Weather is cooling down and my plants are getting ready for fall. In the week end, I plucked all my Gongura leaves to make pickle with half and the other half went into freezer for use in winter.
Gongura pachadi/pickle is a popular authentic Andhra pickle and is world famous. Different regions call it with different names- Hibiscus cannabinus aka red sorrel leaves, roselle, gongura (telugu), pulicha keerai (Tamil), Ambad bhaji, ambada, ambadi(Hindi)
Gongura is a very rich source of Iron, vitamins, folic acid and anti-oxidants essential for human nutrition. Similarly, “Gongura” is popular in Tamilnadu as well, which is called “pulichakeerai” in Tamil. The famous combination with “pulichakeerai” is “Ragi Kali/Ragi Mudde“, which once used to be a regular food for the people in villages (since these items easily available in agricultural forms). It is highly recommended for sugar and heart patients to maintain their diet
This gongura pachadi can be done using dry red chilies or green chilies. When Red chilies are used, the consistency of pachadi will be little hard (hence, more oil is needed in tempering) compared to green chilies which give a moist consistency.
There are 2 varieties of this gongura, one is white stem gongura and the other is red gongura. Earlier vrariety (White gongura) has a little bitter taste than the latter (red variety). Both of them tastes extremely good. We can even combine both the varieties while cooking. My mom makes an excellent gongura pachadi with red chilies and when eaten with red onion hum!!! Delicious. Here is the recipe.
- big bunch of fresh gongura / red sorrel (wash and separate leaves from the stalks and leave them out to dry)
- 10 whole dry red chilies
- 1/2 tsp methi / fenugreek seeds
- 1 tbsp minapppapu (black gram / urad dal)
- 1 tbsp senaga pappu (bengal gram / channa dal)
- 11/2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 5 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsps oil
- salt to taste
- 4 tbsp oil (pickle made with red chilies needs more oil than green chilies)
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- ½ tsp cumin
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 whole dry red chillies
- 1 stalk of curry leaves
- Heat 2 tbsps of oil in a heavy bottom vessel. Add the leaves and sauté them until soft. Remove and let it cool.
- In the same vessel add 1 tbsp oil and add methi seeds and fry till light brown. Add coriander seeds, urad dal(black gram), channa dal (bengal gram lentil) and dry red chilies and fry stirring constantly till light brown. Remove them into a bowl and let them cool.
- In a grinder, add methi, coriander seeds, urad dal, channa dal, dry red chilies, cumin, garlic, salt and grind them. Add the fried gongura leaves and grind very coarsely.
- Heat 4 tbsps of oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, when they splutter, add the whole dry red chilies, crushed garlic, cumin, curry leaves and fry until garlic is slightly brown. Remove the tempering from fire; Let it cool before adding it to the ground gongura pachadi. (When storing any pickles for more than few days, always let the tempering cool to room temperature before adding it to the ground paste, since adding hot oil to the ground paste releases some more moisture and spoils the pachadi)
- Add the tempering to the ground paste along with the oil.
This particular pickle can be stored in the refrigerator for almost 3 weeks and goes well with hot steamed rice, a dash of ghee and sliced red onions.