Guar phali or cluster beans would be undoubtedly one of my favourite vegetables. I know what you are thinking, how guar can be someone's favourite but it has a texture and a hint of bitterness that I love. This is one of those vegetables I have experimented with a lot too, reason being I see guar or cluster beans being used in various cuisines across the country and want to try them all. The simplest bhujia that I make with guar phali is with just garlic and green chillies and pair it with kadhi to make a comfort meal for ourselves.
I would admit it is me who loves guar phali more and keeps buying it by the bagfuls. But a stir fry style salad with guar phali and peanuts converted even the husband and he started enjoying the vegetable. There is a recipe of guar and dried shrimp in the drafts to be shared but I have not been getting time to share recipes here, although I intend to share at least one recipe a week. I cook every single day and keep experimenting a lot, keep cooking old recipes a lot too and there is a lot to share.
I know I am not being good with the blogs. I must get back to sharing recipes asap.
I love gatte in subzi, the curry made with chickpeas flour (besan) dumplings so popular in Rajasthan and known as dhokli in Gujrat. I have shared one guar dhokli ki subzi that uses the same besan dumplings but is very different from this version. Since I like gatte ki subzi so much I started making it with different vegetables and one of those is bottle gourd.
So technically this guar dhokli is also guar gatte ki subzi as much I understand. Although purists may differ. I would wait to hear from them if they are interested in sharing more about gatte ki subzi and dhokli ki subzi nomenclature.
Since I have already shared how to make the gatte for gatte ki subzi, I will skip the steps to make gatte. Once the gatte (the dumplings) are ready this curry gets ready in about 20 minutes.
(2 large servings)
guar phali chopped 200 gm or 1 cup
cooked and chopped gatte 3/4 cup
finely diced onions 1 tbsp (optional)
ginger garlic paste 1 tsp
red chilly powder 1/2 tsp
everyday curry powder 2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
sour yogurt 1 cup
salt to taste
mustard oil 1 tbsp
fenugreek seeds 1/4 tsp
Heat half the oil in the kadhai (I use iron kadhai), smear the oil all over the kadhai surface with the spatula. Tip in the cut gatte and toss to cook them lightly again. Searing them lightly and briefly so they soak up more flavours. Remove from the kadhai and keep aside.
Now tip in the fenugreek seeds, the chopped vegetables (including onions if using). the ginger garlic paste and the powdered spices all together and toss till it all gets mixed up and lightly aromatic. Since we are suing a little amount of oil we need to do this on low flame. This step takes about 5 minutes.
Now whisk the yogurt, dilute with 2 cups of water and pour slowly into the kadhai. Let it simer for about 10 minutes or till you get desired consistency. The gatte or dhokli will soak up water and become bigger, the guar cooks really fast so that will be taken care of automatically.
Garnish with coriander if you wish but it is not required.
You need tender guar for this curry, mature guar will taste awful any which way.
This curry tastes great with any Indian breads and even plain boiled rice. It makes a complete meal with just a little rice, I suggest you eat more of this curry and less of rice or roti and enjoy the meal better. Some green salad or just a few slices of onion suit this meal well but this is one of those frugal meal kind of curry.
The sourness of the yogurt balances the slight bitterness of guar really well and soaks up into the gatte to make them soft and melting.
If you are cooking the curry with lauki or bottle gourd as above, just fry the gatte, add the spices and toss till aromatic. Pour whisked yogurt and simmer. Add precooked lauki in the curry and let it simmer a little to get the flavours integrated.
Gatte or dhokli can be cooked with almost all vegetables but some of the combinations will definitely be your favourite. I like the gatte ki subzi with roughly chopped spinach too.
The boiled and lightly fried gatte keep well in the fridge for about a week and they freeze well for almost 6 months. So make gatte when you have time and cook the curries with whatever vegetables you like. Try gatte with guar once and I am sure it will become a favourite in your home too.