I think I'll be making my own dishes.

    Thanks for your comment on my blog. If you're in Washington DC area - do come visit, and visit virtually on my blog anytime :) Saw you on the Left Over Queen originally.

  11. Very well said about the feeling of having guests in your home :)

  12. It looks incredible, but I don't know that we can make it as well. I wonder if I can even find chickpea flour in our little town.

  13. looks very creamy and rich. wish i cud taste it! nice click too

  14. I make this too same as you did and with a green gravy. I love besan and anything made with it - it has the most awesome flavor! We hardly have any relatives coming over for lunch or dinner as my MIL stays close by so I am really pleased when I have to cook traditional stuff once in a while. But I do enjoy cooking more when I know that the guests are the kind who would love to try out new stuff.

  15. I could not post a comment in the double chocolate chip (sneaked in Oatmeal) cookies! Could you send me the picture for the round up? Your right click is disabled!

  16. Isn't it amazing how we understand our parents only when we leave them? Good for you for throwing a party!

  17. Ciao Navita ! I'm glad you left a comment so that I could get to know you !! This soup is so interesting I'll have to try it !! How can I substitute curd ?

  18. Looks gorgeous! Nice colour! This recipe is tempting me so much that i should try it as soon as possible.

  19. Navita, I would love to explore these flavors one day soon, it looks beautiful!

  20. This dish looks so good and sounds nutritious. I love Indian food and I also got my husband hooked who wasn't very open to different foods! I look forward to trying some of your Indian recipes.

    We never understand our parents until we grow up and move away :)

  21. As a child my mom always used to say: "Some day, my child, you will understand.." Well, you're saying the same thing, here. We appreciate these traditions our parents have taught us so much more...
    I love the color of the soup!!!THX for sharing.

  22. Thanks my lovely friends.

    For all those who have trouble finding curd..it is oft referred to as yogurt too. Only not flavoured...plain.

    Chickepea n gram flour are one and the same and can be found in the flour aisle of the grocery stores.

    Hope this helps.I did try to personally clarify the doubts, but somehow my lappy is acting stubborn....but will try once again later. :)

  23. I just love gatte ki sabzi...been a while since I made these...and yes we do learn things and realize them later...but its gud still that we do realize it ..isn't it...it was gud reading your post

  24. Nice post, loved the subzi haven't tried this one but it sounds really interesting :-)

  25. This is a very popular dish in rajasthanin .. my make this ever so often. Yours looks very well done.. I am not very fond of it tho'.

  26. you know when I made this subji, it never did turn out so beautiful..will try this out sometime..thanks for the entry!

  27. Navita,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. It brought me here.:D
    I remember eating gatte ki sabzi at a friend's place a long long time ago. I've made the gravy (kadhi) but the other part is too much work for me. But I know it tastes yum!

  28. Lovely blog.. Good pictures... Keep it up!


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