Bendekaayi Gojju Courtesy: K. Raghunandana

This is a traditional preparation from Karnataka and is a very fine combination of sweet, sour, saltish and Hot (chilli) tastes.
The dish is eaten both with rice and with Chapathi (some even spread it on the bread !).

Ingredients: 4-6 green chillis, marble sized tamarind, grated coconut (two handfuls), two spoonfuls of Menthya (methi seeds),
two spoonfuls of Jeerige (Jeera, cumin seeds), one spoonful of Sasuve' (mustard seeds), two spoonfuls of yellu (til or sesame
seeds), fresh Kothumbari soppu (dhaniya/coriander leaves), a pinch of Arishina (turmeric powder), a spoon of rice (akki). A
large picece of Jaggery (1-2 cubic inch), or two tablespoons of brown sugar.

In a pan, dry fry the Menthya seeds, Jeerige and Yellu. After you get the nice smell in 5 minutes, take it out and allow it to cool
(the menthya seeds turn dark brown but should not turn black). Grind it in a grinder/mixer, and then wet grind it again using
water with coconut, green chillis, mustard seeds, and Kothumbari soppu Akki (rice) and Arishina. Use water to make it a
thick liquid.

Wipe 1/2 Kg of Bende Kaayi(Bhindi/Ladies finger/Okhra)with a wet towel. Cut them into medium sized (1 inch long) pieces.
Take a pan with a table spoon of oil, fry the cut pieces in low fire. Continue to fry till they are fairly well cooked (add a little of
oil if needed). Soak the tamarind (HuNise' HaNNu) in a cup of water. After 5 minutes of soaking, squeeze the tamarind
thoroughly to get all the juice and then take away the remains of tamarind. Pour the tamarind water onto the cooked Bende
Kaayi. Allow it to soak and boil for 5 minutes (this takes away the loLe' or soapy layer, from the okhra). Now put in the
grinded mixture, add salt to taste and stir well. Also add the Jaggery (bella) and keep the mixture on low flame. Add a few
curry leaves (Kari Bevina soppu) and allow the mixture to cook on low fire, till it becomes a semi thick liquid. For Oggarane'
(tarka, phodni, vagar) heat a spoon of oil, and when hot add mustard. After they split add half a red chilli (broken), take it off
flame and put it into the hot Gojju. Stir well.

NOTE: Instead of Bendekaayi, Badane kaayi (Baingon, egg plant) can be used. Also Seeme Badane' kaayi (a flat pear
shaped greenish vegetable available in Indian and Chinese stores), Sore'kaayi (kaddu) or Sihi KumbaLa (Pumpkin), several
types of amercian gourds, or even plain onions chopped into larger pieces and put into Gojju. In all these cases, it is necessary
to cut them into somewhat larger (1 inch cube) pieces, fry them in a little oil and cook them before pouring in the grinded
mixture. There is no need to cook them in tamarind water, although tamarind water is added as usual, towards the end.

Invariably, only one vegetable is used in Gojju, to preserve the distinct taste of that particular vegetable.