Gongura pachadi/chutney

Gongura pachadi is a very famous chutney in Andhra Pradesh and a special delicacy for vegetarians in Andhra cuisine. Gongura is widely consumed in Andhra Pradesh and is very popular for its dishes in homes, restaurants and many food joints. Sorrel leaves are called Gongura in Telugu, pulicha keerai in Tamil and ambaadi in Marathi. We call it at home as ambadi ki bhaji. These leaves taste sour. Sorrel leaves come in two varieties - one is green stem leaves and the other is red stem leaves. The red stem ones are sourer than the green stem variety. Gongura is one of my favourite foods and dishes prepared from gongura make me so addictive that I just keep eating.

I prepare 2 different types of gongura pachadi. One involves only dry ingredients and the other, which I am sharing here has tomatoes and is my favourite one. In this gongura chutney recipe, I have roasted the gongura leaves with little oil and have then ground to a coarse paste with other ingredients. If you want, you can avoid drying the leaves and just directly cook in a vessel. This will leave moisture, which will give you a slightly different taste and texture even though the ingredients are the same.

Preparation time: 10 mins (excluding drying of leaves)

Cooking time: 30 mins

Cuisine: Andhra Pradesh

Serves: 2 to 3

Spiciness: Hot and sour

Ingredients

  • Gongura leaves – 214 gms approx
  • Onion (medium) – 2 or 150 gms
  • Tomato – 1 big or 2 medium or 150 gms
  • Dry chillies – 6
  • Garlic cloves (big) – 4
  • Water – 1/4 cup
  • Tempering

  • Oil- 3 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Dry chillies – 4 to 5
  • Garlic cloves (big) – 3
  • Curry leaves – 20
  • Water – 1/2 cup

Method

  • Pluck the leaves of Gongura from the stems. After plucking the weight was 214 gms. Wash, clean and keep it aside. On a clean cloth or a wide plate spread these leaves to dry until no moisture is left on leaves. Keep the gongura leaves near the window in sunlight so that the water can be quickly got rid of. Also check underneath the leaves to see if there is any water and bring the wet/moist side up. You can also spread the leaves loosely in a sheet or even on 3 to 4 plates. This is done so that, while roasting, the gongura leaves does not leave liquid.
  • Heat a vessel without any oil. Add all the gongura leaves, saute on medium or low flame for 4 to 5 mins until all the moisture from the leaves is absorbed and it shrinks and changes its green colour to dark brown.
  • Add 2 tsp oil around the leaves and saute for a further 4 to 5 mins on low flame. It will now look like fried leaves with no moisture left as you can see in the picture. Remove and keep it aside to cool.
  • In the same pan, add sliced onion and cook until soft and transparent. This should take about 4 to 5 mins.
  • Add curry leaves, garlic and dry chillies. Roast for 3 to 4 mins until the colour of the garlic looks lightly roasted.
  • Add tomatoes and cook for about 6 mins on medium flame until the tomatoes are soft.
  • Add gongura leaves and mix well with the onion mixture. Cook for 4 to 5 mins on medium flame. Switch off. Allow to cool.
  • First grind the dry chillies and then add the rest of the ingredients or all together and grind to a coarse paste with a little water as per the consistency you want.
  • Tempering

  • Heat the pan with 3 tbsp oil. When hot, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and let it splutter.
  • Add dry chillies, curry leaves, garlic and sliced onion. Sauté until the onion is golden in colour, but not crisp.
  • Add gongura patse with 1/2 cup water. Mix well and simmer for about 8 to 10 mins until it absorbs the water or thickens and the colour gets darker.
  • Serve the gongura pachadi with a drizzle of ghee on plain rice with any side dish you like or just popadums.
  • I have shown you the pictures where rice is mixed with gongura pachadi/chutney and shaped like balls. That is just for the pictures.
  • Allow to cool. You can refrigerate the gongura pachadi for 3 to 4 days.

Notes

  • The consistency of the gongura chutney depends on how much moisture is in the onion and tomato mixture and water added during grinding and cooking.
  • I have used medium dry red chillies. Sometimes, it can be very hot. To reduce the heat, you can remove a few seeds. If you want, you can add or remove chillies as per your taste.
  • The consistency of the gongura pachadi can be as per your taste, which I have shown you through pictures.
  • You can serve this chutney cold or after bringing to room temperature with plain hot rice. There is no need to reheat the chutney while serving.

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