Paatvadyachi bhaji (chickpea flour dumplings in curry sauce)

You know I have a theory. You might become the most famous or the most creative chef out there, but I bet you will still crave your Mom's food (or Dad's - essentially the food you grew up with) every now and then! There is something magical about the foods you grow up with, isn't it.. their flavors stay fresh with us long after we have last eaten them and their aromas draft us towards those golden care-free times of our childhood so effortlessly. Somehow the foods we grew up with get so intertwined with our childhood memories that no matter how great a cook you are, you are always going to crave your Mom's food as long you as live!

Needless to say my Mom is a great cook! I wish I had learnt a lot more about cooking from her than I did. In my defense though I grew up as this preppy girl who would refuse to step foot in the kitchen unless it involved munching. I used to always think that somehow studying Mathematic (which was by-far my favorite subject!) was way more "important" than cooking or anything for that matter.. but now as a grown-up I have realized that there is nothing more humbling and satisfying than cooking a healthy and wholesome meal for your friends and family; perhaps second only to seeing the satiated feelings and smiles on their faces :)

Okay, I better get to the point now. So one day I woke up having these huge cravings for my Aai's paatvadyachi bhaji. Paatvadyachi bhaji is a common Maharashtrian delicacy. Its a curry made out of simmering paatvadya (which are chickpea flour dumplings) in a mildly spiced curry base. I think of it as the native Marathi answer to the ubiquitous pasta. I had never made this dish at home and the last I had eaten it was some 6+ years back! 

It was a Friday so I shoot a quick email to Aai asking if she can tell me her recipe. I was hoping that the next time I would call her, I would get her to recite the recipe to me over the phone. So imagine my surprise when the next day I wake up to see an email from Aai with a hand-written recipe attachment! Turns out she wrote her recipe, then she had taken a picture of her recipe and sent the jpeg to me so I could make the dish I was cravings on that very weekend! Isn't it really lucky to have such an awesome Mom who would write, take picture and upload the recipe the very same day just so her daughter can satisfy the cravings.. I think so :) 

Happy Mother's day to all you awesome Mom's and Mom's-to-be out there! Honestly, what would we all do without you :) 

I am sending this post to Panchpakwan's Mother's day event.

Source: Mom's recipe.  (I have attached my Mom's original hand-written recipe at the end of this post, so those of you who can read and understand Marathi are free to follow the original instructions directly)
For the dumplings (paatvadya):
1C chickpea flour (besan)
To taste:
chili powder
turmeric powder
carom seeds
warm water

For the curry:
1 onion
4 cloves of garlic
3C water
lots of lime juice (to taste)

Spice powder:
1Tbsp dried coconut
1Tbsp sesame seeds
1tsp cumin powder
1tsp coriander seeds
1/4tsp whole black peppercorns
1 stick of cinnamon
couple of cloves
2 dried red chilis (per taste)

Prepare the dough:
Mix all the dumpling ingredients together. Add as little water as possible. Using oiled hands make a tight dough. Cover and keep aside.

Prepare the dry spice powder:
Dry roast all the spice powder ingredients. Using a spice grinder grind them to a fine powder.

Roast chopped onions and whole garlic cloves with a little oil. When they start to brown, turn the heat off. Let cool a bit and then make an onion-garlic paste using a little water.

Prepare the curry:
Heat oil in a large pot. Add the onions-garlic paste and cook for 5-10minutes. Add the spice powder and cook a couple more minutes. Add 1C water and mix well. Let cook for a few more minutes. Then add rest of the 2C water and let the curry sauce simmer on low-medium heat.

Prepare the paatvadya:
Dust a wooden board with some chickpea flour. Dust the dough a bit with chickpea flour as well and using a rolling pin roll the dough into a somewhat thick disk (thicker than regular chapatis). Using a knife cut the disk into medium size pieces like so:

Add the pieces to the boiling curry sauce (dust off any extra flour) and cook (uncovered) for 10-15mins or until the chickpea flour wadis are cooked through (take a bite to taste if they are done; if not cook some more).

Serve hot with rice or chapatis and lot of fresh lime juice!


Preeti Kashyap said…
This looks awesome....I love anything with besan and this is so my dish!

Happy mother's day to your mom too!
Radhika said…
This look delicious! My mom-in-law makes a similar dish called vadyacha sambar, which I love!
Hayley said…
This dish looks delicious and tempting..I make sort of similar daughter is like maths she is #1, she does food tech,but helping me in the kitchen no no for her..;-))

Happy mother's day to you and your mum!! In UK Mothers day falls in March..
SE said…
this looks delicious..glad to see and read the marathi recipe from your mom ! my wishes to her !
Hy PJ...
Wonderful recipe and lovely clicks...happy mother's day to you too..
PJ said…
Preeti, thanks! So glad you liked it.

Radhika, yes, i remember vadyacha sambhar! very similar preparation except the curry part is a bit different i think.

Jagruti, thanks! Didn't know it was in Mar for you.. guess you get to celebrate the day twice ;)

SE, thanks, I'll be sure to pass on the msg :)

Jay, thanks, and wish you the same too!
Bhagyashri said…
I wanted to make this for a long time, now I have a recipe for ready reckoning. Sounds delicious!
PranisKitchen said…
Really delicious bhaji..nice's food is always's recipe's handwritten copy .really good one.good one
Happy Mother's day
indosungod said…
This bhaji is delicious looking PJ and your mom is awesome. She is modern indeed and proved she is a blogger's mom :)
PJ said…
Bhagyashri, glad you found the recipe you were looking for! let me know how it goes.

Prani, glad you liked it :) happy mothers day to you too.

Indo, I'll be sure to convey this msg back to her :)
Kalyn Denny said…
What a great post. I love seeing the recipe in your mom's writing. Now I just wish I could taste it, sounds fantastic.
Yummy curry PJ and looks like gatte subzi.. looks yummy and nice ingredients I am bookmarking this to try soon...
Inji said…
Very interesting recipe.. I've never come across something like this.. little similar to Dal Dhokli without the Dal ofcourse :)
So sweet of your mom to write it and scan it immediately. And such beautiful hand writing too!
Suman said…
lovely dish...looks delicious...happy mother's day to you!
Your mum is really great PJ so does this dish turns out really flavorful and lovely, Happy Mother's Day to you and your mum ya...
PJ said…
Kalyn, thanks! I am so glad you liked the dish and the post :)

Pavithra, yes, it is similar a bit to the gatte sabzi. so glad you liked it.

Inji, thanks, I'll be sure to pass on the compliment to her :)

Suman, thanks and wish you the same too!

Treat and Trick, thanks and wish you the very same too :)
Kanchan said…
Wow ! Frankly I jumped to the marathi version when you mentioned about it.
It is so sweet of your mom to do so and she has given in such a depth !! Hats off !

We become so nostalgic when we talk about our Moms :)
Sum Raj said…
woo this recipe is new to me..sounds interesting..
Cham said…
Happy Mother's Day! All moms rock :) Never tasted this gravy, Should be excellent with rice!
PJ said…
Kanchan, the Marathi version is definitely a better choice.. a lot more authentic too :)

Suma, thanks! I am so glad you liked it.

Cham, A very happy mother's day to you too! I am sure this would go wonderful with rice or chapati.
Sushma Mallya said…
what a beautiful dish, looks too good and cant wait to try this one...and a very happy mothers day to you too PJ..
Pari Vasisht said…
Hi and Wow, Mavshi( I guess I can call ur Mom that) is a hitech Mom. Sorry I did not read ur description and was truly delighted reading in Marathi.Her handwriting is so neat and she has explained the recipe in such detail.
My version of patvadya is different because we do it by the 'ukad' method. Now even I am longing to make this. Good one Praj, mala hyacha ghaas ghyalala avadel!!and Mavshi, wish u a very happy Mother's Day.
Parita said…
Truly said, mom's are the best :) Curry looks very delicious and inviting :)
Wish you a very happy mother's day
Priya Suresh said…
Happy Mother's Day, curry looks really delicious and truly tempting..
SathyaSridhar said…
Mom's are always best dear can't compare others with them.Happy Mother's day dear. Recipe looks soo yummy n delicious,i hv nt tried this yet dear sure hv to do it soon.
sayantani said…
Mom's food is the this recipe. I like dumplings in curries. so would definitely give it a try.
A very Happy Mother's day to you and your Mom!!!
Meena said…
gr8 post n unique recipe for mothers day!
tasteofbeirut said…
I agree with you 100% and our childhood food memories make up our food identity as far as I am concerned!
Love that dish you presented; it is using an ingredient I have always wanted to explore: chick pea flour.
Happy belated Mother's Day
Rachana said…
So true PJ! Mom's are the best!!!! I loved your mom's handwriting... awesome :)
and yes, the bhaji looks wow :)
panchpakwan said…
Hey PJ,
thank you so mudh for sending this yummy recipe to my event.

Happy Mother's Day.
~ Lopa said…
Its so true, while back home i hardly cooked... hardly because sometimes i did when i found a challenging recipe to try somehow on tv or in news paper and it tempted me... i never cooked but i always knew i can... more because my mom taught us as a kid that its different that some skills you don't use and you might will not use but it is imp to know.. else you are not allrounder and hence i always wanted to be all-rounder learning as much as i can and i even used to say it, may be i wont cook it, but thing is i know how to if i needed...hahaha now i thank mom for that teaching :)

In gujarat we have Dal- Dhokli that looks a bit similar to this recipe. But i bet they don't taste that similar.
PJ said…
Sushma, thanks and wish you the same too!

Pari, oh, she would love for you to call her Mavashi :) My handwriting is the polar opposite though. I have never had the ukad paatvadya.. do post your version please! Happy mother's day to you, Pari.

Parita, isn't it! thanks and wish you the same too.

Priya, thanks! I am so glad you liked it.

Sathya, so true.. and wish you the same too.
chakhlere said…
Hey...this is my mom used to make this ...remembered those old days.

Looks very yummy!!!
Joanne said…
I stayed far away from the kitchen when I was young as well...(then again, my mom is not a very good cook...a fact that she readily admits and almost takes pride in) but if my mom were cooking up food like this, I would have been in there every second! Delicious. Total comfort food, and I didn't even grow up with it!
Namitha said…
Interesting recipe,PJ..I'm not sure whether I had this before...but the name is new to me for sure :-)
PJ said…
Sayantani, thanks! I am so glad you liked this recipe.

Meena, thanks! and wish you the same too :)

TasteOfBeirut, chickpea flour is wonderful.. I use it in everything. Is it used much in Lebanese cuisine?

Rachana, thanks! I'll be sure to convey that to her!

Panchpakwn, thanks for hosting this great event!

Lopa, so true.. you need to get all the skills at all possible opportunities.. using it or not is something different. Yes, this is similar to the dal dhokli for sure.
Anushree said…
perfect post for mothers day!!
And the picture of the bhaaji is so lifelike..made me remember the taste and the fragrance of the gravy as soon as i saw it! now i m craving too! :)
Anushree said…
And ur mom is so sweet :) She has written it so meticulously!
Nupur said…
How lovely to see your mother's hand-written recipe! in shuddha Marathi :)

The dish looks lovely, it looks quite similar to what I know as dal dhokli.
shriya said…
Belated Mother's day wishes !! So sweet to share your mother's recipe. Love the recipe. It looks absolute yummy .
Suji said…
Hi PJ..

Stumbled upon your blog from Sathya..Curry looks awesome. Brilliant clicks too..You are hosting a great space here ...Love to come back for more...

PLz check us out too when you get a chance @

Kairali sisters
evolvingtastes said…
It is definitely an unusual dish for me, but I can't wait to try it out! Looks so good.
Umm Mymoonah said…
I have been looking for this type of recipe,it looks delicious,definitely in my menu
Sayali said…
Hi ,

First of all I liked the name of your blog :) Ginger and Garlic and then I get to know that probably you belong to maharashtra...after reading the post name "BHAJI" :) well even i belong to MH and good to know about your blog :)
Happy to follow you :)

sangeeta said…
This is a great post as i love anything traditional.....i'd love tot ry this .......
Interestingly we have two versions of a besan dumpling curry in UP , one i made recently n will post soon n the other i din't make for ages now n am planning to.

this is so nostalgic as we get to make these so rarely..
Unknown said…
Tasty bhaji.True,no matter how good I think I'm at cooking ,cannot recreate the taste in mom's food :D
I totally agree with you about the foods you grow up with. I'm the same way with Japanese food. I do love learning about other cultures comfort foods though and I have to say I've adopted a few as my own along the way. This one looks like it could very well be my new go-to comfort dish. It
BB said…

I liked this recipe.Thanks for sharing. I refer to your mom's recipe. Can you please clarify what is ' kalamichi pud'. I refer to line no. 5 of Rassa recipe.

Thanks in advance,
BB said…

I read your and your mom's recipe and liked it. Can you please clarify that your mother mentions kalamicha tukda. What is that ? Do we get it in Indian grocery store in USA? Also what should be proportion of Khobra in your mom's recipe. Sorry that i did not understand that measure.

Thanks again,