Wednesday, April 29, 2009
A very traditional dish, prepared using a very non-traditional ingredient. Everyone in Karnataka would have heard of one or the other version of kaayirasa which is commonly known as gojju. A sweet, sour n tangy curry, it keeps without spoiling for many days and can be made with a plethora of fruits and vegetables as the main ingredient. anaanas(pineapple), benDekaayi(okra), maavinkaayi(raw mango), doNmeNasinkyaai(capsicum) amTekaayi(donno the english name for these), haagalakaayi(bitter gourd) etc., all can be cooked using the same recipe to make the respective kaayirasa or gojju(like, anaanas kaayirasa, benDekaayi kaayirasa etc.,). Each fruit/veggie renders its own unique flavour, aroma and taste to the dish.
Granny Smith Apple
When one thinks of the kaayirasa/gojju, apples are not at all what comes to ones mind. In fact, when you say "apple gojju" people might even twist their faces in disgust. So, when I made this to be served as an item for lunch at Satyanarayana Pooje that we had performed, I did not tell anyone what it was. I just told them it was gojju and asked them to guess the ingredient. Everyone said they liked it a lot, and their guesses made me wonder "oh! why not? I can use those ingredients to make gojju too" hmmmm.... Some guessed it to be Sorekaayi/doodhi/Bottle gourd, some said it was Seemebadnekaayi/chayote squash and some said it was maavinakaayi/raw mangoes :-) No one even thought about apples! It was nice to see the expression on everybodys faces, when I told them it was apples- utter disbelief, surprise, skeptical- and then when I elaborated and said Green Granny Smith Apples - realisation, O oh! ok... 'twas real fun!
The important thing to remember here is to choose, firm, sour apples. If you dont find the Granny Smith apples, i'm sure you can substitute them with any raw, tart variety that is available. Go ahead and try, while I try making the gojju with either bottle gourd or chayote squash ;-)
Green Apples getting a bath...
3 big Granny Smith Apples(if you can't find them you can use any firm, sour ones), washed, cored and cubed
1/2 cup fresh/frozen Coconut, grated
1 teaspoon Sambar Powder(don't have homemade? MTR Sambar Powder is the best alternative)
1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
1/4 teaspoon Methi Powder(Fenugreek Seeds Powder)
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
2 teaspoons roasted yeLLu/til Seeds(Gingelly/Sesame Seeds)
1 tablespoon(or less, according to your taste) Powdered Jaggery(don't have it? you can use Brown Sugar instead)
1 teaspoon Tamarind Concentrate/paste/pulp
Salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon Jeerige/Jeera/Cumin Seeds
1/2 teaspoon Saasve/Rai/Mustard Seeds
1/4 teaspoon ingu/Asafoetida
10-12 Curry leaves
4-5 Green chillies, slit lengthwise
2 tablespoons Oil
1. Grind all the powders with Coconut, jaggery, tamarind paste and the roasted sesame seeds into a fine paste and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a thick bottomed, wide brimmed vessel.
3. Once hot enough, add the Cumin and Mustard seeds. When they start sputtering, add the Asafoetida and then the curry leaves and the green chillies. Let them saute for a few minutes.
4. Now, add the apple cubes, mix in some salt and let them cook on medium heat. Cover the vessel with a lid.
5. When the apples are well cooked and tender, add the ground paste and mix well.
6. Adjust the consistency using water, as per your need. Do a taste test and adjust the seasonings.
7. Mix well and let it come to a boil.
8. Serve warm with rice, rotis, chapatis, parathas or even dosay! :-)