Andhra Gongura Pachadi or Sorrel Sauce is tangy, sour hot and spicy and will surely tickle your palate and you will be asking for more. It is a childhood favourite and let me relate how I came about to make it today. I started an organic vegetable garden, seven weeks ago. I actually cleared the lawn space to grow vegetables. I do have a green thumb but never used it to grow organic vegetables. I have grown fruit trees though and that gave me the confidence of growing veggies. Now that I have stepped into the mud, literally, I am losing my balance and am sure will slip in the same mud if I do not learn fast. All is not lost yet. I have successfully grown Okra and these Sorrel plants.
Organic gardening has many advantages; taste for one, nothing can taste better than fresh vegetables straight off the plant. An explosion of flavour that is incomparable to market-bought produce. Most fruits and veggies can be tasted right there in the garden. The best part is, I plucked the Sorrel leaves and directly went to the kitchen to make this chutney and it was on my dining table in 30 minutes. Does it get fresher than this?
Andhra Gongura Pachadi or Sorrel Sauce is essentially nativeTelugu cuisine. It is a summer crop, and the hotter the place, the better it grows.No wonders it is growing so well, as I live in one of the hottest places in South India. Gongura pachadi brings back carefree childhood memories of eating at the neighbours every day. Aunty had three girls of her own and we 4 siblings were always there and so were my cousins. If I close my eyes, I can still smell the aroma from her kitchen and the way she used to mix hot steamed rice which was liberally drizzled with ghee and feed us all one by one. I can never ever match her cooking but I do try.
The Gongura, Sorrel or Kenaf leaves are very low in calories and rich in protein when compared with other leafy vegetables. Sorrel leaves are added to other vegetarian and non-vegetarian food preparations and give it the zing flavour.
Now that I have sorrel growing in my front yard I am going to try other recipes like Gongura Pappu (lentils), Gongura chicken and Gongura pulihora made with Gongura as the main ingredient. When cooked with tur dal or lentil, a pickle, it perks up, more like delights the taste buds and makes you crave for its unique taste.
Recipe for Andhra Gongura Chutney or Sorrel Sauce
250 Gms Gongura or Sorrel leaves
10 dry red chillies
2 tbsp Oil
1 tbsp Coriander seeds
1 tbsp Cumin seeds
10 Garlic pods
Rock salt as required
For the tempering:
2 dry red chillies broken into half
1 tbsp chana dal or horse gram
1 tsp mustard seeds
5 curry leaves
Wash the leaves and let them drain nicely in a colander. There is no need to chop it.
Heat a pan and dry roast the leaves so that they are rid of all moisture. Add oil and sauté till the leaves turn mushy and pulpy.
Heat the kadhai and add the oil, add coriander seeds, red chillies, cumin and saute for a minute, add garlic and sauté lightly. Remove it from pan and keep aside to cool.
In a blender, take the red chillies, coriander, and cumin. Add the mushy leaves and rock salt to taste and grind to a paste.
Transfer the paste to a dish and keep aside.
Now for the tempering-Take 1 tbsp oil and heat it. Add dry red chillies till they r crisp. Then add the chana dal, mustard seeds, and curry leaves and once they all splutter season the paste in the dish. You can add a pinch of asafetida if you want to. I ran out of it and hence omitted it.
Mouth-watering Andhra Gongura Pachadi or Sorrel Sauce is ready. I was salivating while cooking this tangy sauce and could not wait to eat it. I had steamed rice ready while I made the chutney and mixed a huge spoon of it into the hot rice. Drizzle a spoon of ghee or clarified butter if you want to enter gourmet heaven like I did.
This sauce goes well even with dosas. It is up to you how you want to relish it.
This yummy Andhra Gongura Pachadi or Sorrel Sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for a week. Homemade gongura chutney is awesomely tangy, spicy and delectable.