Today my husband made a demand. He is very undemanding otherwise, but today he made a demand. One which I was happy to oblige. He asked me to make besan gaakar for dinner tonight. It is an easy recipe, typical of GSBs settled in Madhya Pradesh. I learnt this particular recipe from my mother-in-law. Once you have read the recipe, you will know why my husband is a very very simple man.
- 1 cup besan
- 2-3 drumsticks cut into pieces
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 2-3 green chillies chopped
- 5-6 curry leaves
- a pinch of hing
- 1/4th tsp turmeric
- Salt to taste
- 2 tsp oil
- 1/4th tsp mustard seeds
- Water 3-4 cups
Soak the besan in 2 cups of water (I’ll tell you why later). Now heat oil in a kadhai and add mustard seeds to it. When they begin crackling add chillies, curry leaves, hing and onions. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes till the onions are soft and tender and add the drumsticks. Add a little water, turmeric and salt and cook for 5 to 6 minutes or till the drumsticks have cooked well. Now add the besan to this. In the traditional recipe, besan is added in the powdered form, but this forms lumps. That is the reason I developed this technique where you mix the besan in cold water and break the lumps with your hands.
Once the besan is added, keep stirring so that it takes the consistency of a thick sauce. If needed add more water. At any cost do not make this very thick. It has to be saucy to taste well.
Serve either with Gaakars or freshly steamed rice
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 3-4 tbsp oil
Take the wheat flour in a largish dish (I don’t know what is ‘paraat’ called in English!) Make a well in the center and pour the oil into this well. Add the salt into the oil and mix well till all the oil is incorporated in all the flour and no lumps remain.
Now add water little by little to make a firm dough. The dough should be considerably firm, firmer to touch than chapati dough, but not so dry as to be flaky. The consistency has to be just right, and it comes with experience.
Keep the dough aside for atleast an hour or two.
Divide the dough into about 8 large portions. Roll them with a rolling pin, so that the size is just about as big as a largish ‘poori’. The thickness will be about 3-4 millimeters. It takes absolutely only 10 seconds to roll it!
Now roast it on a tawa. Just like the chapati, you first half cook one side, and cook till brown spots appear on the other side. Once the other side has cooked well, pick it up and place it on the gas flame, half-cooked side down.
If your dough is right, it will puff up like a chapati.
Serve it with a dollop of ghee and besan.