The Tangy Gojju Recipe

Brinjal gojju in a bowl tempered with mustard seeds and curry leaves.
Gojju with brinjal, tempered with cold-pressed oil.

Gojju is a tangy tamarind-based curry to be eaten with rice or rotis. It is a no-fuss dish without any dal, perfect for the lazy day when you want to make and eat something quick and tangy. You try and google out ‘gojju’ on the net and you will be flooded with umpteen recipes. Unfortunately, I did not find the recipe that I was looking out for. But no worries, I got the recipe from my mom and its a no-fail, easy recipe that will keep you asking for more. It’s a Madhwa Bramhin recipe that has come straight from the hinterlands of Tamilnadu.

Gojju is typically a sweet and sour preparation to be eaten with hot rice and a dash of sesame oil or ghee. It is made with a variety of vegetables and sometimes even a pineapple. Bendekaayi (ladiesfinger) gojju, badnekaayi (brinjal) gojju, haagalkaayi (bitter gourd) gojju, tomato gojju, heralekaayi (citron lime) gojju and ..may be..you can innovate further.

In our house, gojju was always paired with a non-spicy daal preparation like varan. It was prepared in small quantities and was meant to be eaten as a side dish. Times have changed and so did our preferences. We were all down with flu last week and this gojju came to our battered tongue’s rescue. I made the badnekaayi gojju and it lasted us for a couple of days. It stays good in the fridge fas well or a 3-4 days. You can make it in slightly larger batches if your family enjoys the recipe.

Here is the recipe:

For the paste:

Udid dal – 2 tsp More the udid dal, the thicker the gojju becomes

Byadgi red chillies – 10 in number. Byadgi gives a rich red colour to the gojju.

Methi seeds – 1/2 tsp. Skip this if you are using bitter gourd in the gojju.

Other Ingredients

Grated jaggery – 1/3rd cup or more as per your choice

Soaked thick tamarind pulp – 1/4 cup. I would suggest add the tamarind pulp in small quantities to identify your sourness quotient.

Vegetable of your choice.- 200 gms (Add only one variety of vegetable. Never mix.) – Brinjal, ladies finger, bitter gourd, or pineapple. Chop into bite-sized pieces.

Oil to fry the vegetables: 1-2 tbsp

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Water – to adjust the consistency

For Tempering:

Sesame Oil/Gingelly Oil – 2 tbsp

Hing/Asafoetida – A generous pinch

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Curry leaves – A fresh sprig

Salt to taste

Make the paste:

Heat little oil in a frying pan and fry the udid dal till it changes colour to golden brown. Next add the methi seeds. Then, add the red chillies and roast till crisp. Take this out in a mixie grinder and grind it into a fine paste by adding very little water in parts. Make sure that the paste is smooth.

Prepare the vegetables:

Cook the chopped vegetables. If using ladies finger, chop them about an inch in size and fry them in little oil till done. Similarly for brinjal, fry the chopped pieces in little oil and salt till done. If using bittergourd, fry the pieces in oil with a sprinkling of water and cook them soft. Similarly for pineapple, steam the pineapple pieces till they are almost cooked.

Make the gravy:

Next transfer the ground paste to a cooking vessel. Add little water to give it a slightly thinner consistency and allow it to boil. To this gravy, add the tamarind pulp, cooked vegetables, grated jaggery, salt and mix well. Allow it to boil till the gravy starts thickening. Taste and adjust the sweetness and salt of the gravy. The gravy becomes thick in consistency when you add vegetables like brinjal or bitter gourd.

Enjoy it with hot rice and a dash of sesame oil.

If you liked this recipe from our kitchen, then try this other tangy dish, Rasam, as well.

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