This dish is truly a genius of south Indian cooking - balancing the flavors of a very bitter vegetable without hiding it, but completing it with the sour, sweet and pungent tastes of tamarind, jaggery and chilies.
It's an excellent side for white or brown rice. To make a complete meal, add a dal/kootu (dal with vegetables, cooked with mild spices).
In my younger days, I could not stand any sweet added to sour or spicy dishes - I was a true Tamilian that way - no in between or mixed flavors/tastes for my Tamilian tongue. It had to be all hot or all sweet. We used to make fun of our Kannadiga neighbors (as in state Karnataka, which is a neighboring state to Tamil Nadu) for making a sour dish sweet. But the adult me has matured enough to appreciate the mixed flavors - not everything has to be completely spicy or completely sweet. I now put salt on my fruits, which would have been unthinkable for the younger Sri!!!
Gojju is a Kannada term, spoken in Karnataka, one of the four states that make up south India. I understand it means gravy with spices, correct me if that's wrong, my Kannada friends!
My husband's cousin, Indu, who grew up in Bengaluru, Karnataka and makes many such wonderful Kannada recipes.