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P itod ki Sabzi is a traditional Rajasthani dish featuring besan (chickpea flour) dumplings in a spicy yoghurt curry. Most of the Rajasthani dishes use few vegetables as the entire region is very arid and therefore availability of fresh vegetables is scarce. This is absolutely a no-vegetable dish, so much so that even onion, garlic or tomato aren't used to make the curry.
For years now, Rajasthani people have used different ingredients as alternatives to vegetables in their curries and have managed to conjure up a range of delicious recipes. In this dish, sour, thick yoghurt is used as a base ingredient that not only adds a certain flavour to the dish but also lends it a thick creamy consistency. There are basically two sets of processes involved in the making of Pitod ki Sabzi. The first part is the preparation of the dumplings from the besan and the second part is the making of the spicy yoghurt curry in which the fried dumplings are then added to make the dish.
In order to make the besan cubes, take a deep bowl, sift the besan, and add salt, yoghurt and some water. Whisk it to ensure there is no lump present. It should be a smooth runny batter. Add to this turmeric powder, coriander powder and red chilli powder, and stir again to mix all ingredients well. Heat oil in a wok and temper it with some cumin seeds and asafoetida. Once the cumin seeds start sputtering add the batter mix to the wok continuously stirring to ensure that the batter does not stick to the wok.
Meanwhile, prepare a large plate by greasing the surface with oil and when the mix is cooked and is of the right consistency, pour it on the greased plate and let it cool. It takes about 20 minutes for the batter to solidify. Once that happens, take a sharp knife and cut the solid mix into square or diamond-shaped bite-sized pieces. One thing to note here is that unlike Gatte ki Sabzi where the besan is kneaded and cut first and then boiled/ cooked in steam, in Pitod ki Sabzi besan is first cooked and then allowed to cool and solidify. These dumplings are then lightly fried and set aside to be mixed later with the spicy curry. For the spicy yoghurt curry, one needs to add oil to the pan and when hot, add asafoetida, cumin, and some green chillies. The yoghurt and all the remaining spices are added and stirred continuously. Once cooked, a pinch of garam masala is added. Lastly, the fried besan dumplings are dunked in the yoghurt gravy and some fresh coriander leaves (if available) are sprinkled over the dish. This Pitod ki Sabzi is usually had with hot piping puris or parathas, but they also taste good with some hot steaming rice with a dollop of ghee on top.
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