Generally when we plan for any major meal, we select a main dish, an entree, something that will be the star of the show, something to dazzle the senses of the guests, a dish that will set the theme for the table. If the menu is Indian, the entree could be one of several tantalizing rice dishes, or a wonderful korma or a finger licking-good makhanwala dish. You could have wonderful pasta dishes that adorn the center of the goodie table. But, in all the adoration for these main dishes, the ubiquitous, necessary side dishes are almost always forgotten. They are made with regularity, enough care is put into their preparation so that they do not spoil the meal, but I don't think they ever get the appreciation that they deserve. After all, its these chutneys, sauces, raitas and side vegetables that enhance the flavour of the entree or can even save the day, if disaster strikes the main attraction !
So today's ode is to the wonderful array of side dishes that any cook would gladly have in his/her recipe collection - Gojjus or chutneys.
I love gojjus, the ones that I have had till now have always had a wonderful balance of tartness and sweetness, which makes them suitable with bread, dosas, chapaties and even rice ! I got this recipe of raw mango gojju from my mom. She made it quite frequently when mangoes were in season. Unlike in the US where you can generally get mangoes all round the year, we would have to impatiently wait for the mango season in India. That was the time when mangoes of all shapes, colours and ripeness levels could be seen on every nook, corner and stall.
Made with sour mangoes and fresh succulent coconut, this side dish is worthy of any Indian menu.
Maavinkaayi Gojju / Raw Mango Gojju
1/2 raw mango
1/2 C fresh coconut, grated.
(you can also use frozen coconut, just thaw and warm in the microwave before grinding)
2 green chillies
1/2 inch fresh ginger (optional)
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp canola oil
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp black mustard seeds
2 -3 curry leaves
generous pinch of asafoetida
1. Peel the raw mango and dice into small pieces
2. Grind to a coarse paste along with the coconut, green chillies, ginger (if using), salt and sugar.
3. Transfer the gojju into a serving bowl.
4. For the tempering, heat the oil in a small wok, add the urad dal and the mustard seeds. Fry until the urad dals turns golden brown and the mustard seeds splutter. Add the curry leaves. Take off from heat, add the asafoetida and mix well.
5. Pour the tempering over the gojju and mix well.
This gojju makes a delicious accompaniment to various dishes such as idlis, dosas, even chapaties, bread and rice. With few ingredients and uncomplicated steps, you will have a
dish that you can easily whip up ! Try it !!