This is a well known South Indian accompaniment to Idli, Dosa, Kozhukatti, Ven Pongal, Uppuma etc. The thick consistency makes it really easy to eat and shouldn’t run around the plate. It’s called ‘Gotsu/Gosthu’ in Tamil Nadu and ‘Gojju’ in Karnataka and the similarity is the thick tamarind gravy and the variations are the veg/fruit added to it. I have added eggplant/aubergine in this recipe but pineapple is also one of my favourite fruit to add and gives this a lovely sweet & sour flavour! The concentrated flavour is what makes it so delicious, so it’s important that you simmer it for long enough to thicken. Not a dish to be hurried! 🙂
There are some different ways that households make this dish (e.g. different chilli powders/sambar powders) and this is a recipe close to my heart, passed on from my grandmother to my mother…and now to me. I hope you like our version!
What you need:
- 1 large eggplant/aubergine – diced into medium chunks (you can omit this veg or substitute the eggplant with Okra, more tomatoes, or even fruit like Pineapple or Mango)
- 1 large onion (or 12 – 14 small challots) – roughly diced
- 400g tin of chopped tomatoes or 6 fresh medium sized tomatoes
- Tamarind -size of a small lemon, soaked in warm water (or 2 heaped teaspoons of concentrated tamarind paste)
- 3 green chillies – slit lengthways
- 1 tablespoon of channa dal
- 1 – 2 teaspoons of red chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
- 2 – 4 curry leaves
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- Salt, to taste
How to make it:
- Cook the diced Eggplant/Aubergine by steaming until half cooked – make sure they don’t cook completely as otherwise they will go soggy and will break down rapidly in the liquid later on.
- Heat the oil in a tawa/medium sized pan and add the mustard seeds and once they start spluttering, add the curry leaves. Add the channa dal as soon as the mustard seeds stop spluttering and stir well until the channa dal turn to a brown colour.
- Add the chopped onion and slit green chillies. Cover and leave until the onions are very soft, stirring occasionally. Be careful not to burn them.
- Add the tamarind and simmer for about 10 minutes uncovered.
- Add the half-cooked aubergine, tomatoes, red chilli powder, salt and mix well. Cover and simmer for about 20 – 30 minutes until thickened and stirring occasionally. You can add more water if it’s too thick, but Gotsu/Gojju should be a thick mixture after simmering.
Serve with Idli/Dosa or try a typical combination with Pidi Kozhukattai 🙂
A nice tip to make this mixture thicker and add a nice flavour, is to add mashed & cooked toor daal. Toor dal is also healthier than the usual rice flour used to thicken a lot of curries!