The smell of sweet jaggery, tangy tamarind and roasted sesame. That is the smell that I used to wake up to many mornings. That smell was my mum making gojju. What is it you ask?
The simplest explanation for gojju is that it is a curry that uses a masala paste prepared using roasted and ground spices together with a vegetable of choice. It is a sweet, spicy and tangy curry that is usually eaten as a side with rice and rasam or is eaten with rice itself. Gojjus are a delicacy in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, which is where I come from.
Gojjus are made with a variety of vegetables such as Bell Peppers, Okra, Tomato, Plantain, Eggplant and Pumpkin, which is one my favorites. But an even more favorite one is a Pineapple gojju. Having grown up outside India, my my only source of gojju would be my mum. But often times, when we visited India and attended pujas (religious ceremonies) or weddings, I noticed that a Pineapple gojju was a constant on the plantain leaf food menu. Turns out, this gojju is extremely popular for festive and celebratory meals. I loved it so much that I had to have it on my wedding menu 🙂
I used to think that making gojju is difficult, because eating my mum’s gojju was a magical experience which I believed I could not replicate. While that is almost true, this first attempt at making this Pineapple gojju was quite successful. My husband is from Andhra (another southern Indian state) and gojjus are not a delicacy there. So neither was he familiar with it and nor did he like it. But this, he gorged on it. So, I am going to give myself a pat on the back and share the recipe with you all.
To make this gojju, you will need a couple of specific ingredients (if you are not an Indian household, you want to head over to the Indian grocery store or shop at Amazon). As far as the Pineapple, fresh or canned, either of them work. I encourage you to try it because it is a great accompaniment not only with rice, but can also be enjoyed with rotis.
|Prep time||10 minues|
|Cook time||15 minutes|
- Pineapple – 1 cup, chopped (fresh and ripe or canned)
For the masala paste
- Chana Dal (Split Baby Chickpeas) – 1 tbsp
- White Sesame Seeds – 1 tbsp
- Fenugreek Seeds – 1 tbsp
- Green Chillies – 3, slit lengthwise
- Tamarind paste – 1 tsp (juice or concentrate can also be used)
- Jaggery Powder – 1 tbsp
- Salt – As per taste
- Dry Coconut – 1/4 cup
- Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
- In a pan, add the ingredients for the masala paste and dry roast it until it turns lightly brown. Set aside in a bowl or on a plate to cool
- In the same pan, add oil and mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds crackle, add the slit green chillies and fry for 30 seconds. Remove only the fried green chillies and set them aside
- To make the masala paste, add the roasted ingredients to a blending jar. To this jar, add dry coconut, fried green chillies and some water. Blend into a smooth paste
- Heat the same pan with the crackled mustard seeds. To this, add the chopped pineapple and saute for 1-2 minutes
- Add salt and turmeric powder and mix. Continue to sautee until the pineapple is cooked, but mushy
- At this point, add the masala paste and mix well. To this, the tamarind paste, water for the desired consistency and let the gojju simmer for 3-5 minutes
- Before taking it off the heat, add jaggery powder and mix well
- Transfer to a serving bowl. Enjoy the gojju with rice, as a side with rice and rasam or even with rotis
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