Paneer Bharwan Gatte (Chickpea Dumplings stuffed with Cottage Cheese)

Paneer Stuffed Dumpling Curry

Come winters and the body starts to crave comfort food like never before. And it is okay to pay heed once in a way without over doing it.

Gatte ke sabzi , originally a delicacy from Rajasthan has now found popularity across India and there are quite a few versions made. Two of the more popular kinds are, one,cooked in a light yogurt based sauce and the other slightly spicier version is served in a rich onion-tomato gravy. In both versions the gatte (chickpea flour dumplings) are steamed and not fried and I love both versions personally and totally relish them some hot ghee rice or ghee fulkas.

Now, to the more important part, today’s recipe- Paneer Waale Gatte. I know, I had you at Paneer,isnt it? So, I have recently invested in some Indian cookbooks by renowned authors, Madhur Jaffrey and Pushpesh Pant amongst others. The other day I sat turning pages of one of those cookbooks -The Indian Vegetarian Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant, ogling at the breathtaking images of delicacies across India, when I chanced upon this one- Stuffed Dumpling Curry (Bharwan Gatte). And just like you, I was curious. I am well travelled and have tried a lot of different kinds of dishes across Indian but never had I ever tasted this. Needless to say, I had to try it out and if you can take my word for it- these are nothing like the usual gatte ki sabzi. For one, they are fried and not steamed and of course the mildly flavoured paneer stuffing takes it to the next level. And as the book aptly states- “If these Rajasthani dumplings are well made, they are lighter than air. Elsewhere plain dumplings are made with a spicy batter.”

The recipe is pretty straightforward( and I have stuck to the original version, with minor tweaks here and there to suit our palette) – preparing the chickpea dough, preparing the stuffing, stuffing the dough, frying and dunking it into the yogurt sauce. It takes approximately 30-40 minutes to put together and is a complete filling meal with some rice or chapatis, especially for lunch. Add a side of salad and one doesn’t really need anything else.

The most important step is getting the chickpea dough right, so even though the recipe suggests using 4.5 tbsp yogurt,6 tbsp water and 4 tbsp ghee, I suggest adding them gradually while kneading the dough to avoid getting it too soft. Sifting the chickpea flour is also very important to avoid any lumps. Once you have the right consistency dough, the rest of the recipe would be a cake walk. Another pro-tip- grease your palms while shaping the dumplings as the chickpea mixture tends to get quite sticky.

Do refer to the below short video to the recipe- it will come in handy 🙂

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  • Besan(chickpea flour)- 2 cups
  • Baking soda- 1 tsp
  • Chopped fresh root ginger- 3 tsps
  • Finely chopped coriander leaves- 1tbsp
  • Plain Yogurt- 4.5 tbsp
  • Ghee- 4 tbsp
  • Paneer(cottage cheese)- 1/2 cup
  • Fresh green chilies, finely chopped and de-seeded -2
  • Chopped fresh root ginger- 1 tbsp
  • Plain Yogurt, whisked-2 cups
  • Ground Coriander-5 tsp
  • Kashmiri Red Chilli- 2 tsps
  • Ghee- 1/2 cup
  • Cumin seeds (jeera) - 1tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds (methi) - 1tsp
  • A generous pinch of asafoetida
  • Cardamom (elaichi) powder- 2 tsp
  • Ground Cinnamon (daalchini)- 1/4 tsp
  • Ground Turmeric (haldi)- 1 tsp
  • Ground Mace (javitri)- 1.25 tsp
  • A generous pinch of dried methi (fenugreek) leaves
  • Chopped coriander- 1 tbsp


  1. Sift the besan, baking soda and salt in a deep bowl
  2. Add ginger, chopped coriander, ghee and yogurt and 6 tbsp water and knead to make a firm, but pliable dough. Divide into small balls, approximately 20-24
  3. In a separate bowl, mix all the stuffing ingredients and divide into equal portions
  4. Flatten the chickpea flour balls in the centre of your palm with your thumb , creating a small depression where the stuffing would go
  5. Grease your palms,place a small portion of the stuffing into the middle of each, pull together the edges and seal, form into balls again; then form into croquette shaped dumplings by rolling between your greased palms
  6. Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan for deep or shallow frying as desired, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a kitchen towel to absorb excess oil
  7. For the sauce, put the yogurt into a bowl, add the ground coriander,chilli powder, salt and mix well
  8. Heat ghee in a thick bottomed wok, reduce to medium flame and add cumin seeds followed by fenugreek and stir till the seeds start to sputter; be careful not to burn the fenugreek as it will then impart a bitter taste to the curry
  9. Add asafoetida and stir for 30 secs or so, remove from heat and add the yogurt mixture
  10. Turn on the heat and cook on a medium flame for 7-8 minutes till the fat separates
  11. Add about 2.5 cups water, turmeric powder and salt as per taste and bring to boil
  12. Reduce the flame to low and add the fried dumplings; cover and simmer for about 10 minutes ,
  13. Stir occasionally, until the gravy is a thin sauce consistency
  14. Finally, add the green cardamom, cinnamon, mace and dried fenugreek leaves powders, mix and adjust the seasoning
  15. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with ghee rice or fulkas

Paneer Stuffed Dumpling Curry

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