Wednesday, June 15, 2011
This is a lip smacking dish from CHIDAMBARAM - one of the great temple towns in Tamil Nadu. Gotsu is a side dish to go with the Pongal and Samba Saadam which are offered to Lord Nataraja.
My sister - in - law is from Chidambaram and I learnt to prepare the traditional kattarikai gotsu from her. She was very particular about using sesame oil in its preparation.
The Chidambaram Kattarikai is seedless and is the size of ones fist. The colour is deep purple all over. Bigger eggplants can also be used and the quantity of the ingredients can be adjusted accordingly. I have used the ones which were available here.
Eggplants - 4
Tamarind - the size of a gooseberry
Salt - 1 1/2 tsp
Jaggery ( crushed ) - 1/4 tsp
FOR THE SPICE POWDER
Coriander seeds - 2 tbsps
Bengal gram dal - 2 tbsps
Red chillies - 8
asafoetida - a small piece / 1 pinch
Cumin seeds - 1 /2 tsp
Back pepper - 1/4 tsp
Feureek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Sesame oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - a few
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
1. Wash and wipe the eggplants thoroughly.
2. Rub the eggplants all over with a drop of sesame oil.
3. Grill the oiled eggplants one by one, directly placing them on a gas burner. Keep turning the eggplant till all the sides of the vegetable are done. The flavour is unique when grilled on direct fire.
(The eggplants can also be grilled in an electric oven or grill.)
4. Soak tamarind in warm water and extract a thick juice.
5.Heat a drop of oil and fry the asafoetida.
6. Now add the coriander seeds, bengal gram dal, red chillies, pepper and fenugreek seeds and roast till the ingrediants emanate a pleasant aroma.
7. Lastly add the cumin seeds and roast for one more minute.
8. Powder all the roasted and cooled ingredients and keep aside.
9. Peel the scalded skin of the eggplants and lightly mash the vegetable using the back of a ladle.
10. Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds.
11. When the mustard seeds splutter add the curry leaves and then the turmeric powder.
12. Immediately add the tamarind juice, salt, jaggery and the mashed eggplants.
13. Cook till the raw smell of the tamarind disappears.
14. Make a paste with the powdered ingredients adding little water and add this to the boiling gotsu.
15. Cook till the gotsu thickens and switch off the flame.
Enjoy the flavoursome tangy and spicy Chidambaram Kattarikai Gotsu with pongal . It tastes good with dosais and chapaties too.