I love pineapples in most forms, fresh ones chopped up into pieces, made into a pastry or a jam, or a gotsu served oh-so-commonly in South Indian weddings. I always thought the gotsu would be a very difficult thing to make at home, an elaborate affair which might not be my cup of tea. But then, one day last week, a huge pineapple arrived home fresh from a farm. Cut up, it dripped juice, but was sour enough to ensure that we couldn’t eat it without a big dose of sugar. I didn’t want to do that, so ended up making gotsu with it instead.
Here’s how I made it…
1 large bowl of fresh pineapple pieces, with the hard centre and thorns removed
A few fresh curry leaves
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
A pinch of asafoetida
Salt to taste
Jaggery to taste, powdered
A small lemon-sized ball of tamarind – soak this in warm water and squeeze out a thick pulp
Red chilli powder to taste (optional)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
For the masala paste:
3 tablespoons grated fresh coconut
3 dry, red chillies
1 teaspoon dhania
1 teaspoon chana dal
1 teaspoon urad dal
1 teaspoon methi
1 teaspoon cumin
For the masala paste:
1. Dry roast all the ingredients for the masala paste, till they start emanating a sweet fragrance. Let it cool down completely.
2. Grind all the ingredients together with a little water, into a coarse paste. Set aside.
For the gotsu:
1. In a wide, thick-bottomed pan, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds and allow them to splutter. Add the asafoetida.
2. Now add the pineapple pieces and just enough water to cook them till a bit soft. Cover the pan and cook on a high flame till the pieces are done, but not too mushy.
3. At this stage, add the salt to taste, turmeric powder, jaggery and tamarind paste to taste, as well as the ground masala paste. Taste and add red chilli powder if required. Adjust other seasonings too.
4. Add the curry leaves.
5. Let everything cook together on a medium flame, uncovered, till the raw smell of the paste disappears. If you feel the gotsu is too thick at this stage, add a little water.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This keeps well for about three days, and tastes great as an accompaniment to different kinds of rice, parathas and dosas.
Have you ever made pineapple gotsu at home? How do you make it?