Gongura aka Sorrel is called Andhra Maatha( Mother of Andhra Pradesh, India ). Serving gongura pickle(chutney) for any guest is like giving honor to him. Yes its that important. Gongura is full or iron and tastes very sour just like tamarind. Normally tamarind is a must in most of the indian / andhra pickles or chutneys, but this one with sorrel leaves is an exception. I find myself very lucky that day, if i find this one in indian grocery.
I am proud owner of this plant. Yes, I have gongura(sorrel) plant in my backyard now, and i made this chutney using the same. Theres a funny history behind planting this plant. Actually my husband doesnt eat any chutneys or pickles, the only green leafy indian vegetables he eat are Amaranth leaves and spinach. Since it was so hard for us to get amaranth leaves here, i bought some seeds saying ( paala thotakura ) Amaranth Leaves seeds and planted them.Once the tender leaves started to sprout i was surprised to find them to be Sorrel plant instead of Amaranth as it says on the packet. And now i am reaping the fruits of this plant. It was so funny, I shared this story whenever someone intrigues about the plant in my backyard.. The sorrel leaves have special distinct sourness which leaves you craving for more once tasted. It actually revives your taste buds, if u havent had anything lately that has special zing!
To make Gongura Pachadi, you need:
- 4 cups of tightly packed cleaned and washed sorrel leaves( just pluck the leaves, discard the stems )
- 1 large onion
- 5-6 green chillies
- 2 red chillies
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tbsp urad dal / black gram beans
- 2 tbsp channa dal / yellow split chickpeas
- 1 tsp cumin seeds( jeera )
- a dash of hing / asofetida
- 10 curry leaves
- 1 tbsp oil
- salt to taste
Toast the seasonings:
- Heat kadai or pan and 1 tsp oil and roast urad dal, coriander seeds, red chillies, cumin seeds, hing.
- Dont brown them, fry them until the starts to release flavors and the lentils turn to golden hue.
- Once cooled down powder them and set aside.
How to make chutney:
- Pluck the leaves from the stems, wash clean and drain them and remove excess moisture using a kitchen towel.
- In the same kadai add remaining oil and sorrel leaves and green chillies
- Cook these leaves under low heat until the raw smell disappears( check the picture )
- Once the leaves are cooked thoroughly , the leaves color changes from green to nearly black switch off the flame and let it cool
- In a blender run the spices first and once powdered finely, add the greens and blend to a paste
- Chop the onions and add to the ground chutney
- Your sour leaves aka gongura chutney is ready to relish!
Serve this sour chutney with hot rice( with clarified butter on top ), chapathi, rotis or bread. Another classic serving suggestion of this chutney is with plain home made yogurt and rice. The tangyness from the chutney compliments the curd/yogurt very well. This chutney stays good in the refrigerator for upto a week, make sure you dont add extra water. This will be my entry for Grow Your Own hosted by Andrea.