This is a traditional preparation from Karnataka and is a very fine combination of sweet,
sour, saltish and Hot (chili) tastes. The dish is eaten both with rice and with Chapathi
(some even spread it on the bread !).
4-6 green chilies
marble sized tamarind
grated coconut (two handfuls)
two spoonfuls of Menthya (methi seeds)
two spoonfuls of Jeerige (Jeera, cumin seeds)
one spoonful of Sasuve’ (mustard seeds)
two spoonfuls of yellu (til or sesame seeds)
fresh Kothumbari soppu (dhaniya/coriander leaves)
a pinch of Arishina (turmeric powder)
a spoon of rice (akki)
A large piece of Jaggery (1-2 cubic inch) or two tablespoons of brown sugar.
In a pan, dry fry the Menthya seeds, Jeerige and Yellu. After you get the nice smell in 5
minutes, take it out and allow it to cool (the menthya seeds turn dark brown but should not
turn black). Grind it in a grinder/mixer, and then wet grind it again using water with
coconut, green chilies, mustard seeds, and Kothumbari soppu Akki (rice) and Arishina. Use
water to make it a thick liquid.
Wipe 1/2 Kg of Bende Kaayi(Bhindi/Ladies finger/Okhra)with a wet towel. Cut them into
medium sized (1 inch long) pieces. Take a pan with a table spoon of oil, fry the cut pieces
in low fire. Continue to fry till they are fairly well cooked (add a little of oil if needed).
Soak the tamarind (HuNise’ HaNNu) in a cup of water. After 5 minutes of soaking, squeeze
the tamarind thoroughly to get all the juice and then take away the remains of tamarind.
Pour the tamarind water onto the cooked Bende Kaayi. Allow it to soak and boil for 5
minutes (this takes away the loLe’ or soapy layer, from the okhra). Now put in the grinded
mixture, add salt to taste and stir well. Also add the Jaggery (bella) and keep the mixture
on low flame. Add a few curry leaves (Kari Bevina soppu) and allow the mixture to cook
on low fire, till it becomes a semi thick liquid. For Oggarane’ (tarka, phodni, vagar) heat a
spoon of oil, and when hot add mustard. After they split add half a red chili (broken), take
it off flame and put it into the hot Gojju. Stir well.
NOTE: Instead of Bendekaayi, Badane kaayi (Baingon, egg plant) can be used. Also Seeme
Badane’ kaayi (a flat pear shaped greenish vegetable available in Indian and Chinese
stores), Sore’kaayi (kaddu) or Sihi KumbaLa (Pumpkin), several types of amercian gourds,
or even plain onions chopped into larger pieces and put into Gojju. In all these cases, it is
necessary to cut them into somewhat larger (1 inch cube) pieces, fry them in a little oil and
cook them before pouring in the grinded mixture. There is no need to cook them in tamarind
water, although tamarind water is added as usual, towards the end.
Invariably, only one vegetable is used in Gojju, to preserve the distinct taste of that