Indian cuisine is full of surprises to everyone and anyone, including Indians for that matter. This is not in reference to the so-called Indian food sold at the Indian restaurants worldwide but I am talking about the regional cuisine, the everyday food cooked at homes through out that country. The local food can woo and amaze us with a wide variety of flavorful food choices than a typical restaurant menu.
Gojju from Karnataka state happens to fall under the same category and hence do not appear on any restaurant menu. This spicy - tangy - sweet stew happens to be one of the commonly prepared dishes in that state and particularly, the pineapple gojju happens to be one of the celebrated choices during special occasions at Brahmin households.
I wanted to post at least one gojju recipe for my ongoing event Indian side dishes other than subzi / dals and I chose the less familiar one, drakshi gojju - gojju prepared with grapes. The sweet - sour grapes compliment well with the other ingredients of this dish to produce a lip smacking gojju that goes well with rice/ rotis.
Ingredients needed for about 6 servings:
Approximately about a cup of grapes (washed and halved)
Salt to taste
1 Tbsp jaggery powder
2 -3 Tbsp tamarind juice or as needed (tamarind soaked in water and squeezed)
A pinch of turmeric powder
For tadka: 2 -3 tsp oil, 1 tsp chanadal, 1 tsp mustard seeds, little asafoetida powder, a red chili broken into bits
For gojju powder:
1/4 cup grated dry coconut (copra)
2 Tbsp chanadal
1 Tbsp uraddal
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp white sesame seeds
A pinch of methi seeds
8 red chilies (I used 4 hot variety and 4 byadagi chilies)
Preparing Gojju Pudi / Powder:
Toast chanadal and uraddal in a sauté pan on low - medium flame. When they start to turn reddish, add coriander seeds, sesame seeds, methi seeds and chilies to the same pan. Keep sautéing on low flame till they turn a few shades darker. Cool the toasted ingredients. Add coconut to them and grind into a fine powder.
Gojju pudi can be prepared in large batches and can be stored in an airtight container and used whenever needed.
Heat the oil in a kadai or a pan and add chanadal and mustard seeds. When the dal start to turn reddish, add the red chili, asafoetida powder and turmeric powder. Then add the grapes, gojju powder, tamarind, jaggery, salt and water (I added about 2.5 cups) as needed. Check the flavor and adjust the seasonings, if any needed. Cook till the gojju thickens. By the time, the grapes would soak up all the flavors and gojju would turn delectable.
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