G is for Gothsu - Recipe for Eggplant Gothsu
My favourite pairing with Pongal is not coconut chutney or sambar but gothsu. What is this dish with a mildly tongue twister of a name, you might wonder! Hardly a favourite in my childhood, this is one of my newer loves.
The aroma of brinjal roasting on the stove top is one of the strongest smells in a vegetarian kitchen, the other may be garlic being sautéed. Sometimes I can smell this when I'm a good distance away from my kitchen. You can love or hate this smoky, intense aroma but you can definitely not ignore it.
Gothsu is a tamarind based South Indian (Tambrahm, or may be made by other communities as well) curry that is made using roasted and mashed brinjal.
Apparently, this dish was first made by the priests in Chidambaram temple to be served along with rice as an offering to the resident deity, which is why it is also known as Chidambaram Gothsu.
While one way of preparing the dish is by roasting the eggplant (as in this recipe), the other method is to fry the eggplant till soft and use in the same manner. That gives a more oily pickle-chutney kind of dish.
There are variations to this recipe in which the same recipe can also be made using tomatoes or onions. Like I said, this tangy, smoky curry is the best companion for a Venn Pongal, which is a savoury dish made using rice and split yellow moong dal.
If you don't have pongal on the menu, it is also quite good with plain steamed rice.
This post is a part of the A-Z Blogging Challenge
F is for Fenugreek seeds - Vendhaya Kozhambu
Recipe for Kathrikkai Gothsu (eggplant gothsu)
- Smear oil on the eggplant and roast it on open flame until completely charred and soft inside. You can test this by inserting a knife or a skewer inside.
- Once cool enough to handle, peel the skin, mash the eggplant and keep aside. Discard the stalk and skin.
- In a kadai, heat the oil. Temper the mustard seeds. Add the chana dal, udad dal and sauté until golden.
- Add the red chillies, curry leaves, asafoetida and give it a quick stir.
- Add the tamarind paste / puree, rice flour in water and sambar powder in water. Bring this to a simmer.
- Add the salt, eggplant puree, turmeric powder and bring to a simmer again.
- The consistency will be of a thick gravy, due to the thickening effect of rice flour.
- Serve hot with pongal or steamed rice.