Thursday, November 15, 2012

Apple gojju - Autumn specials

Hope everyone had a great Diwali celebration. We did too. I am kind of going slow on my posts as things are moving very fast at home & work but all the pictures I take are going into drafts and they will show up pretty soon on this space. We are expecting family over this weekend and looking forward to spending time together. If you are tired of all the sweets and the deep fried goods made for Diwali, here is a very easy spicy apple gojju to bring your taste buds to life.

Growing up in South India, apples were mostly considered as expensive, seasonal delicacies. The one variety I remember clearly is the Kashmiri apples (small, roundish ones, very juicy and sweet to taste). I would never have believed such easy access to apples and I am sure would never have imagined all the different varieties of this fruit if I had not traveled across the seven seas (we all know that is just an expression :-)).
Apple picking is a favorite Fall time activity here in many states of USA. Vast farms full of apple trees bending low from the weight of the fruits of different colors, taste and sizes, families of young & old wrapped in warm clothing to ward off the chill, warm cider and hay rides are all part of the package called 'U-pick apples' open to public during the season. You end up coming home with not only an apple overloaded stomach but bushels of fresh picked apples. You enjoy them the 1st and 2nd day, hand it over to friends & neighbors you happen to meet on the 3rd & 4th day, try to get to as many of them as possible before they go bad over the week all along wondering what the heck you were thinking of bringing home such a large quantity of apples when there are only three people to eat them :-). But the experience of U-pick in itself is wonderful so you get over the temporary dislike you have developed for the apples and head right back to the farms at the next opportunity :-)).

Well, some of the apples find their way into home made apple sauce (Yumm.. apples & cinnamon) but as we do not enjoy the sweet versions so much, I tend to look for spicier alternatives. I tasted the apple gojju in one of my friend's house, made some modifications (adding roasted sesame seeds brings it so much more closer to South Indian gojju) and it has been part of my recipe repertoire for a long time now. This is a very easy to fix, quick to prepare and delicious to eat gojju. We missed apple picking this time as things have been busy but I got home some very firm and fresh looking Granny Smith apples from the store and turned them into this yummy gojju.
Apple picking, climbing on daddy's shoulders to reach those beauties. She doesn't need them (shoulders I mean) anymore
What do you need to make apple gojju? 
4 servings
2 medium sized firm green apples (I used granny smith, use any tart variety you get)
1/8 Tsp tamarind concentrate (see notes)
1/2 Tsp crushed jaggery/brown sugar
1/2 Tsp red chili powder (adjust to taste)
1 Tblsp white sesame seeds
1 Tblsp oil
1/4 Tsp fenugreek seeds
4-5 curry leaves
1 Tsp mustard
1-2 red chilies broken into pieces
1/8 Tsp asafoetida powder
1/8 Tsp turmeric powder
About 1/2 cup water
1 Tsp salt (adjust to taste)

How do you make apple gojju? 
  • Wash, pat dry and peel apples. 
  • Core the apples and cut them into bite sized pieces.
  • Dry roast sesame seeds until they start to pop, let cool, powder them in a coffee grinder or pound them in a mortar & pestle. Keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a wide pan on medium heat, add asafoetida, mustard, fenugreek seeds and let them pop. 
  • Add the red chilies, turmeric powder & curry leaves and fry for about 30 seconds. 
  • Add the chopped apple pieces, salt and fry for a minute. 
  • Add the tamarind concentrate, red chili powder, jaggery and 1/2 cup of water and let it come to a boil. 
  • Add the powdered sesame seeds, mix and switch off the stove. 
  • Enjoy the sweet, tart & spicy gojju as a side dish.
  • Do not let the apples cook soft, they taste better when the pieces are slightly crunchy. 
  • Apples absorb the juices in the gravy even after you switch off, let the gojju sit for atleast 30 minutes before serving. 
  • The gojju needs to be sweet, tart and spicy at the same time, adjust the red chili powder, tamarind & jaggery according to your taste.
  • If you do not like the bite of fenugreek seeds, dry roast them until pink and powder along with the sesame seeds. 
  • Taste the apples before cooking to feel their level of tartness and adjust tamarind accordingly.
  • Feel free to adjust the consistency of the gojju with addition of water.
  • This gojju doesn't (and shouldn't) have to be boiled to thicken it up. It is just enough to bring it to a boil so that the tastes have a chance to mix well. 


Vidya said...

I love gojju a lot to eat it with plain rice..yum yum

prathibha Garre said...

Nice n delicious gojju,never tried wid apples..seems 2 b a nice idea

NamsVeni Pothas said...

Apple Gojju !! yummy . really very tasty and delious . i love Gojju...

Kaveri Venkatesh said...

That's a nice one...sounds delicious

Vani said...

I have an apple gojju on my blog too - glad to have company. Looks and sounds so yum, N! Loved the apple picking pic. Is that your daughter? said...

Nice Apple gojju...Have been following your blog for sometime now... Like it a lot and have bookmarked it. Esp., love the way you refer to your mom as 'nammamma' :-)

Kannada Cuisine said...

Love all sorts of Gojjus...with some rice and ghee I am all set

Nagashree said...

Thanks all for the comments.

Vani - yes, that is my daughter, the picture is from a few years back :-)

Alamelu - Very glad to hear from you, I have been blessed with 2 loving moms and their cooking repertoire and style is vastly different from each other.

Smitha - I hear you, nammamma always says gojju jasti, anna kadime when I eat :-)

Julie said...

lovely curry:)
Join my ongoing EP events-Asafoetida OR Fennel seeds @ Divya's Culinary Journey

Priya said...

Very interesting gojju, never tasted it before.

LG said...

Super kanri. Pineapple gojju maatra kelidde, ega apple gojju also! Apple pickle kuda chennagiratte :)

Kavi | Foodomania said...

1st time here... loved to see so many authentic dishes I had forgotten about a long time ago!

Lubna Karim said...

Something new to me....sounds delish....

Jay said...

looks inviting as well as yummmmy
Tasty Appetite