A while ago, I wrote this post on a sweet and sour Radish Chutney, where I mentioned that they go really well with Gurgule, and I hope to write about them soon. Well, today is the day :)
Gurgule in Jammu are, essentially, what our Punjabi neighbours refer to as Bhalle. I will let chef extraordinaire Ranveer Brar explain them on his YouTube channel. He is so good at what he does and how he explains the principles behind his cooking, I really don't think there's much I can add to what he has to say, except maybe shedding light on some of the differences between the two dishes.
Punjabis prefer serving this deep-fried, savoury, split-pea based delicacy with a yoghurt dressing on top. In contrast, we in Jammu prefer to serve it with the chutney I posted previously. The only other difference that I've come across is the lentils being used - Gurgule is a split-pea based dish while Bhalle use Mung lentils.
Before I walk you through the ingredients or the steps, here are some relevant metrics for the recipe
Difficulty - easy
Prep time - Not including the time it takes to soak and ferment the lentils, I'd say this takes about 15 minutes or so. I would recommend soaking these anywhere between 4 hours to overnight before starting the prep work.
Cooking time - around 30 mins.
Servings - approximately 5 to 6 per person with a total of around 25-30 pieces.
Chana Dhal/Split pea - around 250g. They need to be rinsed and soaked anywhere between 4 hours and overnight.
Dhuli Urad Dhal/Black gram - 50g. They also need to be rinsed and soaked anywhere between 4 hours and overnight.
Salt - 4 tsp or to taste
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Water - around 4 cups. We need it for soaking, so if you find it is not enough or too much, feel free to adjust.
Vegetable oil for deep frying.
We start by transferring the two lentils into a blender and blending them. Do not discard the water in which the lentils were soaked; we can re-use it later on. We are after a coarse blend. If you feel the blender's blades are not moving as freely, feel free to add some water. Please do not add a lot of water though; we do not want to make a paste.
Empty the contents of the blender into a bowl. Add salt and Garam Masala and mix well for a few minutes. Along with mixing the salt and Masala in, we also want to aerate the batter a little, until it becomes a little fluffy.
Set the batter aside for around 5 minutes.
Start heating the vegetable oil for deep frying.
Take a spoonful of batter at a time and deep fry it. It is always a good idea to use the first few as experimental pieces - we're aiming for a nice and crisp outside with a moist inside. It's easy to dry out the insides, so take your time to find the perfect combination of oil temperature and frying time. The colour on the outside should be light, so that should tell you we're not supposed to be frying these for very long.
Once you take them out of the oil, pat them dry with a paper towel before serving.
Bon appetit. If you ever decide to make it, let me know how your experience was.
See you all in the next post.