Spicy Tangy Kathirikai Gothsu | Brinjal Gothsu


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.

 

Ingredients :

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

 

Method –

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.

Note –

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.

Two Delicious Eggplant Recipes – Khatte Meethe Baingan And Baingan Palak Sowa Ki Sabzi


Aubergine/eggplant/brinjal/melanzane/berenjenas, the humble baingan has many names and they come in all shapes and sizes. The colours mostly vary from deep purple, black, cream, light green, bright magenta or even stripes of white and purple. Did you know eggplant is basically a fruit, a variety of nightshade like tomatoes, sweet peppers and potatoes? Fruit or vegetable, it is one of my favorites. Full of nutrition, eggplants are low in calories and are rich source of antioxidants, folate, vitamins and minerals, They are high on fiber and low on fat. Most of all they are delicious and can be cooked in many ways. It is not the boring veggie you believe it to be.

When buying eggplants look for vivid color, Choose the ones which are light in weight and free of any bruises, scars or discolouration. They should be firm with their calyx cap still green. This ensures that the eggplant is fresh and ripe. Test the ripeness by pressing the skin of the vegetable with your thumb pad, if it springs back the eggplant is ripe. Once cut, place them in a bowl of salt water to remove bitterness. Throw away the water.

There are so many delicious dishes you can make with eggplants. You can grill them with herbs, bake with cheese, roast and mash to make baba ghaoush, eggplant mash or baingan bharta/chokha, use variety of ingredients,to stuff them or you can make eggplant sauce to top up the pizzas/sandwiches etc. Aubergine dip is one of my favorites and so are these two recipes from my Indian kitchen.

The sweet and sour eggplant or khatte meethe baingan is an explosion of tastes. I love the sweet tangy flavours spiced up with chili and other spices. The tamarind/tomatoes and jaggery give the dish a unique texture and flavor. I love garlic and it pairs beautifully with aubergines.

1. Sweet and Sour Eggplant Vegetable

The khatte meethe baingan have two variations. One is made with Tamarind and jaggery and the one here uses tomatoes instead of tamarind. Chokh Vagun is a traditional Kashmiri baingan recipe that uses tamarind and fennel seeds. This is a variation of the same.

Ingredients :

Baby eggplants – 8-10

Tomatoes – 1/2 cup finely chopped

Ginger – 1/2 inch (grated)

Garlic – 4 cloves (grated)

Red Onions – 2 medium size ( finely chopped)

Corriander Greens – 1/4 cup (finely chopped)

Curry Leaves – 6-8

Fennel seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

Onion Seeds (kalounji) – 1/4 teaspoon

Mustard Seeds – 1/4 teaspoon

Cumin Seeds – 1/4 teaspoon

Jaggery – 2 tablespoon (shredded or granules)

Salt – to taste

Whole Dry Red chili -1

Hing/asafoetida – generous pinch

Red Chili Powder – to taste

Coriander Powder – 2 tablespoon

Garam Masala Powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Mustard Oil – 2 tablespoon (you can use any other oil too)

Method :

Wash and remove the stems of the eggplants.

Slice them lengthwise in 2 inch slices and put them in a bowl of salted water). Discard the water before using the vegetable slices.

Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pan (Kadhayi) and once it begins to smoke lower the flame. Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. When they start to crackle add dry red chili ,curry leaves and onion.

Stir the onions on low heat till they become translucent. Add ginger and garlic. Stir.

Add salt to help it become brown. When the mixture turns golden brown add red chili powder and a tablespoon of water. Mix well. This will give color to the masala. Cook on low heat for a few minutes then add the other dry masalas. Mix well and let it cook for a minute. Add chopped tomatoes. Mix well.

Cover and let it simmer for a few minutes. When the tomatoes become soft and mushy and the masala is fully absorbed add half a cup of water to it and mix. Let it cook for 5-8 minutes.

At this point stir in the eggplant slices and cover. Let it cook till the eggplant slices become tender. Now add jaggery and mix well. If the tomatoes are not sour ones then add a teaspoon of amchoor or mango powder at this point. You can replace tomatoes with tamarind taste too. I dissolve jaggery in tamarind water and add that instead of tomatoes at times.

Remember that sometimes the vegetables dont soften once the souring agent is added so it is better to let them tenderize before adding any sour thing.

Cover the curry and let cook for a while untill all the spices and other ingredients blend well.

Open the lid and add chopped coriander greens. Cover and cook for 5 more minutes then turn off the heat.

You can make it dry or a little curried per your liking.

Serve it hot with fresh phulka/paratha or steamed rice.

2. Sweet And Sour Eggplant With Winter Greens 

The second delicious vegetable with eggplant today is speciality of Varanasi or Benares as we know it. Aaloo bhanta saag (Thanks Sangeeta Khanna for reminding me this name) is mostly eaten with kachoris there. The preparation is a staple of Uttarpradesh and Bihar and usually prepared during Diwali when the market is brimming with fresh tender winter greens. It is a mushy vegetable made with baby potatoes, spinach, fresh dill greens and masala badi (A condiment- a dehydrated lentil cake).  My version doesn’t have potatoes. The spinach and wispy fern like dill greens (sowa) give it a unique flavour.

Dill leaves / shepoo/ sowa has a strong but pleasant anise-like flavour. Usually it is used in combination with spinach. I use it for making pakodas (dumplings) and for aloo sowa veggie too. Both the green have a high nutrient content. The dill springs have many essential volatile oils which are good for health. It also has vitamin A,C, B6, manganese, folate, copper, calcium and iron. Spinach on the other hand is full of phytonutrients. omega3 fatty acids among other things.

To make this wonderful veggie you will need

Ingredients :

A medium size round eggplant

Spinach leaves – 250 gm

sowa or fresh dill greens 100 gms

ginger – 1 tablespoon grated

garlic – 3 cloves finely chopped

onion – 1 roughly chopped

Dry red chili whole -1

cumin seeds – 1/4 teaspoon

fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tsp

fennel seeds – 1/4 tsp

Generous pinch of hing or asafoetida

Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp

Salt – to taste

Mustard oil – 1-2 tablespoon

Method –

Wash, clean and chop the spinach and dill greens. Keep aside.

Wash and cut the eggplant in small cubes. Put them in salted water.

Heat a tablespoon of mustard oil in a kadhai or cast iron wok. Once the oil begins to smoke lower the heat and add, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds and whole red chili. When the seeds begin to crackle add onion, garlic and ginger. Stir well.

Add chopped onions and just when they turn translucent add the chopped brinjals Add salt , turmeric powder and cover. Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat then open the lid and add the greens. Stir well.

Dry roast fennel seed and onion seeds slightly and crush them in a mortar. Add this now.

Let it cook covered for a few minutes so the spices get absorbed in the vegetables (around 20 min) and then give it a stir after removing the lid.

You can make this wonderful veggie dry or coated with masala. I have not added the badi in this version but if you do then crush the badi (I use the amritsari urad dal badi) and in a little oil turn in over with crushed garlic till it browns. Add this to the vegetable and let the flavours seep in.

Serve it hot with Jowar bhakri/ roti/ poori or kachori. Winter greens taste best with flatbreads (roti/bhakri) made with sorghum, pearl millet and Indian corn flour. These are best for people following paleo or gluten-free diet and taste wonderful too.

If you make any of these, do let me know how they turned out. Any suggestions are welcome.

Enjoy! 

Recipe – Gatte Ki Sabzi (Chickpea Flour Dumpling Curry)


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I love gatte ki sabzi as much as I love kadhi pakoda . Usually I keep both the besan dishes simple but sometimes I add veggies to give the original one some new flavor and texture. The traditional gatta curry is a staple dish from Rajasthan made with chickpea flour dumplings dunked in thick yogurt gravy with spices. A delicious blend of flavours. I have someone with lactose intolerance so I made this particular one with onion and tomato gravy which is equally delightful in taste. I am giving both versions here.

The dish can be had with rice or roti. You can make it with a little gravy or just let the gattas soak in all the spiced curry and use it as a dry vegetable.

Ingredients :

To make Gatta you will need:

Besan (chickpea flour) – 1 Cup

Dry roasted cumin powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Red Chili Powder – 1 teaspoon

Turmeric Powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Coriander Powder – 1/2 Teaspoon

Oil – 1 teaspoon

Asafoetida – A Pinch

Salt to Taste

Water – Enough to make a semi hard dough ( I sometimes use Mattha/Tak/whisked curd instead of water)

For the onion tomato base gravy you will need :

Onion – 1 Big (finely chopped)

Tomatoes – 3-4 Medium Size ( grated or puréed )

Ginger – 1/2 inch (grated)

Garlic – 2-3 cloves (grated)

Fresh coriander leaves – 1/4 cup

Turmeric Powder – 1/2 Teaspoon

Coriander Powder – 1 Heaped Teaspoon

Red Chili Powder – 1/2 Teaspoon or to taste

Asafoetida Powder – A pinch

Cumin Seeds – 1/2 Teaspoon

Mustard Oil – 2 Tablespoon (You can use any other oil too)

Method 

To prepare the gatta or dumplings

Take a big mixing bowl and throw in all the ingredients listed for making the dumplings (gatta) except the dahi/mattha/tak(buttermilk) or water.

Mix them well.

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Now slowly add the prefered liquid or curd as you bind the chickpea flour. Add enough to make a dough which is neither too hard nor too soft. Stiff enough to roll out like sausages. 1inch thickness is okay. You can roll them out longer too. I find this size convenient to handle.

Now take a heavy bottom pan and boil enough water in it to cover the rounded gatta strips. Delicately slide the sausage like strips into boiling water and let them boil for at least 20-30 mins.

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Once done the gatta strips will turn white in colour and float to the top. This is the time to take them out slowly in a plate and let them dry.

Once dry cut them in to smaller pieces. ( some people fry these before adding to the curry. i keep it oil free.)

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Keep them aside and prepare the curry now.

For the curry 

Put a heavy bottom pan on heat and add the oil. Once the mustard oil reaches smoking point add asafoetida and cumin seeds. Add chopped onions. Add salt at this time. It helps the onion to brown quicker. Once the onion turns golden brown add ginger and garlic and saute it too. Add red chili powder and a little water so that the mixture doesn’t burn.It also lifts the spices. Lower the flame and let it cook for a while then add the grated tomatoes. Stir properly and let it simmer on low flame. Keep it covered. Once the mixture seems cooked , add the spices (haldi, coriander) Mix well.

Cook it till the oil starts separating from the masala. Once it reaches that stage add gattas and stir. Do it slowly so the gattas don’t break. Cover and let the dumplings soak in the flavours.

After five-ten minutes stir it again. ( At this stage you can leave out adding the liquid and enjoy the semi dry veggie with rotis/ parathas etc. Garnishing it with chopped coriander ) Or add warm water to the mixture to make a thick gravy. Stirring in as you add the liquid. Keep the flame high and bring it to a boil. Let it boil for a few minutes then reduce the heat.

Once the gravy is thick and the aromas begin to fill your kitchen it is time to turn off the gas and garnish the gatta curry with freshly chopped coriander leaves.

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Enjoy the curry with rice or roti.

To make the Curd gravy you need 

Whisked Curd – 1 cup instead of water. All other ingredients remain the same.

Heat oil ( or Ghee which I prefer when using curd), add hing, cumin seeds and a whole red chili. Once the seeds splutter, add chopped onion , ginger, garlic and fry till golden brown, add chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder,salt and sprinkle a little water to deglaze the pan.and lift the spices. Fry it till it leaves oil. Gently tip in the whisked curd little by little. Keep stirring so it doesn’t curdle.

Keep the flame low. Stir till the masala is integrated properly Add a little water if needed to prepare the thick gravy. Let it boil for sometime and then tip in the gatta pieces. Let it simmer on slow flame for at least 10 minutes. Keep it covered.

Once done remove from flame and garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves before serving.

Recipe – Sprouted Fenugreek and Potato Vegetable


Sangeeta khanna is one of the best Food Bloggers in Delhi and a friend. Over a phone conversation I asked her about healthy vegetarian food that could help me get over my Iron deficiency among other things.  I make all sorts of sprouts at home and use them in various ways like in salads, pulao, vegetable combinations and as stuffing for sandwiches etc.

I knew about roasted fenugreek being used for making ladoos mixed with whole wheat flour but had never used them as sprouts.

Usually I use it as seasoning in veggies, dal etc. Fenugreek is very nutritious herb both as a leafy vegetable and as seeds. It contains protein, vitamin C, niacin, potassium, copper, calcium, iron, selenium, zinc, manganese, and diosgenin (which is a compound that has properties similar to estrogen) among other active ingredients.

The herb which is a rich source of anti oxidant, minerals and photo nutrients  is a store house of nutrients is highly beneficial to cure many ailments like high cholesterol, Diabetes (do not eat without consulting the physician), appetite loss, heart burn, constipation, inflammation, muscle and joint pain, erectile dysfunction , baldness etc. It helps in production of milk in lactating mothers. Pregnant women should not use Fenugreek  as it  increase uterine contractions.

Sprouting fenugreek seeds crates enzymatic reaction which produces easily digested proteins.

To make Fenugreek sprouts and other sprouts with no contamination read this  Making sprouts at home by Sangeeta Khanna.

I used her recipe to make this vegetable and did some changes to it according to my taste.

 

 

I prepared a large bowl of sprouted fenugreek and kept the unused part in an airtight container in the fridge.

To make the Potato fenugreek ( methi) vegetable you need ;

Ingredients :

2 large Potatoes

I cup Fenugreek Sprouts

I Medium Onion

2  Fresh Green Chilies

4 table-spoon chopped Fresh Coriander

1 table spoon mustard oil or any other oil to cook

A pinch of asafoetida

Pinch of cumin seeds

Salt to taste

Red chili powder

Dry mango powder – 1/2 teaspoon or 1 teaspoon lime juice

Turmeric Powder – 1 teaspoon (optional)

 

Method : 

Make the sprouts as given in the link above. (I don’t throw the water in which the seeds were soaked, I drink it usually. Also I do not wash them so often if hygienically prepared. )

Wash and boil potatoes ( I steam them in a steamer) and cut into small cubes.

Chop onion lengthwise or in rough pieces

Chop green chilies in small pieces

 

In a non stick pan add mustard oil and let it smoke. If you are using any other oil let it heat and turn the flame low.

Add cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add chopped onions , grated ginger, green chilies and sprinkle asafoetida powder over it. Putting it early will burn it.

Saute the onion till light golden and then add potatoes, boiled and cut into cubes and also 1/2 of the fresh coriander leaves.

Stir and add salt, turmeric powder, toss well till done . Add the sprouts after this step. Cooking sprouts too much destroys its goodness. Add dry mango powder.

Toss for a few minutes and take out in a bowl .

 

 

The other variation with kasoori methi is in the link I provided earlier in the post.

Add rest of the freshly chopped coriander and a green chili split into half . Add lime juice while serving  if you don’t use dry mango powder.

Eat hot with Rotis, Indian flat bread or any other bread. Use it as a stuffing for grilled or plain sandwich if you like)

So eat healthy and stay well.

Enjoy!