Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Milagai gojju

When we were in school, we had rice three times a day. A typical morning would start with a glass of milk and just before leaving for school, since part of cooking would be ready, we ate rice with the vegetable and rasam and thayir (curds). Lunch was again a repeat of the breakfast with an additional vegetable dish and sambhar, rasam and curds if you came home during lunch hour. Else your lunch box would have been packed with the dishes you had for breakfast.
Tea time snacks were sometimes heavy that most nights we ate just rice with buttermilk.
It was much later during my college years that we had a 'tiffin' in the morning, and most likely carried the same for lunch. And the lunch box invariably was raided during the second hour of class by friends. Many days I have found an empty box in my desk and sometimes few friends were generous to buy us something from the canteen.
Holidays at our grand parents' place was a mandatory 'pazhaya sadham' and thayir with choice of sides. They would see to that there was rice left over when they cooked for the night. The choices of sides for the curd and rice were pickles galore and thenga podi, some thogaiyal etc. One of those were this milagai gojju, always cooked in the kachchatti and saved in the same. The gojju is a blend of flavours, the heat from the green chillis taking the prominance in the tamarind sauce with a hint of sweetness from some jaggery added to it.

It was not one of my favourites though, because I would opt for the thogaiyal or podi usually.
I was reminded of this gojju when I spotted nice and healthy looking green chillis at the vegetable shop, as it is  rare to find such fresh produce. Most days I may have to sift through the basket to pick passable as good chillis. I picked just about 50 grams of the chillis and made this gojju.
It tastes great as a side dish for dosais and adai or with arisi upma and such.


50 grams/ 15 in number fresh green chillis
30 grams / 1/4 cup (loosely packed) tamarind
15 grams/ 1 tablespoon powdered jaggery
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 cup sesame seeds oil
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida powder
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2-3 sprigs curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon rice flour

Wash the green chillis and cut them in fairly long pieces.
Soak the tamarind in water and extract a thick pulp. I usually soak the tamarind and run it in the blender and strain it.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil and add the mustard seeds. Allow them to splutter and then add the cut chillis and curry leaves. Sauté the chillis  for a few minutes and transfer to a dish. I think it is usually cooked in the tamarind during the whole process. That makes it very hot and spicy. So I kept the chillis in reserve to be added after reducing the tamarind pulp to a thick sauce - like consistency. If you can take the heat, try cooking the chillis along with the tamarind.
In the same pan, add a few more teaspoons of oil and pour the tamarind extract. Add the salt, turmeric powder and the asafoetida. Cook on a low heat until the tamarind cooks well and the pulp is thick. Add the rest of the oil in intervals so the sauce does not stick to the bottom and walls of the pan.
Add the powdered jaggery and cook further until the raw taste subsides.
Add the sauté-ed chillis and curry leaves.
To thicken the sauce, mix the rice flour with a little amount of water and add to the simmering pulp.
Allow them to come together and switch off the heat.
Transfer to a clean bowl.

This will stay at room temperature for four days and if refrigerated and handled carefully will stay good for over a week. Beyond that the taste will vary.

Serve this gojju with dosai, adai and upma. It tastes great with arisi upma kozhukkattai or with curd rice.


  1. super tempting akka!!! love the cute bowl...where did u get it?.When u are free visit my space, waiting for ur comments and suggestions.

    1. Thanks Shama. Those were gifts from Radhika Vasanth when i visited her in the US. I love them too. And yes will surely visit your space!

  2. Loved the chilli bowl it really distracted me from reading the recipe :) Nice and apt bowl!! And coming to the recipe wow loved the flavors and must be good with kanji and curd rice :)

    Today's Recipe ~ Besan Ladoo / Kadalai Maavu Ladoo
    You Too Can Cook Indian Food Recipes

  3. lovely gojju and the presentation is absolutely awesome with the cute bowls in the shape of chilly. I usually end up grinding the green chillies with tamarind and water and make it like chilly chutney ofcourse with all the seasonings oil floating on top. My hubby loves to have it invariably with idli and dosai.

  4. Lovely gojju with nice bowls. Wish to try this.

  5. Lata I loved the Gojju; we have a mulaga-pachadi in our region. Very similar to this. We add crushed sesame seeds to the pachadi and did not add rice flour. It looks more like an influence from the Tamil cuisine.

    Again, am looking at the chilli bowls. We had some, in a 'salsa' theme but it just missed something.
    These look lovely.
    I have to ask Radhika where she got them from! :-)

    1. they are a pair of dip bowls from Martha Stewart collection. Very delicate and I am so fond of them that I am showing them off at the least opportunity.

    2. I would love to use the sesame seeds next time.

  6. Super tempting gojju. Love the one made in kachattis

  7. Spicy gojju... Love the cute bowl... Really very nice...

    Event: Dish name starts with O

  8. Looks So yummy I love this send some to me


  9. Yummy looking recipe...we have similar recipe called puli inji in Kerala..except the inji(ginger) this looks similar...Loved those cute bowl...Beautiful..

    1. It is similar yes. We also make the inji puli in a slightly thicker version.

  10. This looks super tempting. I like the thought of tangy-spicy. And lovely bowls. Where did you pick them up?

    1. Those were gifts from a blogger friend Radha.

  11. love this..looks so tempting and yumm..

  12. LOOks really yummy..we have called mulaga-pachadi in our region. my fav dish.. mouthwatering here.. will u pls send it to me..

  13. That looks lipsmackingly good akka... would love to have that with curd rice... the bowls suit the recipe very well :)

  14. Super doopr gojju. Luv the bowl too, well clicked

  15. Those are lovely bowls! I've had this a couple of times.


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Hope we shall interact often.
Thanks once again,
Lata Raja.