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Friday, January 26, 2007

Allam Gojju / Ginger Gojju

For Rosie's JFI - Ginger event, I am planning to go overboard a little (assuming not overwhelming Rosie) and presenting a GINGER THALI. All Indians know what a thali is. It is an Indian meal, served on a big plate. Different dishes are served in small cups arranged in it. My Ginger Thali is a simple meal with food items (mainly South Indian) prepared with ginger. Don't assume that all dishes are gingery. You would not even notice that all the items have ginger unless someone tells you. Even if you have slight inclination towards ginger and Indian food, then these dishes are right for you. In South India, appetizers and desserts are not served unless it is a festive occasion. So, I am skipping those. I am sure my friends would come up with them in plenty. I already see Asha's mouth watering Rissoles.

I am going to post ginger recipes from Ginger Thali for a couple of days. Today, I am coming up with the recipe for 'Allam Gojju' which you can eat with rice, pongal, rotis etc. (Ginger is called allam in Telugu, my native language).

The spicy, sweet and the sour gojjus are a speciality of Karnataka, a southern state of India where I grew up. Gojju is usually prepared with a vegetable in a gravy. To a gojju, jaggery imparts the sweetness, the tamarind gives the sourness and spices of course give that kick associated with Indian food. A powder is usually used to thicken the gravy. Here I have used roasted chick pea (Dalia) - coconut powder. Every family sure will have their own favorite when it comes to the powders added to thicken the gravy. (If you don’t have any ingredients used to make this gravy thickening powder, you simply can add a tablespoon of rice flour. Before adding to the gravy, just take care to mix rice flour well with a little quantity of cold water without forming any lumps and then add it to the other ingredients in the wok).

Here in this recipe, ginger has been used in place of the vegetable. I learnt this recipe from my MIL who in turn got this recipe from a cook at her nephew’s wedding. She cooks this primarily to go with pongali / pongal. It is good to go with rice, rotis and other Indian breakfast stuff. It takes hardly 10 minutes to prepare if you have all the ingredients ready. I have no words to describe this dish which has all the flavors infused in it. It is simply delicious. Try it once and this would be on your regular menu.

Ginger grated and chopped into fine pieces – 2 Tbsp
Tamarind – A small lemon size
Jaggery, Powdered – 2 Tbsp
Chillie powder – 1 & ¼ tsp
Salt – 1 & ½ tsp
Water – 1 & ½ cups
Oil – 1 or 2 Tbsp
Cumin Seeds (Jeera) – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Chana dal – 1 tsp
Asafoetida(Hing) – ¼ tsp
Turmeric Powder - ¼ tsp
Curry leaves – A few
For gravy thickening powder:
Roasted chickpeas /Dalia (Pappulu , Kadale pappu) - 2 Tbsp
Dry coconut grated – 1

Soak tamarind in water for half an hour. Alternatively, you can put the tamarind & water bowl in a microwave for 2 minutes to fasten the process of soaking. Squeeze two tablespoons of thick tamarind pulp from it.
Grind dalia and coconut into a fine powder.
Heat oil in a wok or a pan. When the oil is hot, add ginger and fry for 30 seconds. Then add chanadal and when both ginger and chanadal start getting brown, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, hing, curry leaves and turmeric. When mustard seeds start to splutter, add tamarind pulp, jaggery, chillie powder, salt, dalia-coconut powder and water. When it starts to boil, lower the heat and leave it for a couple of minutes. Then, switch off the stove and allam gojju is ready to serve.

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Asha said...

Hi Suma,thanks for mentiong me!:))Gojju sounds great I love Thali meal,I have some too.I will save this recipe.Thanks.

Suma Gandlur said...

I had to after your wonderful recipe and presentation.Thanks

Anonymous said...

Must try sometime. I think this will go well with pesarattu & vada also:). Emi antaru suma garu?.

Suma Gandlur said...

I think it would be tastier with those too.

Seema Bhat said...

wow Suma, Just loved this gojju. Gotta make it gal.