December 17, 2010

Onion Gojju (Pearl onions in tamarind curry)


I had eaten this lip smacking finger licking dish years ago, at my dear friend Kavitha’s place. And yet, every time I see pearl onions at the grocery store, I remember that special taste, she had made it so well, I had to get the recipe and share it with you.  She is a great cook, and she is so quick! I love to see her go! She works full time, and yet manages to throw parties at every occasion. With guests in her living room, she is whipping up something yummy in the kitchen, tending to her kids, keeping the guests happy with her charisma, hot chai and crispy snacks, a multi-tasker for sure. Thanks so much Kavitha. The recipe is credited to you!

What Kavitha uses: Serves 4
1 cup fresh pearl onions peeled and washed
2 tsp whole tamarind or 1 tsp thick tamarind paste
1 tsp brown sugar or jaggery
2 tsp fresh/dry coconut flakes  (optional)
Salt to taste
1 tsp curry powder ( Kavitha’s tip: If you don’t have curry powder, then dry roast 2/3 dry red peppers, a tsp of channa dal, little cilantro leaves, 4/5 black pepper seeds, 1tsp sesame seeds and grind it)
Tempering: 1 tsp ghee, ¼ tsp mustard and cumin seeds, a pinch of hing and a stick of curry leaves
 
Soak the raw tamarind in warm water for 30 mins. Mash the tamarind well to extract the pulp and throw out the rind. 

In a medium saucepan, add ghee. One medium heat, when the ghee melts ans shimmers, add mustard seeds, jeera, curry leaves and hing.  

Then add the peeled baby onions and fry it in oil till tender,not overcooked.

In a separate bowl, boil the tamarind extract with jaggery and curry powder. Grind coconut into a fine paste and add it to the above mix (optional).

Add water if needed and cook for 10-15 mins till it becomes thick (gojju consistency). Add salt to taste. After it cools, then add the onions with seasoning to the gojju.

When you mix this onion gojju with hot rice and a dollop of ghee, it is so good. It has all that your tastebuds crave, salt, spice, sweet, tang and carmelized onions. Enjoy!