One-Pot Thai Eggplant Sweet & Sour Relish| Pressure Cooker Sundakkai (Fresh Turkey Berry) Gotsu

About a month ago, I had no idea that Thai Eggplants and our very own sundakkai aka Turkey Berry were one and the same.

I bought a little packet labelled ‘Thai Eggplants’ off a supermarket shelf for INR 70 or so, having no idea at the time of what exactly I would be doing with them. I got them home, only to be vehemently told by Amma that I had bought fresh sundakkai, that bitter berry used in certain South Indian dishes. I simply couldn’t believe it, so I went online and did some research. I read up a few articles and asked a few very talented chefs, and had to conclude that I had, indeed, unknowingly picked up some sundakkai. Had I got them from a local vegetable vendor, I would have paid barely INR 20 for the same quantity!

Anyhoo, I was happy to have the chance to cook with this hitherto unknown-to-me ingredient, which is believed to have loads of medicinal properties and health benefits. I ended up using them to make a Kannadiga-style gotsu in a pressure cooker, following the recipe suggested by Ms. Subha J Rao on the United By Food Facebook group. It turned out beautiful, sweet and sour, a wonderful accompaniment to dosas, idlis, rotis and rice alike.

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Fresh Turkey berry or sundakkai gotsu!

Here’s how I made the gotsu.

Ingredients (makes about 1 cup):

  1. About 3/4 cup fresh sundakkai aka Turkey berry
  2. Salt, to taste
  3. A lemon-sized ball of tamarind
  4. A few fresh curry leaves
  5. 1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon of oil
  6. 2 pinches of asafoetida
  7. 2 teaspoons mustard
  8. About 3 tablespoons of jaggery powder
  9. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  10. 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek (methi) seeds
  11. 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut
  12. 1 tablespoon chana daal
  13. 1 tablespoon urad daal
  14. 4-5 dry red chillies, or as per taste

Method:

  1. Soak the tamarind in boiling water for about 10 minutes. When it cools down sufficiently, extract a thick paste out of the tamarind, adding a little water as and when necessary. Keep aside.
  2. Wash the sundakkai well, and pat dry with a cotton towel. Slit each berry half-way, length-wise. Keep aside.
  3. In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add in the dried red chillies, chana daal, urad daal, grated coconut and methi seeds. Roast on low-medium flame till the spices begin to emit a lovely fragrance. Switch off the gas and allow to cool. When completely cool, grind the spices to a powder in a mixer. Do not add any water. Keep aside.
  4. In a 2- or 3-litre pressure cooker bottom, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add in the mustard seeds, and allow them to pop. Add in the asafoetida, and let it stay in for a second.
  5. Now, add the slit Turkey berries, the spice mix, tamarind paste, salt to taste, turmeric powder, curry leaves, jaggery powder and about 1/2 cup water. Mix well.
  6. Put the lid on the pressure cooker, and place the whistle. Allow 4 whistles. Switch off the gas. Let the pressure come down naturally before opening the cooker.
  7. Serve warm or after completely cooling down, with dosa, idli, rotis or ghee rice. This is the gotsu that I served along with my mixed vegetable rava upma with green jackfruit flour
  8. Store refrigerated in a clean, air-tight, dry container. This gotsu stays good for 4-5 days. 

Notes:

  1. Use a little red chilli powder if you think the gotsu is not spicy enough for you.
  2. If you feel the gotsu is too thick, you could add a little more water and allow it to simmer (low-medium flame) for a few minutes.
  3. Increase/decrease the quantity of tamarind, jaggery powder and red chillies you use, depending upon your taste preferences.
  4. Use only a 2- or 3-litre pressure cooker to make this gotsu.

You like? I hope you will try out this dish at home, and that you will love it as much as we did!

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