Orange Thol Gojju| Orange Peel Relish

Oranges are a much-loved fruit for many of us, I’m sure. However, most of us eat only the kernels of the orange and discard its peel. Did you know that orange peel is very much edible and is, in fact, full of nutrients too? Orange peel has a beautiful citrusy scent to it, the ability to add a lot of oomph to foods. I’m here today with one such recipe made using orange peel – Orange Thol Gojju!

Orange Peel Gojju!


More about this Orange Thol Gojju

Like I was saying earlier, Orange Thol Gojju is a delectable relish made using the peel from oranges. Sweet and sour and spicy, with just a hint of bitterness, this gojju makes for a great accompaniment to idlis and dosas, pongal and upma, rotis and parathas, and curd rice too. And, of course, it’s filled with the amazing, amazing scent of oranges!

This Orange Thol Gojju is a family recipe, the way my grandmother used to make it. It is a thicker version of the vattalkozhambu we make, prepared almost the same way. Not a tough task at all – it’s a very simple proceedure!

Other uses of orange peel

Orange peel is extensively used in the making of orange essence and cosmetics. It is also used in preparing candied peel, which goes into Christmas fruit cake. Apart from this, here are some interesting ways to use orange peel in your kitchen, from mine and my friends’ blogs:

So, the next time you eat some oranges, you know better than throwing away the peel, right? 🙂

How To Make Orange Thol Gojju

The detailed proceedure for making Orange Thol Gojju follows.

This is a completely vegetarian and vegan preparation, suitable to those following a plant-based diet.

To make it gluten-free, substitute the wheat flour used in the recipe for rice flour, and skip the asafoetida used in the tempering. Most commercial brands of asafoetida in India include wheat flour and, hence, are best avoided when following a gluten-free diet.

Please note that I have used home-made sambar powder here, which is completely gluten-free and plant-based. In case you are using a store-bought version, do check on the ingredients used.

Ingredients (makes about 1 cup):

1. 3 medium-sized oranges
2. A big lemon-sized ball of tamarind
3. 1 tablespoon wheat flour or rice flour
4. 1/2 tablespoon oil
5. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
6. 2 pinches of asafoetida
7. 2 dry red chillies
8. 1 sprig curry leaves
9. Salt to taste
10. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
11. Red chilli powder to taste
12. 1/2 tablespoon sambar powder or to taste
13. 2 tablespoons jaggery powder or to taste


Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Bottom left and right: Steps 3 and 4

1. Wash the oranges thoroughly. Pat dry using a cotton cloth.
2. Remove the skin from the oranges. We will be using only the orange skin in this recipe – the kernels you can consume or use as desired.
3. Using a sharp knife, scrape off all the white part from the inside of the orange peel (as shown in the picture above). Discard the white part, and retain the scraped orange peel.
4. Chop the scraped orange peel into small or large pieces, as desired.

Top: Step 5, Bottom: Step 6

5. Soak the tamarind in a little boiling water for 15-20 minutes, for it to soften. When it cools down enough to handle, extract all the juice from it. You can add in a little more water to help with the extraction. Keep aside.
6. In a small cup, mix together the wheat flour or rice flour with 2 tablespoons of water, to make a lump-free slurry. Keep aside.

Top left and right: Steps 7 and 8, Centre left and right: Steps 9 and 10, Bottom left, centre and right: Steps 11, 12 and 13

7. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the mustard seeds, and allow them to sputter. Add in the dry red chillies, asafoetida and curry leaves. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds.
8. Add the chopped orange peel to the pan. Reduce the flame to medium. Cook on medium flame for 3-4 minutes or till the peel starts to soften. Stir intermittently to prevent burning.
9. Add the tamarind extract to the pan.
10. Add salt, red chilli powder and turmeric powder to the pan. Mix well. Cook on medium flame for about 2 minutes, or till the raw smell of the tamarind goes away.
11. Add about 1 cup of water to the pan, along with the sambar powder and jaggery powder. Mix well.
12. Add the wheat flour or rice flour slurry to the pan, little by little. Stir well, to prevent lumps from forming.
13. Continue to cook on medium flame for 2-3 more minutes or till the orange peel gets cooked through – it should lose its hardness, but not get too mushy. By this time, the mixture would have thickened up and the raw smell of the sambar powder would have gone. Switch off gas at this stage. The Orange Thol Gojju is ready. Serve it warm or at room temperature, with rotis, rice, upma, parathas or dosas.

Tips & Tricks

1. I used Kinnow or Kinnu oranges with soft, thin skin to make this gojju. You can use the peel from any variety of orange you prefer.
2. Make sure you scrape off all the white portion from the inside of the orange peel. Otherwise, the gojju might turn out overly bitter.
3. I have used the peel from 3 medium-sized oranges to make this gojju. You can use more or less, depending upon personal taste preferences.
4. Adjust the quantity of red chilli powder, salt, sambar powder and jaggery powder as per your taste preferences.
5. You can use either wheat flour or rice flour to make the slurry. I have used wheat flour here.
6. Make sure the slurry is free of any lumps. Add it little by little to the pan, stirring constantly to prevent the formation of lumps.
7. Adjust the quantity of water, depending upon the consistency of the Orange Thol Gojju that you require. You can even keep it runny, like a vattalkozhambu, in which case it would be an Orange Thol Vattalkozhambu, which can be eaten with plain rice.
8. If you don’t require the gojju to be thick in consistency, you can skip adding the slurry altogether.
9. I have used home-made sambar powder here. You can use a store-bought version too, instead.
10. Stop cooking the Orange Thol Gojju when it is still quite runny in consistency. It thickens up a bit upon cooling.
11. The sambar powder I use is only moderately spicy, so I have added a dash of red chilli powder to the gojju. If the sambar powder you use is quite spicy, you can avoid the red chilli powder altogether.
12. Any leftover Orange Thol Gojju can be stored refrigerated, in a clean, dry and air-tight box, for 4-5 days. Make sure the gojju has fully cooled down before transferring it to the box.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me in your comments!


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