Gongura royyalu (gongura prawns curry)

Gongura royyalu (in Telugu) means gongura prawns curry. Gongura (sorrel leaves) or khatti bhaji (in Hyderabad it is known like that) is very famous and very much used in Andhra Pradesh. Gongura is one of my favourite green leaves and is sour in taste. In restaurants which specialize in Andhra food, they serve gongura royyalu (gongura prawns curry) which is a popular dish in Andhra. In my home it is very rare we prepare gongura royyalu as we make gongura mamsam and gongura with boti (goats intestine) or gongura chicken. You can prepare it with mutton chops also, it tastes good.

First you have to prepare prawns curry separately and gongura separately and mix them both and give tempering (Tadka), which is optional. For the prawns curry, a curry has to be cooked first without prawns, as we cannot cook prawns for a longer time – otherwise it can become rubbery. So, first cook onion and tomato curry for prawns and in the end can add prawns. Serve gongura royyalu with plain rice or chapathi (roti) as a side dish.

Preparation time: 15 mins (excluding peeling and deveining prawns)

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Cuisine: Andhra

Serves: 3

Spiciness: Medium


  • Prawns (medium size, deshelled and devined) – 200 gms
  • For curry

  • Oil – 4 tbsp
  • Cloves – 6
  • Green cardamoms – 6
  • Cinnamon stick – 2 (1 inch)
  • Onion – 1 1/2 cup
  • Tomatoes (big, chopped) – 2
  • Chilli powder – 2 tsp
  • Ginger and garlic paste – 1 tbsp
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala – 1/2 tsp
  • For gongura

  • Gongura leaves – 200 gms
  • Onion (chopped) – 1/2 cup
  • Green chillies (medium, long thin) – 4
  • Ginger and garlic paste – 2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Tomato (big, chopped) – 1
  • Water (optional) – 1/4 cup
  • Tadka (tempering)

  • Oil – 3 tbsp
  • Cloves – 2
  • Green cardamom – 3
  • Cinnamon stick – 1 (1 inch)
  • Mustard seeds – 3/4 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Dry chillies – 4
  • Curry leaves – 20
  • Onion (small, sliced) – 1
  • Green chillies (big, chopped) – 3/li>
  • Garlic cloves (big) – 2


    Cooking prawns curry

  • First chop all the vegetables and keep it aside.
  • Clean the prawns and keep it ready, I have used frozen, raw prawns.
  • Take a vessel, add oil when it gets hot add whole spices and onion fry till it is transparent, soft and golden colour.
  • Add ginger and garlic paste stir for 30 seconds and add all the dry spices except garam masala, stir quickly for 5sec on lower flame. Don’t burn the spices.
  • Add 1/3 cup water immediately and chopped tomatoes. Sauté for 4 minutes on a medium flame.
  • Add again water 1/2cup and cook until tomatoes are soft and liquid is reduced, becomes like curry base. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes on medium flame, and 12 minutes on lower flame by closing the lid. If the liquid gets reduced or dry can add more 1/3rd cup more water. (Mean while start cooking gongura).
  • In between smash the onion and tomato mixture with back of a spoon, so that tomatoes get blended well with onion.
  • Before adding prawns, the curry base has to be according to your consistency, if the curry liquid is more, cook for some more time.
  • As soon as prawns are added it leaves water, so drain as much as water from the prawns before adding it to the curry.
  • Add raw prawns and cook for 2 to 3 min on medium flame , keeping the lid open and simmer for 5minutes by closing the lid and switch off.
  • Add salt as per tatse.
  • I have cooked this curry, so many times, the texture is always different, as I want the base according to my taste, and I have shown through picture.
  • Cooking gongura leaves

  • Wash the gongura leaves twice or thrice to remove the dirt and soil from it and drain the water well.
  • Take a cooker or any vessel, add all the ingredients for cooking gongura and cook it for few minutes. We are cooking it like any curry by putting few spices in it.
  • No need to add water, as gongura leaves has water and it will shrink when it is cooked.
  • Cook until the tomatoes, green chillies are cooked and 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 well so that all the ingredients blend well with each other. If you want, you can grind the cooked gongura in a mixer coarsely. keep it ready.
  • Add salt as per taste.
  • Mixing both curries

  • Now pour the gongura mixture into the prawns curry and mix well.
  • Cook for 5 minutes on medium flame until gongura and prawns curry are blended well.
  • Add little water if the curry becomes too thick. You can cook according to your taste and consistency you want.
  • I am showing some pictures of the same recipe, where I am blending gongura and prawn curry, the consistency is thick.
  • Tadka (tempering)

  • Add oil to a preheated vessel, when it gets warm add mustard seeds, when it sputters add cumin, cloves, green cardamom , dry chillies, onion , green chillies , curry leaves and garlic sliced or crushed and stir well.
  • Cook till the onions are golden brown and add this tempering to the gongura prawn curry , mix well, check the seasoning(salt) well and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on medium flame.
  • Add garam masala , mix well and cook for 12 minutes on simmer by closing the lid. Switch off.
  • It will absorb all the flavour of tadka.
  • Serve gongura prawn curry with plain rice with drizzle of ghee or plain chapathi (roti).


  • The green chillies can be increased or decreased according to your taste.
  • You can add more quantity of gongura leaves according to your taste.
  • 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 in volume also. Sorrel leaves with red stem has a more sour taste than with green stem.
  • Cooking time of prawns depends on it size also.

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