Saturday, March 29, 2008

Eggplant Gothsu (Roasted Eggplant Curry With Tamarind)

Here is an exotic and delicious dish often served with Pongal. The roasting or broiling not only adds a smoky flavor, but also brings out the best in the eggplant and chili. The best way is to roast over hot coals; but broiling or roasting in an oven will produce good results as well. If roasting is not feasible, go ahead and make it with raw chopped eggplant (I do sometimes if in a hurry); it still makes a wonderful dish. But do make this dish with roasted or broiled eggplant too when you can.

For best results, choose bright, glossy eggplants - they tend to be fresher, tender and more flavorful.

4-6 Servings


1 small globe eggplant OR 2 Japanese type eggplants
1 small Onion (Optional)
1 JalapeƱo or Serrano chili
2 tsp Tamarind concentrate
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Sambar Powder
2 Tbsp Indian Jaggery or Brown sugar (Optional)
1 tsp Salt or to taste
2 to 4 Tbsp Fresh Cilantro (Optional)


1 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
1/8 tsp whole Fenugreek seeds (Optional)
1 or 2 Dry Whole Red Chilies
1 big pinch Asafetida (Hing)
1 sprig Fresh Curry Leaves


How to roast: Wash the eggplant and chili thoroughly and wipe dry. Roast in a 400 degree F oven turning to cook all sides until the skin in blackened and the vegetables are soft (about 20 to 30 minutes). Alternately hold with tongs over gas flames and cook on all sides. 

Cover and set aside until cool enough to handle. Covering well is important as it helps the eggplant to sweat as it cools which makes peeling easier. Peel off the papery skin with the help of a small sharp knife and save all the juices and flesh from both the eggplant and chili. 

Do not be tempted to peel under running water or rinse the roasted veggies; the flavors will get washed away as well. Chop or mash coarsely; set aside.

If using raw eggplant, chop into small cubes and add directly to the tamarind water  in the next step and cook until soft and easy to mash with the back of the spoon a little.

Place the salt, brown sugar, turmeric, Sambar powder, and tamarind paste in a 2 quart stainless steel pan with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, turn heat down and simmer until the liquid has thickened slightly, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the mashed/chopped eggplant and chili mixture and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cover.

Peel the onion and chop finely while the gothsu is cooking.

Heat a small pan with the oil and add the seeds and red chili. When the seeds pop, add asafoetida and then the onions and curry leaves. Cook, stirring, until the onion is soft. Add the whole thing to the gothsu. Add chopped cilantro and stir well. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes for the flavors to develop. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature with Pongal, Dosa, Tofu Yogurt Rice, etc or as desired.

Variations: If roasting is not feasible, the eggplant can be grilled. Slice and coat with a little oil and grill until soft and browned a little. The chili can be grilled whole or sliced; leave the core and seeds in for a spicy dish or remove them for a milder dish.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Author !
Quite right! It seems to me it is good idea. I agree with you.