Monday, March 2, 2009

Authentic Chidambaram Kathirikai(Brinjal) Gosthu/Gotsu & Samba Sadham

Gosthu with hot idlis..

Every place has its own popular dish..Like how the best 'Halwa' is 'Thriunelveli Halwa'.The best Gosthu is 'Chidambaram Gosthu'. There is a stark difference between the Thiruvarur gotsu and Chidambaram gotsu. Thiruvarur version is milder and will not look like a pickle. Originally,the gosthu was made so famous by the 'Dikshithars' of Chidambaram temple.They make this Brinjal gosthu with Samba Sadham as an offering to Lord Nataraja.It tastes incredibly divine. 
Gothsu is a must-in-the-menu of every marriage that takes place in Chidambaram.
My grandma told me that Gosthu is a very old tamil recipe (may be 2000 years old) and in olden days they roast the brinjals over hot coals to make this gotsu .But nowadays the Dikshithars/Marriage caterers deep fry the whole brinjals in oil for making the Gosthu.And the gotsu looks like pickle with lots of oil on the top .If it is made by the Dikshithars ,the Gosthu sans onion.But in marriages they include pearl onions.So one can go ahead with the recipe according to their preference.
In Nataraja temple, they offer this Pepper-cumin Rice and Gothsu in 'Thonai' (leaf cups)- A very unique and delicious prasadham of Chidambaram temple.
Chidambaram Gosthu :

You will need :
6-7 Brinjals
1 cup of pearl onions  
A pinch of turmeric
1" ball of tamarind pulp
3 sprigs of curry leaves
4-5 tsp Gotsu Podi (see recipe below)
1/4 cup Oil
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1/2 tsp of grated jaggery/sugar
Recipe for Gosthu Podi :

3 tbsp of Coriander seeds
1/2 tsp of Cumin seeds
2 tbsp of Toor dal/ split pigeon peas
1/4 tsp of Fenugreek seeds
A small piece of asafoetedia, fried in a tsp of oil 
4-5 dried red Chillies
Heat a pan/kadai and dry roast them individually and grind them together to make Gothsu Podi.
Preparation of Gothsu:
Soak the tamarind in 1 cup of water. Peel the skin off the pearl onion. (TIP: Soak the onions in warm water for few minutes, chop off the tail and head for easier peeling)
Cut the brinjals lengthwise into thick wedges. Soak them in water to prevent discoloration.
In a kadai,heat a 1/4 of oil and add the mustard seeds and let them crackle.  Now add the onions and fry for a couple of minutes.
Drain the water and add the cut brinjals along with the curry leaves. Let the brinjals cook in the oil for 4 minutes.

In the meantime, extract the tamarind juice from the soaking pulp. Make sure the extract is concentrated. So not add additional water to it.
Pour half of the tamarind extract and sprinkle 3-4 tsp of gotsu podi. Add salt. 
Use a wooden masher and gently mash the cooked brinjal. 
At this stage, taste and check for spice/tang and salt. Add more of whatever taste is missing.
Add about 1/2 tsp of grated jaggery/sugar and 1/2 cup of water. Let it simmer for  couple of minutes.
Turn off the heat. You will see oil floating on top of the gotsu. 
This keeps well for upto a week. Excellent with idlis,dosas, pongal and especially samba sadam.
Samba Sadham/Milagu Sadham :
You will need :
1 tbsp pepper
1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp ghee
2 cups of boiled rice
10 cashews,broken and fried in ghee(optional)

Dry roast the pepper and cumin seeds and coarsely powder them.

Add ghee ,salt,pepper/cumin powder and cashews to the rice .Mix well and serve with Gothsu!

Sending this picture to Gayathri's Magnificient Click contest..

Sending this samba sadham to Think Spice ..Think Pepper event ,a brainchild of Sunita which is hosted by Divya of Dilse.
Sriharivatsan of Enthaligai has passed me  'blogging with a purpose award' and 'Circle of friends' award.I'm happy that she thought of me and included me in the circle.As everyone is blogging with a purpose..i would like to pass both the awards to all my fellow blogging friends..plz pick them up :)

Have a nice day!


  1. Famous Gothsu woow just drooling rite now here, milagu sadham makes me hungry:)

  2. Hi,
    first time in ur blog....kathirikka naaaku uuruthu:)

  3. Name itself making me salivate!! Both dishes look delicious, great combo to have too. Wish i had Eggplants but will try these when i get those! :)

    Send these to EC's event WYF.

  4. I don't know there was a podi for gotsu and 4 this sadam. U can send to the event: the pepper podi.
    Very different recipes , great to know some local dishes!

  5. I am hungry now. the gotsu looks so appetizing Madhu :)


  6. looks delicious!! thanks for visiting me, Madhu :)

  7. woo this is lovly platter...congrates on ur awards..

  8. Wow..!! Lovely display and detailing is excellent. drooling clicks.! Excellent combo, i love the gosthu much!:)

  9. I loved that Gosthu dish..But have some have to add the gosthu podi to that boiling tamarind-spice water rite?and then add the brinjal mix?Help..!!!:p
    Anyways I loved it and plan to try..:)

  10. Priya,Priars,Asha,Cham,Siri,Superchef,Suma,Sanghi thanks a lot for the lovely comments..Try them you will like it..
    Varsha-thanks,dear..Add the brinjal and then gosthu podi..Brinjal is already cooked so we don't have to cook it soo much..Sorry for the confusion dear..Try and let me know how it came.

    Thanks Cham for letting me know about the event ..

  11. Thanks for visiting my blog! You have a cool blog with authentic thamizh recipes! Reminds me of home!!

  12. Love these kind of authentic dishes. Never knew of gothsu podi before. Pepper rice is interesting.
    Enjoyed reading both the recipes.

  13. oh i love eggplant. my mouth watered. i love ur blog!

  14. hi, very nice of u to visit my blog and leave a comment thank u so much, it means so much, even though somebody has not tasted any of my cooking, it is especially nice to see somebody commenting about ur food, thanks again, I had never visited ur site, it is a great pleasure to see ur site,first of all what caught my eye was ur photographs they are absolutely amazing...I keep noticing all the bloggers have such an amazing talent...besides cooking!!, next was ur Kathrika & Aromatic podis, I must try ur kathrika gothusu, and I am still taking my time to post all the podis I make...ur photos look mouth watering..., I would like to try making authentic chidambaram cooking from ur blog thanks once again ur comments would be always welcome...

  15. Wow sounds spicy and yum. Never heard of this yum recipe....makes me drool...... Congrats on your awards dear. If u r intrested you can send this to Think Spice event as it calls for pepper this month.

  16. Wow, sounds very authentic to me, awesome click, as usual. Thonnai makes it so perfect. Sure, grandma is a great isnt easy to get the same taste that they give in temples, right. A must try it.

  17. delicious eggplant recipe Madhu...i love eggplants :)

  18. Gothsu looks very delicious Madhu and I have been looking out for Milagu sadam,,will try this:), I love the pepper flavour..

  19. Milagu satham looks really healthy. Thanks for sending this to think pepper event.

  20. samba sadham and gothsu look terrific. i am drooling over the combo.

  21. Milagu sadam..Wow!! i just love this..looks super delicious and love the gothsu combo.. I do the gothsu the same way, but have not tired milagu sadam..kandippa senji pakkanum.. pic perfect as usual!!

  22. Supera iruku parkave,,Sapdanum pola iruku, making me hungry now...Nanum idhe madiri than seivan..Milagu sadham and gosthu super combo...Wow..Naku ooraradhu..

    Yep, itz my mom's place, she was born and brought up there, in kalana pillaiyar koil street..After she got married, she has moved to my dad's place..Still my Mama's daughters are dere, working in Annamalai University..My DAd did his BE in Annamalai University only..

  23. lovely step by step illustrations :) the rice looks so good! i also LOVED your grandma's podi variety and thanks a ton for sending that for my recipe diary contest :)

  24. Nice post Madhu...and wonderful combo..

  25. wow! nice combo thanks for sharing the recipe!

  26. This must make for one spicy combination. I never knew Chidambaram was the place for gotsu.

  27. I remember first having Gojju ata friend's with pongal.
    Didn't know that Chidambarma was the best place for it.

  28. I graduated from Chidambaram Annamalai university, this dish remainded me of the chidambaram natarajar temple, excellent explanation.. Good job

  29. Very nice recipe, & a new one for me. Thanks for sharing.

  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

  31. Your recipes sound so authentic,looks fab!

  32. wow like your rice recipe and gothsu recipe too will give a try andvery great combo too

  33. The chidambaram gosthu looks awesome... I have never tasted the real one in chidambaram but tried a recipe earlier on (also on my blog) and use that ever since. We realy like it at home. Must try yours someday.

    This is my first time in your blog and went through many recipes - very interesting and one can really see that you are an enthusiastic & talented cook... :)

  34. My visit to your blog can be called an encounter by chance.I explored the archives of your old posts and came across a bunch of wonderful recipes for us to try .Admittedly, a true revelation of your culinary skills.Looking forward to more and more interesting posts

  35. Woww! I missed this all these days after coming to the U.S. I made this yesterday and it turned out so awesome and even better the next day. My father is from chidambaram and he introduced it to the family and I am glad he did.

    Thanks madhu

    -Radhika, Grad Student, Georgia Tech

  36. thanks for ur post,am going to try this

  37. Thank you Madhu. I tried this and it came out yummy. I appreciate the way you presented it. I have blogged about yours in this post.

  38. Between 1980 and 1983, I spent my life at Chidambaram. I was working in Punjab National Bank. I stayed in a lodge above Abarana Maligai. There was a small hotel ( home mess) nearby from where I used to partake the Gosthu every Thursday. With Pongal. With the most beautiful Pooris. I am a Malayalee from Trivandrum and hated every minute of my stay in Chidambaram. But in retrospection, there were many things I loved about Chidambaram; one of the most prominent among them; Gosthu. Later, I had asked many Tam friends about Gosthu, but they could not help me.

    Thank you so much for bringing the memories of my youth back - those were the days when lunch with curd cost Rs.2.50. Tea was 0.10 ps and coffee, 0.15ps. There are a lot of beautiful memories about Chidambaram.... I am going to try out Gosthu soon!

    Thanks once again.

  39. vry nice pa . more than 5 yr i miss this gostu

  40. I just made it to go with pongal. I used big onions and added some tomatoes too. It tastes awesome. Thanks for sharing a very traditional recipe. I love kathirika anything and it just hit the spot.

  41. i tried dis gostu sterday comes out excellent,in gostu podi which dal can use channa dal or toor dal?

  42. Your post in top 3 for the search term "chidambaram kothu". Cheers Madhu!!!!

  43. Had severe cold, running nose and throat pain. No food tastd good. Then came across your blog. Found all the ingredients were readily available at home and Immediately prepared the brinjal gothsu and pepper rice. Not only the two items tasted excellent, but the pepper rice was very sooting to my throat and I felt considerably well.n Thanks for the recipe. R.Srinivasan/Pondicherry