Gongura mutton or Gongura mamasam

Gongura lamb / mutton curry (gongura mamasam in telugu) is one of my favourites and very close to my heart dish. It is an authentic and popular non-vegetarian dish in Andhra Pradesh. I like this dish very much because of its tangy and spicy taste. Gongura is called as sorrel leaves in English, khatti bhaji or ambadi ki bhaji in Hindi, pulicha keerai in Tamil. 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 more sour 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.

Whenever we prepare pulav or biryani, my mother will prepare gongura curry either with chicken or mutton in it, as a side dish. We call it khatti bhaji ka saalan. We prepare gongura dish as a side dish not main dish, we add lamb/mutton ribs and bones mostly but sometimes add few pieces of lamb heart, lungs and liver. The most famous at home and my favourite is boti (lamb stomach, small and large intestine), we call it, khatti bhaji aur boti ka saalan(gongura with intestine of goat or lamb). Boti curry is prepared and added to gongura prepared curry like any other curry. It is very popular in our homes and our relations side who live in Andhra Pradesh (places like guntakal, anantapur and other places). In my childhood I use to see Gongura curry as a side dish which is prepared with combination of mutton chops, lungs, ribs and liver served with biryani or pulav with dalcha (made with split chana dal in a curry form) and other side dishes in every function and marriages of muslim in anantapur, guntakal and other places (Andhra Pradesh) held by our family.

Whenever I visit India in holidays, the first dish my mother prepares for me is gongura mamasam(mutton/lamb) . Even my mother-in-law knows that I like these leaves very much. She buys these leaves and keeps it in the fridge. I really miss some food, which I do not get in london. Even when I visit my grand parents in Anantapur (Andhra Pradesh), ambadi ki bhaji ka saalan (mutton with sorrel leaves) will be on the table. You can view my other gongura dishes prawn, chicken and gongura pachadi also.

In gongura mamasam, I cook lamb/mutton curry separate and gongura separate and then combine them together. When gongura leaves are cooked I mash it with dal ghotni (Indian masher), can view in the pictures below, but sometimes I add coarsely grinded gongura paste to the lamb/mutton curry . Difference between my cooking and my mothers cooking in gongura is when both the curries are combined and cooked for a while, no tempering is done where as I do tempering which is not a must. While preparing gongura, its up to you either you want to add mutton/lamb with bones or boneless.

Preparation time: 20 mins

Cooking time: 1 hour

Cuisine: Andhra Pradesh, India

Serves: 2 to 3

Spiciness: Hot and sour

Ingredients

    For lamb curry

  • Oil – 3 tbsp
  • Onion (medium, chopped) - 2 1/2
  • Tomato (big, chopped) – 2 or 230 gms
  • Mutton/lamb (with bones) – 500 - 600 gms
  • Ginger and garlic paste – 1 tbsp
  • Chilli powder – 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - as per taste
  • Water – 1 to 1 1/2 cup
  • Whole spices

  • Cloves – 5
  • Green cardamom – 4
  • Cinnamon stick (1 inch pieces) – 3
  • For gongura

  • Oil - 1 tsp
  • Gongura leaves – 214 gms or 2 big handfuls
  • Onion (medium) – 1
  • Tomato (big) – 1 or 130 gms
  • Green chillies (slit) – 4
  • Ginger and garlic paste – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Water - 1 cup
  • Tadka (tempering)

  • Oil – 4 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 3/4 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Onion (small) – 1
  • Dry chillies – 4
  • Green chillies (slit) – 4
  • Garlic (big, crushed or sliced) - 3
  • Curry leaves - 25

Method

    There are 4 steps in this recipe.

    1. Cooking mutton curry

    2. Cooking gongura leaves

    3. Mixing both mutton curry and gongura leaves

    4. Tadka (tempering)

    Cooking mutton curry

  • Chop onions and tomatoes (except gongura leaves and green chillies) keep it aside.
  • Take a pressure cooker; add all the ingredients for mutton curry with oil and water 1cup to 11/2 cup as seen in the picture.
  • Cook it by closing the lid, until it gives 4 whistles or cook until meat is cooked.
  • Wait for few minutes, until the pressure is released from the cooker, and then open the lid.
  • If the gravy is watery and too thin, cook it by keeping the lid open until the consistency of the curry becomes thick, and it starts leaving oil add salt and mix well and keep it ready.
  • You can cook the meat in an ordinary vessel, but first add whole spices and onion cook until soft and caramel, then add rest of the ingredients and roast for 4minutes, add water, cook until meat is cooked and oil starts leaving the curry. Meanwhile cook the gongura curry.
  • Cooking gongura curry

  • Pluck the leaves of Gongura from the stems. After plucking the weight was 214gms. 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 1cup water for cooking gongura (except salt) 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, until little liquid is left and gets blended with the gongura leaves. Switch off.
  • If it gets dry add water as per the requirement.
  • 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 both mutton curry and gongura leaves

  • Now add the gongura curry into the mutton /lamb 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 mutton/lamb curry are blended well, starts leaving oil and is as per the consistency required.
  • At this stage if you want can avoid tempering and serve gongura mutton/lamb curry.
  • 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.
  • Add little water if the curry becomes too thick and cook according to your taste and consistency you want.
  • Gongura curry is ready as oil starts leaving the curry and is well blended with spices and tempering.
  • Serve gongura mamasam with plain rice with few drops of ghee or with roti or any pulav dish.

Notes

  • Sometimes, I coarsely grind the gongura mixture in a food processor or mixer, so that onion, green chillies and tomato are well blended with the gongura. It will give you different texture and taste.
  • If you want gongura chicken curry to be darker and greener, then prepare chicken curry dry with same ingredients or add more quantity of gongura leaves, which gives different texture and colour to the dish.
  • The green chillies can be increased or decreased according to your 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, 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. Sometimes I do not add water to cook gongura leaves, instead cook it on very low flame, by closing the lid.
  • After tempering in the Gongura curry, I sometimes add garamasala 1/2tsp in the end, which is optional and cook for few minutes.
  • In gongura mamasam, you can add boneless meat, lamb shanks or mutton/lamb ribs or chops as per your taste.

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