Gongura chicken

Gongura with chicken is a very popular and authentic dish of Andhra cuisine. Gongura is called as sorrel leaves in English, khatti bhaji or ambadi ki bhaji in Hindi, pulicha keerai in Tamil. It has a distinctive flavour and sour taste. Because of the Gongura leaves, any curry prepared has a sour taste. There are 2 types of sorrel leaves – one is red stem sorrel leaves and the other is green sorrel leaves. There is not much difference between them. The red one has its stem red and will be sourer than the green one. There is no substitute for this, but you can use chukka keerai in Telugu/Tamil. It is also sour but tastes different.

In vegetarian meal you will find Gongura dal or Gongura pachadi (chutney) and in non-vegetarian Gongura mutton, Gongura chicken and Gongura prawns are popular but other than these dishes, in gongura there is a very popular dish which we serve it at our homes , its name is khatti bhaji aur boti ka saalan (gongura with intestine of goat). It is very popular in our homes and our relations side who live in Andhra Pradesh (places like guntakal, anantapur and other places). Each house in Andhra Pradesh has its own recipe, I have prepared gongura chicken curry, as per my taste, which can be served either with roti (chapathi ) or plain rice or pulav rice or for biryani as a side dish.

Gongura chicken curry is a sour and hot curry which goes well with plain hot rice. In gongura chicken curry, gongura and chicken curry is cooked separately and combined together in the end, which is mostly done. But sometimes I do tempering to give that restaurant touch, with lots of oil , garlic and dry chillies. As soon as the tempering is combined with gongura chicken curry, it gives you different taste, aroma and flavour.

Preparation time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 45 mins

Cuisine: Andhra Pradesh, India

Serves: 2

Spiciness: Hot and sour

Ingredients

    For curry

  • Oil – 3 tbsp
  • Onion (big, chopped) – 1 or 110 gms (only leaves)
  • Tomato (big, chopped) – 1 or 150 gms
  • Ginger and garlic paste – 2 tsp
  • Chilli powder – 1 tbsp
  • Green chillies (slit) – 2
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Chicken – 500 gms
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Water – 1 1/2 cup
  • Whole spices

  • Cloves – 4
  • Green cardamom – 4
  • Cinnamon stick – 2 (2 inch size each)
  • For gongura

  • Oil – 2 tsp
  • Gongura leaves – 200 to 220 gms
  • Onion (medium) – 1 or 75 gms
  • Tomato (big, chopped) – 1 or 130 gms
  • Ginger and garlic paste – 2 tsp
  • Green chillies (mild) – 3
  • Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Water – 3/4 cup
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Tadka (tempering/seasoning)

  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic cloves (big) – 3
  • Curry leaves – 20
  • Dry chillies – 3 to 4
  • Green chillies (sliced or slit) - 2

Method

    There 4 steps in this recipe.

    1. Cooking chicken curry

    2. Cooking gongura leaves

    3. Mixing the chicken curry and gongura leaves

    4. Tadka/tempering

    Cooking chicken curry

  • First chop onion and tomatoes and keep it aside.
  • Take a vessel, add all the ingredients for chicken curry with oil.
  • Add 1 cup water as required for the curry to prepare. Cook it by closing the lid for 15 minutes on medium flame, stir in between and simmer for 10 minutes. Switch off.
  • The chicken curry should not be watery or dry.
  • Cooking gongura leaves

  • Pluck the leaves of Gongura from the stems. After plucking the weight was 220 gms . Wash, clean and keep it aside. Wash the gongura leaves twice or thrice to remove the dirt and soil from it and drain the water well.
  • Take a pressure cooker, add all the ingredients with 1/2cup water for cooking gongura and cook it for 4 to 5 whistles, on medium flame by closing the lid. Switch off.
  • When pressure is released, open the lid, if the liquid is still there and gongura leaves have not combined well with onion and tomatoes, then cook for 10 minutes more until tomatoes and onion are softened, little liquid is left and gets blended with the gongura leaves. Switch off.
  • If it is in a vessel then cook it like chicken curry, add all the ingredients including water, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until all liquid is absorbed, onion and tomatoes are softened and gongura leaves are cooked well.
  • You can see that the volume of gongura leaves is reduced (shrink).
  • Take any big spoon or the wooden masher (dal ghotni) which I use for mashing dal; mash the cooked leaves with other ingredients, by adding salt, so that all the ingredients are blend well with each other. Keep it ready.
  • Mixing the chicken curry and gongura leaves

  • Now add the gongura curry into the chicken curry and mix well.
  • Add 1/2cup water, mix well and cook for 5 minutes on medium flame and 10 to 12 minutes on simmer flame, by closing the lid or until gongura and chicken curry are blended well.
  • In between check the curry.
  • At this stage if you want can avoid tempering and serve gongura chicken.
  • If you want to do tempering like how it is served in the restaurants then, after 5minutes medium cooking add tempering immediately.
  • Tadka/tempering

  • Heat a small kadai or any vessel, add oil, when hot, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds, and let it splutter for few seconds.
  • Add dry chillies, garlic crushed with its skin, green chillies slit, curry leaves, stir well for 30 sec to 1minutes, until garlic cloves get golden colour.
  • Add the tempering to the curry, mix well and cook for 10minutes on simmer flame by closing the lid, switch off.
  • Serve gongura chicken with plain rice with few drops of ghee or with roti or any pulav dish.

Notes

  • If using more gongura leaves or increasing the quantity of meat gives you different texture and colour to the dish, which I have shown you through pictures.
  • If you want gongura chicken curry to be darker and greener, then prepare chicken curry dry with same ingredients and add to the gongura mixture.
  • You can use any meat you like and cook in the curry form as per your taste and blend together.
  • The green chillies can be increased or decreased according to you spiciness.
  • If your gongura leaves are very sour then can add small tomato.
  • If you want can add small 2 to 3 brinjals, while cooking the gongura leaves, if cooking in the cooker can cook till 3 whistles or till the brinjal is cooked. It will reduce the sourness and gives you different taste also.
  • When the sorrel leaves are cooked it becomes very soft and reduces to a very smaller quantity.
  • If the liquid is more in the gongura or in the curry, then cook for some time more, until you get the consistency.
  • If pressure cooker is not available, you can use any ordinary vessel and cook.

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