Monday, July 1, 2013

Spring onions a.k.a eerulli kaavu gojju - deliciousness in every bite

We are having a heat wave this week :-) which means the temperature is soaring in 90s. My friends from Midwest laugh at me when I say it is the heat wave as soon as it touches 90. Many places are already experiencing 3 digit highs. Because of the mild climate and year round moderate temperature, most homes here are not equipped with air conditioners and so you have to live the heat taking help of other means. I just opened all the windows and doors and let the breeze come in until it became too hot. So Summer is definitely here and I am so tempted to get into serious business of making some happala, sandige (Yummyyyy), let us see if I can find the time and energy to do it. I will showcase everything I made here on the blog anyway.

BH & I took off for a weekend getaway this past weekend and spent a wonderful time at the beach. The weather was beautiful, water intoxicating and invigorating and we just stayed on the beach the entire time. Since it was a very small town with no hopes of decent vegetarian choices let alone Indian food, I made and carried food from home. In my anxiousness to not go hungry, I went overboard and there was lot of food left over when we came back last evening :-). So ate the last of gojjavalakki this morning for breakfast. with the blaring heat, I didn't want to spend any time infront of the hot stove but as I was almost running out of yogurt, had to think of something quick and easy. I found two bunches of spring onions in the refrigerator that I had got last week before we left.
I love the flavor of Spring onions. They are called 'Eerulli kaavu' in Kannada and the stalks are stronger and sturdier than the ones (with flowers at the tip) I find here. Usually Spring onions are harvested when they are still tender as they are mostly used raw and as garnishes. I found some hefty ones this time in the store. Eerulli kaavu being seasonal went into either akki rotti or gojju in our home. The fresh Spring onions impart such a wonderful flavor, you will lick your fingers long after the plate is empty :-).

Being a working day, I wanted to finish up cooking quickly and chose to make the gojju. This is a very typical Karnataka gravy made with many different vegetables. Heat from the chilies, tartness from tamarind, a subtle sweetness from jaggery, salt and the roasted sesame seeds define a Gojju in Kannada homes. This gojju makes a perfect side dish for rice or roti. So grab a bunch of Spring Onions next time from your grocery store and try this lip smacking Spring Onion or eerulli kaavu gojju.
What do you need to make Spring Onion gojju? 
2 bunches (about 10 stalks) of Spring onion
2 Tblsp grated coconut (fresh or frozen)
2 Tblsp roughly chopped cilantro
Gooseberry size tamarind - soak in water and extract juice
1/2 Tsp crushed jaggery or brown sugar
2 Tblsp oil
To roast:
1 Tblsp chana dal
1/4 Tsp Urad dal
1/4 Tsp fenugreek seeds
4-5 green chilies (adjust to taste)
1 Tsp sesame seeds
seasoning: 
1/2 Tsp mustard
1/8 Tsp fenugreek seeds
1 Tsp chana dal (optional)
a few curry leaves
pinch of asafoetida

How do you make Spring Onion gojju? 
  • Wash, pat dry the spring onions. 
  • Chop and remove the root end, chop the remaining stalk in bite sized pieces and discard the very thin green portion on the stalk. 
  • Heat 1 Tsp oil, add the chana dal, urad dal, fenugreek seeds, green chilies and let the dals roast to a light golden brown. add the sesame seeds and continue to roast for for another 30 seconds. remove from heat and let cool.
  • Grind the roasted spices with grated coconut and cilantro into a smooth paste using 1/2 cup of water. 
  • Heat the remaining oil, add the seasoning ingredients the order given above and fry until mustard crackles and chana dal turns golden brown. 
  • Add the chopped Spring onions and cook for 3-5 minutes stirring frequently. 
  • Once the Spring onions become soft and lose the raw smell, add the tamarind extract, ground masala paste, salt, jaggery. Adjust consistency by adding water. 
  • Let it come to a rolling boil, switch off and serve it hot or cold with rice, roti, akki rotti etc. 
Notes: 
  • Use sturdy (but not so tough they break with strings when you chop them) part of the Spring onions and the tiny bulbs at the end. Use fresh ones and discard any limp looking parts. 
  • You can use tamarind paste instead of soaking and extracting the juice or can put the dry tamarind along with the roasted ingredients and grind it into the masala paste. 
  • Chana dal in the masala turns the gravy thick as it boils and cools, so make sure to adjust the consistency to your liking. 
  • We had the gojju with cooked Quinoa and a side of cool tomato raita. 

4 comments:

Chitz said...

Gojju with spring onions??? That's lovely.. Looks very tempting :)

Priya Suresh said...

Can the aroma of this gojju, never tried gojju with spring onions,thanks for this dish.

NamsVeni Pothas said...

i love gojju and very eager to taste it.

Shanthi said...

Nice one . Tempting and wonderful. :)