Monday, September 26, 2005

Greens gone sour

I bought too many vegetables at the Indian grocers' last weekend. One of the lot was Gongura or sour greens. These greens with their hard, red stalks are a speciality from the South-eastern state of India- Andhra Pradesh. True to their name, they have a sourness that do not go away when cooked. My mom introduced gongura to me- she makes the traditional gongura chutney that is intensely hot and it goes well when mixed with rice and ghee. I wanted to make this chutney but due to my cramped vegetable drawer, the greens had lost their sheen and their leaves had gone brown. I salvaged about a cup of the leaves. What to do with so little? So I searched some of the Andhra blogs like Mahanandi, My cuisine and Passages for a new gongura recipe. But I found one for gongura dal elsewhere and here is how it goes:

Dal with sour greens

3/4 cup pigeon peas, cooked
2 handfuls Gongura leaves, coarsely chopped
4 Green chillies, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
pinch of Turmeric
1 small tomato, chopped
1 tsp cayenne
Salt to taste


1/2 tsp each Mustard seeds,cummin, urad dal, 2 red chillies(broken),Asafoetida,curryleaves

Make tempering with the given ingredients using 1 tsp oil/ghee,add green chillies, onion,garlic and fry till they get pinkish brown. Add gongura leaves(chopped) and cook, covered for 2 minutes. Now add tomatoes, cayenne, turmeric and salt. Saute for another minute. Add the cooked dal and enough water to make the dal as thin as you like. Simmer for 3 min or so. Serve with rice or roti. This dal is hot and spicy. But you can always reduce the cayenne.


  1. LOVE gongura pickle. Love it in dal too. Andhra food is just so yummy! Mika, do you know if gongura is called "sorrel" in English?

  2. Hi Shammi- I do not know about the english name. But sorrel is available here. I will take a good look next time.

  3. hi mika, i've never had the pleasure of tasting gongura before - thanks for another wonderful (not to mention educational!) post...

  4. Tag, your it! Im tagging you for the meme thats going around- hope you can play along!

  5. Mika... I never made this way, but sounds great. I made gongura dal today. Slightly different from your recipe. But its hard to spoil gongura dal unless you burn the dal:)

  6. Hi Indira- This is an Internet version. It may not be authentic. It would be great if you can post your version of it as well as that for gongura chutney.