Taking too many mountain cycling trips or going too often for wildlife photography expeditions taught me the sacredness of food. Besides, my impending journey to US for doing MS in Environment Engineering also drove me to try my hands at cooking. I want to cook for myself while I shall be in overseas, and gatte ki sabzi shall be the number one dish that I am going to try, apart from my native food.
Before I took the plunge to explore Jaipur along with my travel buddies, I was expecting that the Rajasthani food would blow away my mind. In reality it did and how! During our short stay in Jaipur, we devoured everything– from typical Rajasthani thali containing daal batty churma, rice, to piping hot jalebis, sweet ghewar or spicy kachauris. But for me, nothing cast the spell like gatte ki sabzi.
The soft besan or gramflour dumplings floating in a rich and spicy yogurt based gravy and are served with steaming rice or hot, fluffy chapattis- just thinking and writing about it wields the power to water my mouth. I hail from Lucknow and belived in a steady diet of kebabs and biryani throughout my life. But before taking a bite of those soft gramflour balls, I never imagined that such an innocent looking dish could play with my taste buds so strongly.
Though the hotel we stayed in used to serve awesome Indian, Chinese and Continental cuisines in its spacious restaurant; every single day I opted for traditional rajasthani thali where gatte ki sabzi had to be there, if not at lunch then during dinner. Few of my friends used to order Chinese everytime and I didn’t understand why -when Chinese food is pretty common everywhere in India including Lucknow and gatte ki sabzi is not.
These days I am cooking gatte ki sabzi frequently at home. As the original recipe contains generous usage of ghee, the fitness-freak inside me twisted it a little bit to make it healthier. And whenever I eat the dumplings up with spoonful of rice or a roti- it reminds me the sands, the breeze and the heritage of Rajasthan.