Gongura rice

Gongura rice is a popular Andhra rice dish made using Gongura leaves. In Andhra, Gongura leaves (Red Sorrel Leaves) is widely used in curries, pickles and chutneys. Gongura leaves has a sour taste and goes well with rice similar to Tamarind rice (pulihora). The only difference is the use of Gongura leaves instead of Tamarind. My Gongura rice is sour, tangy, and has a crunchy texture from peanuts and onions. A squeeze of lemon, brings out its flavour and taste. Gongura rice can be prepared for lunch box or travel or for a very quick lunch.

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 15 mins (excluding time to cook rice)

Cuisine: Andhra Pradesh

Spiciness: Medium

Serves: 2 (small portions)

Ingredients

  • Ponni rice (cooked) – 2 cups
  • Gongura (Sorrel Leaves) – 214 gms
  • Garlic cloves – 2
  • Water – 1/2 cup
  • Tadka / tempering

  • Oil – 2 to 3 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Chana dal – 1 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1/2 tsp
  • Dry chillies – 4
  • Curry leaves - 15
  • Asafoetida (hing) – a pinch
  • Green chillies (slit or half) – 4
  • Peanuts (roasted) – 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Gongura paste – 2 tbsp
  • Water – 1/4 cup
  • Onion (medium) – 1 or 60 gms
  • Lemon juice – 3 to 4 tsp

Method

  • Chop onion, slit green chillies, roast peanuts and keep them aside.
  • Soak 1 cup of raw rice (ponni or basmati or sona masoori or ordinary rice) in sufficient amount of water for 30 mins.
  • Cook the rice with salt until fluffy. The grains have to be separated. As soon as the rice is cooked, spread on a wide plate and allow it to cool. I have used 2 cups of cooked rice for this recipe.
  • Separate the leaves from the stem, wash properly 3 to 4 times. Drain well until all the water is drained.
  • Add gongura leaves, 1/2 cup water and 1 big clove of garlic in a vessel and cook for 10 to 12 mins on low to medium flame with the lid closed, until the gongura (Red Sorrel Leaves) leaves is cooked and wilted.
  • Allow to cool and grind to a smooth paste. Do not add water.
  • Heat a non-stick pan or any vessel with oil. When hot, add mustard seeds and let it sizzle.
  • Add urad dal, chana dal, dry chillies (whole or broken), green chillies, hing (asafoetida ) and curry leaves. Mix them. Cook until the green chillies are sautéed and they turn to light brown in colour.
  • Add the roasted peanuts and mix well. Add turmeric powder, add half of the gongura paste (or 2 tbsp gongura paste) and 1/4 cup water to loosen the mixture. Mix quickly and cook for 2 to 3 mins or sufficient enough to combine the rice.
  • Add salt as per taste. Take care when adding salt as salt is added while cooking the rice as well.
  • Add chopped onions and cook for 1 min.
  • Add the cooked rice and combine well with the gongura mixture on a low flame.
  • Close the lid and cook on a low flame for a further 5 mins. Switch off the heat.
  • Mix lemon juice and rest for 5 mins.
  • Serve immediately with chips or papad or pickle or any fried dish like potato stir fry.

Notes

  • Use ponni or sona masoori rice or any ordinary rice (basmati is not a must). If not easily available, you can use basmati rice instead.
  • My green chilies were mild, so adjust the amount of green chillies as per your taste.
  • Lemon juice when added at the end, brings out the flavour and taste.
  • Like tamarind rice (pulihora) or lemon rice, gongura rice also has to be tangy and sour.
  • Remaining paste can be refrigerated or you can use the whole paste and double the quantity of rice and other ingredients.

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