The tanginess of the gongura leaves gives this classic pickle from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh a delicious punch. You can have this as a pickle or a side dish.
The star of this side dish are the gongura, or sorrel leaves. It comes from the Hibiscus sabdariffa plant and is grown in the Indian subcontinent for its edible leaves. South Indian cuisine, in particular, uses these leaves in their cuisine for the tart and tangy flavour.
An excellent source of folate, gongura leaves are also a good source of vitamins A, B6, C, as well as iron, calcium, and zinc. Consuming these leaves promotes good bone health, as this mineral-rich plant contains calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. It is believed that a diet that includes these minerals can prevent conditions such as osteoporosis.
The high level of vitamin C helps in boosting the immune system. Incidentally, this plant grows widely in the monsoon, which is when it is consumed the most in many parts of South India.
- Dry red chillies: 10
- Coriander (dhania) seeds: 2 tbsp
- Methi seeds (fenugreek seeds): ½ tsp
- Sorrel leaves (gongura): 300g
For the seasoning:
- Sesame (gingelly) oil: 2 tbsp
- Mustard seeds: ½ tsp
- Black urad dal : 1 tsp
- Dry red chillies: 2 to 3
- Garlic: 3 to 4 cloves, crushed (optional)
Step 1 :
Pick the gongura leaves from the stems and wash thoroughly. Dry the leaves with muslin or cloth. Once the leaves are dry, chop the gongura leaves and keep them aside.
Step 2 :
For the seasoning, heat a pan over medium flame and roast the dry red chillies, coriander seeds and fenugreek seeds until they turn light brown. Transfer to a plate and keep aside to cool.
Expert tip: Use as many red chillies as you need, depending on the quality of the chillies and how spicy you want the pachadi to be.
Step 3 :
Once the spice mix has cooled, place in a food processor and blend till the spice mix turns into a fine powder.
Step 4 :
In the same pan, heat the oil. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds, urad dal and some red chillies. Continue cooking till the seeds and chillies crackle and the dal turns golden brown and crisp.
Step 5 :
Stir in the crushed garlic and sauté for a few seconds until you can smell the aroma coming through. Now add the gongura leaves, salt to taste and the spice mix powder. Keep stirring until the gongura leaves become soft. Taste the pachadi to add the salt and chilli to taste. After a few minutes, you will notice a little oil residue at the sides of the pan.
Turn off the heat and serve hot with ghee and rice.
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