‘Gatta’ is a Rajasthani delicacy used to make kadhis, subzis, pulao as well as tasty snacks. Today I am showing you the version I love best – the one my Rajasthani neighbour – M Aunty makes.
The advantages of making gattas:
They freeze well in ziploc bags and stay fresh for at least a month which is by far the longest I have had them in my freezer.
They can be used to make gravies as well as pulao so if you have sudden guests, you know you can dazzle them with your magic wand – just pop into the freezer and create a tantalizing kadhi, subzi or pulao in a matter of minutes (twenty for pulao and ten for the rest, to be precise).
Recipe: How to make Marwadi gatte
A kind of Indian pasta made of chickpea flour
Chickpea flour / Besan – 1 cup
Sunflower oil / Olive oil – 2 tsp.
Water for kneading – 2 tbsp.
Salt to taste – very little
A pinch of turmeric powder
It is common practice to add a 1/2 pinch of soda bi-carb to get a softer, crunchier version, I however do not feel the need for it.
You can give the gattas various flavours by adding very little of dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi) or finely chopped coriander or coarsely powdered roasted jeera. You can increase the spice level with the addition of chilli flakes or powder. I have done all of these at different times, but today I’d like to share the basic, no-frills recipe.
To make the dough:
Sieve the chickpea flour into a mixing bowl with chilli powder, turmeric powder and other dry ingredients. Add a tsp. of oil and the water and mix to form a tight dough. It tends to be a sticky affair if made with shop bought besan but since home ground flour is roasted and not as fine the dough turns out better. Today I used shopbought flour as I had some remaining from an emergency situation. Add the remaining tsp. of oil and smoothen into a ball.
Grease your palms and pinch a small knob of dough. Roll into a cylinder just less than a cm. in diameter and long enough to fit easily in the vessel in which you intend to boil them. I formed 12 such ropes about 4 – 5 inches long.
Heat 1.5 cups of water in a shallow but broad vessel to boiling point. Carefully drop the ropes side by side in the boiling water. They will sink and after about 2minutes, rise to the surface.
Remove with a slotted spoon and drain onto a greased plate. You must drain them as soon as they float on the surface of the water as they tend to develop a spotty appearance otherwise.
The plate has to be greased as they will stick as they cool. It does not make much difference but I do not like them broken. You may boil them in more water if you find that easier. The reason for using less water is to retain the residue and use it up as stock in soups or gravies. The stock gets a tasty flavour.
Cool the drained ropes completely and cut them into cm. long cylinders. Store in ziplock bags and use as and when needed after thawing.
These actually make quite good replacements for maida based pasta in many dishes.