Fresh Tomato Stew (Gotsu aka Gojju) with peanuts and more

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: Simple
  • Print

My friend Vandana is always keen to try and share new recipes. After seeing my recent arrabbiata sauce she asked to get a recipe for the traditional South Indian standby, Tomato Gotsu or Gojju. It’s late summer and the potted tomato plants are in a hurry to produce several pounds of ripe tomatoes each day. Tomato recipes are welcome.

This is a spicy vegetable stew, often made when one is in a hurry and needs a sauce to go with a hot breakfast. Yes. South Indian breakfasts are both hot and spicy. Chutneys and sambar take more preparation and or cooking time. This stew or sauce can be made with other vegetables like eggplant or squash. If tomatoes are not available, tamarind paste is used to add tartness.

I like to try new variations and I am always looking for ways to add some protein to our vegetarian diet. I added roasted Virginia peanuts today. One could add a can of pinto beans or chickpeas. Use any number of vegetable from asparagus or zucchini. Serve it with bread, chappatis, pooris, iddly, uppuma, pongal or. It’s an ever-versatile dish that can even be served with rice in a pinch.

And the prep and cooking times are both short.

My daughter asked for seconds with dinner. That’s the crucial test of any recipe.

Fresh Tomato Stew (Gotsu aka Gojju) with peanuts and more


  • Black mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Split urad dal – 1 tbs
  • Chana Dal rinsed – 1 tbs
  • Ground turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  • Sambar or rasam powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Asafoetida (hing) – 1/4 tsp
  • Fresh jalapeño chiles diced – 2
  • Thai chilies slit – 4-6
  • Curry leaves – 6-12
  • Chopped cilantro – 1/4 cup
  • Fresh mint chopped – 6-8 leaves
  • Diced Onions – 1 cup
  • Diced celery – 1 cup
  • Blanched roasted peanuts – 1/2 cup
  • Dried red chilies – 2
  • Chopped Ripe Tomato – 2 lbs
  • Potato cubes steamed – 1 cup
  • Fresh lime juice – 2 tbs
  • Salt – to taste
  • Canola/ til oil/ vegetable – 2 tbs
  • Ghee – 2 tbs
  • Fresh Ginger ( tender) minced – 2 tbs


  1. Heat the oil and ghee together in a large heavy sauté pan and temper the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and dals. Add the red chilies asafoetida and turmeric and the peanuts and allow the peanuts to roast for a minute. Turn down the heat to prevent scorching.
  2. Add the onions and curry leaves and stir to let the onions begin to clear and add the celery, ginger, jalapeno, and Thai chilies. Stir over medium heat till the onions clear and add the cooked potato and the chopped tomatoes and some salt. stir and cover to simmer over medium heat and then lower the heat.
  3. Add the chopped cilantro and mint and cook uncovered until the sauce thickens
  4. Add fresh lime and salt to taste and serve with your favorite bread or rice.

The consistency I prefer is when the sauce does not run all over the plate. The potato is really a thickener. You could use a slice of fresh or stale bread to accomplish the same thing in a pinch.