Thursday, September 25, 2008

Draakshi Gojju

Sweet, plump grapes are best eaten off the bunch, spitting out the cumbersome seeds. If they're seedless, even better. The only time grapes were brought home in my mom’s place was prior to a festival. The bunch would adorn the fruit plate kept as an offering to the god. And since festival season is not necessarily the season of the grape, the bunch was purely for decorative purposes.

But we didn’t throw the sour grapes out. There is this old recipe my grandma fished out, that could kill two birds in one stone—make use of the sour grapes, and also make a piquant, spicy-sweet curry for the next meal. Hah!

Here it goes.

1 medium size bunch of grapes-either the green or the wine-red variety is as good (about 150 gm)
1 teaspoon chilly powder
1 and ½ teaspoon jaggery if the grapes are too sour... Reduce the jaggery if the grape has some sweetness in it
Salt to taste
A pinch of asafetida

Grind well (adding very little water):
1tablespoon grated coconut
½ teaspoon jeera
2 teaspoon til seeds
¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds

½ teaspoon mustard seeds
2 broken red chillies
A sprig of curry leaves
1 teaspoon of oil


Chop the grapes into halves, and discard seeds if any. Take a kadhai and add the grapes, plus the pulp and liquid that oozes out while chopping. Add chilly powder, salt, jaggery and asafetida and cook on a low flame.
As the grape mash starts to cook with the spices, it becomes a pulp of nice consistency. When the mixture starts bubbling, add the ground coconut-jeera-til-fenugreek mixture to this.

Cook for another five minutes.

Now in a smaller kadhai, heat oil, add mustard seeds and wait for them to splutter, and now add the curry leaves and red chillies. Pour this hot oil mix straight into the curry and listen to that beautiful hissing sound.

Draakshi Gojju is now absolutely ready to eat! Serve hot with rice and a dollop of ghee.