Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Gothsu or Gojju (Vegetable Sauce With Tamarind)

Gothsu or Gojju is an intense, spicy, sweet and sour saucy dish traditionally eaten with Pongal or VenPongal. It is great to eat with rice and vegetables, snacks such as Dosa, etc. Generally it is made with any type of sweet flavored winter squashes, eggplant, etc. Gothsu would be considered as a "kozhambu" or saucy curry category of food in the South Indian culinary repertoire. Here is one version of gothsu.


1/2 small Kabocha or Butternut squash
1 small Onion(Optional)
1 JalapeƱo or Serrano chili (Optional)
2 tsp Tamarind concentrate
1/2 tsp Turmeric
2 tsp Sambar Powder
2 Tbsp Indian Jaggery or Brown sugar (Optional)
1 tsp Salt or to taste
2 to 4 Tbsp Fresh Cilantro


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 Asafoetida (Hing)
1 sprig Fresh Curry Leaves


Wash the squash thoroughly and wipe dry. Cutting the Kabocha Squash is a little tricky. Place the squash on a cutting board securely and use a heavy, sharp knife carefully to cut it in half. Scoop out the seeds and fibers and discard. Kabocha has a thin skin so does not need to be peeled; but peel if you prefer. Butternut squash has thick skin; so it must be peeled. Chop coarsely; set aside. Cut the stem off the chili and slit about half way.

Place the chopped squash pieces, green chili, salt, brown sugar, turmeric, Sambar powder, and tamarind paste in a stainless steel 2 quart pan with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, turn heat down and simmer until the squash is very soft and the liquid has thickened, about 20 minutes. Mash the squash pieces a little with the back of the spoon.

Peel the onion and chop finely while the squash 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 entire contents to the squash. Add chopped cilantro and stir well. Serve hot or at room temperature with Pongal, Dosa, etc or as desired.

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