There are some dishes which remain a favorite no matter what. They are soul food you can eat anytime, any day. Amti bhat, Varan bhat, Poori allu, ammras poori, Avial and Brinjal Gothsu to name a few.
I’ve never eaten kathirikai ghotsu with venn pongal sadly but I love it with idli, dosai and plain steamed rice with a dollop of warm ghee on top. A burst of spicy tangy flavor that is out of this world. It is a perfect side dish. I am anyway not so fond of sambar so this is my go to dish. Kathirikai gothsu/gotsu is a typical TamBram dish but other communities across South India also perhaps make it.
I love eggplants and I find that here the flavors are perfectly balanced. The jaggery and tamarind combination I use in khatte meethe baigan sabzi too. The recipe is quick and easy to make.
Usually I use sambar onions ( shallots) for this but here I have used the local red onions and instead of moong aal I have used te ink lentil or malka daal. It is fun to experiment with food and I am a bit easy going in the kitchen so whatever is handy is used. So you can say it is my version of brinjal gothsu.
Brinjal/Eggplant/Baigan/Kathirikai – 1 large diced into cubes (approx 1 cup)
Sambar onions ( shallots) 8-10 quartered or Red onion – 1 -2 chopped (approx 1 cup)
Tomato – 1/2 cup chopped into cubes
Ginger – 1 inch grated or chopped fine
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs or 8-10 leaves
Green chili – 2 slit lengthwise
Jaggery – 1 tablespoon
Tamarind water – 1/2 cup
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Oil – 1 tbsp (traditionally Sesame oil is used)
Coriander leaves and tender stems – 2 tbsp chopped fine
Moong dhuli or malka daal (Soaked for half an hour) – 2 tbsp
Sambar Powder – 1 tsp ( you can make your own Gothsu Podi too but I don’t know how to so use sambar powder instead)
Turmeric Powder -1/2 tsp
Hing / Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp
Salt and Water – as needed
Cut the vegetables and soak the brinjals in water to which a little salt is added. Soak a lemon size ball of tamarind pulp in warm water to loosed it up. Keep aside.
Collect all the required ingredients and put pressure cooker on medium heat. Once the cooker is hot add some oil ( I used Saffola gold). Add mustard seeds to the hot oil and when they crackle, add curry leaves, hing, onions, ginger and green chili, stir rill the onions are translucent and light golden in color.
Now add the chopped tomatoes. Give them a stir and let them cook for a minute. Add chopped brinjal or Kathirikai and stir on medium high flame till the color of the brinjal skin changes a little,
Add the soaked moong or malka daal. I added it to provide a base to Gothsu. It tastes good too.
Squeeze the tamarind ball to extract all the pulp into the water and the tamarind water, turmeric powder, sambar powder, salt, jaggery to the vegetable. Mix properly.
Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook the gothsu for 2-3 whistles.. Turn off the gas and let the pressure release naturally.
Open the lid carefully and give gothsu a gentle stir. Add chopped coriander greens and spoon it in a serving dish.
Serve hot with rice, idli, pongal, dosai or even phulka. Don’t forget to add a dollop of hot ghee on top of gothsu when serving.
You can char roast the brinjal on direct flame and mash it a bit or fry the chopped brinjal pieces and use for Gothsu too. You can also make the Gothsu in a pan instead of cooker.
You can make your own podi or Gothsu powder instead of using Sambar powder. I usually make the sambar powder at home but here I have used MTR one.
I sometime add chopped carrots, peas or french beans to it just coz I like the taste but mostly I keep it simple.
Do let me know if you make it.