Onion Tomato Gothsu/Gotsu

onion tomato gothsu,gotsuI’d for a long time wanted to try out gothsu at home. Nobody’s made it at home. I’ve eaten it in hotels, at some weddings and I’ve read about it. I really liked how it sounded. Gothsu is almost a sambar except for the dal used. Gothsu contains Moong dal (in much smaller proportion as well) instead of the Toor dal that we generally use in Sambar. Gothsu is made by sautéing onions and tomatoes and then simmering them in a tamarind extract generously seasoned with sambar powder. The cooked moong dal is added right at the end. I added a bit of jaggery along with the dal as I love a slight hint of sweet in tart dishes and I thought it worked beautifully here. But if you’re like my family and do not mix sweet with anything else, please feel free to skip it. Also jaggery wasn’t part of the original recipe (Jeyashri’sKitchen) that I used. I used the sambar powder recipe from Edible Garden

onion tomato gothsu,gotsu

My family didn’t really take to the Gothsu. I would put it down to close-mindedness that has conditioned their minds and tongues to reject anything that tastes different from their usual fare. Nothing wrong with the Gothsu, though. I really liked it. I can now understand why everyone’s been raving about the Pongal-Gothsu combination. I can imagine how the chunky but light, slightly tart, delicately flavoured Gothsu would taste alongside smooth, ghee-dripping pongal. Really good.

Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Serves: 4-5


Sambar onions/Shallots/small onions – 15-20 peeled and chopped
Tomato – 2 medium chopped
Tamarind extract – ½ cup from a marble sized piece of tamarind
Moong dal/Paasi paruppu – ¼ cup boiled and mashed
Jaggery – 1-1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 stem
Sambar powder – 2-3 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil – 3 tsp

Sambar powder Ingredients

Red chillies – 4
Coriander seeds – 2 tbsp
Cumin – 1 tsp
Channa dal/Kadalai paruppu – 1 tbsp
Black gram/Urad dal – 1 tsp
Whole Black peppercorns – 1 tsp


1.      Rinse the moong dal in 2-3 changes of water and cook with turmeric powder and water till completely soft. Mash the dal and set aside.

2.      In a kadai, heat 1 teaspoon oil and roast the ingredients under sambar powder till the dals turn red. Remove from fire. Cool and powder.

3.      In the same kadai/skillet add another 2 tsp of oil and when hot add the mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds splutter, add the curry leaves. Then add the chopped shallots and fry till they turn translucent. Then add the tomatoes and fry for a minute till they turn soft.

4.      Pour in the tamarind extract and mix well. Add the ground sambar powder, turmeric powder and salt and mix well. Cover and cook till it thickens to a gravy consistency. At this stage add the mashed dal and jaggery and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve hot with Idli or Pongal.
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