Think about a dish like Orange peel gojju, the main ingredient here is the peels of an orange. Making a delectable dish from a discard is not intuitive. For my unimaginative but slightly scientific brain, it is just a peel that comes with the fruit, protects the fruit and gets discarded when the fruit is consumed. But somebody with an imagination felt they could actually turn these peels into a delicacy by adding a few spices. I am glad I have had the privilege of tasting this wonderful flavor of a dish. We love it any day as much as we love the dear oranges.
Well, this is a gojju nammamma often made during Orange season in India - typically winter months. Very pantry friendly, the recipe uses spices usually found in any well stocked home and can be made in a jiffy. It makes for a very good side dish and gives your taste buds an extra kick of flavors. Gojju refers to a spicy gravy in kannada and this is one of the many varieties of gojjus prepared.
What do you need to make Orange peel gojju?
Peel of 2 oranges - washed, cut into thin strips or chopped fine. I like the bite and so cut it into strips.
Juice of one orange
1 Tblsp salt (adjust to taste)
1 Tblsp crushed jaggery/brown sugar
4-5 curry leaves
1 Tblsp cooking oil
1/2 Tsp turmeric powder
1 Tsp mustard seeds/saasive
2 Tblsp grated coconut - fresh or frozen
1 Tsp chana dal/kadle bele
1/2 Tsp methi seeds/menthya
1 Tsp white sesame seeds/ellu
1/2 Tsp cumin/jeerige
2 medium red chilies
3-4 black pepper corns
How do you make Orange peel gojju?
- Add a few drops of oil and a pinch of salt & turmeric to the washed orange peels and set aside for 10 minutes. This helps to mellow down the slight bitterness of the peels.
- Rinse the peels in water and squeeze them to remove excess water. You can skip these 2 steps entirely if you like the strong taste of the peels.
- Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds & curry leaves.
- When mustard seeds crackle, add the cleaned orange peels and fry for about 5-7 minutes on medium heat until the peels soften a little.
- Heat a pan on medium high, roast all the ingredients under 'masala' except for the coconut until the dal turns light brown and a nice smell surrounds your kitchen.
- Once the spices cool down to room temperature, grind it along with coconut & a Tblsp of fried orange peels to a smooth paste by adding water. This should not be very thin but of the thick chutney consistency served with Dosa/idlis.
- Add the mixture to the remaining peels, add salt, jaggery/brown sugar and orange juice and let it boil for 5 minutes.
- Adjust the consistency of the gojju by adding water as needed, the gojju thickens once it cools down.
We like to eat it on the side with rice or roti. A favorite way is to mix it with hot rice with a drizzle of oil/ghee and eat it with fresh cut onion slices, yummmm...
- Make the gojju a little watery so you don't end up with a dry mixture when it cools down.
- I strongly recommend tasting the gojju when it is boiling to adjust levels of salt & jaggery, you will see a filibuster of flavors in the mouth when you eat it.
- You can use dry coconut gratings to increase the shelf life of the gojju or if you plan to pack it for a trip.