The best Gothsu, they say, is definitely Chidambaram Gothsu, and the Gothsu made in this temple town is certainly different to varieties from elsewhere. Chidambaram Kothsu (also spelt Kosthu), or Gothsu (also spelt Gosthu or Gotsu), is a South Indian curry that is made using roasted and mashed eggplant. The Gothsu was originally made by the Chidambaram Nataraja Temple’s Dikshithars (special priests). They make it with Samba Sadham (lentils and rice) as an offering to Lord Nataraja of Chidambaram. It certainly does taste divine and has become a signature dish of Chidambaram.
They say that Gothsu is a very old Tamil recipe, about 2000 years old. Traditionally the eggplants would be roasted over coals, but sadly today they are also often deep fried or sautéed. This recipe is without onions, just as the Dikshithars would make it. However, Chidambaram Gosthu is also made for many marriages in Chidambaram and for those occasions sambar onions are included.
This recipe is from Meenakshi Ammal’s treasure of TamBram recipes. It is different to other varieties of Gothsu in that it uses smoky roasted and shredded eggplants along with toor dal. You will see recipes without any dal, but if Ammal was making it this way it is probably more traditional. Ammal also includes this recipe in the chapter on Poritha Kuzhambu because of the dal and the spice mix fried in ghee.
There are other versions of Brinjal Gothsu that claim to be Chidambaram Gothsu, but they are not. The Chidambaram Gothsu includes Toor Dal. Without the dal, it is just Gothsu.
Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Brinjal Kothsu, Poritha Kootu with Coconut Chilli Paste, Cabbage Kothsu, Eggplant Kuzhambu, Onion Kothsu with Tamarind, Simple Poritha Kuzhambu, Pitlai, and Poritha Kuzhambu with Amaranth Leaves.
Or are you looking for Eggplant Recipes? Try Babaganoush, Potato and Eggplant Curry with Punjabi Wadi, and Madras Curry with Eggplant, Sweet Potato and Spinach.
Want more? Check out our Meenakshi Ammal recipes and all of our Indian recipes. You might like to browse Indian Essentials. Have a look at all of our Eggplant dishes. Or take some time to explore our easy Early Autumn dishes.
Brinjal Chidambaram Kothsu | Eggplant Gothsu From Chidambaram
0.25 cups red gram dal (toor dal)
2 large eggplants, seedless if you can get them
6 green chillies
1 tspn salt
0.25 tspn brown mustard seeds
small piece ginger, chopped
2 tspns ghee or Indian Sesame Oil
Roast the eggplants over hot coals, or in a charcoal oven. Alternatively you can roast them over a gas flame, under a griller, in the oven or in a covered BBQ (my favourite method).
When the eggplant is well roasted, the skin is charred and the flesh is soft, remove them from the heat and allow to cool. Remove the skin and knead/shred the flesh. Keep aside.
Meanwhile, cook the toor dal until very mushy/pastey. This will take around 30 mins unless the dal is old and drier – then it will take longer. Add a little water if necessary and mix well.
Add the salt and the eggplants with the asafoetida powder. Bring it back to the boil.
Fry the chopped chillies in ghee and add to the eggplants and mix well. Boil again for a few minutes then remove from the heat.
Make the tadka by melting the ghee and adding the mustard seeds. Allow them to pop, then add the ginger. After a moment add the cashew nuts and curry leaves, then pour all onto the eggplants.
Squeeze the lime juice and add to the eggplant. Mix, garnish with coriander leaves and serve.