Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Gongura pickle

We had these tenants of ours who were from Andhra. They were recently married, and the wife was quite a young girl, who was just out of college. She'd come home for spending some time talking to mom to kill her boredom in a new place. And mom give her company for sometime, while we would be curiously listening to the conversation!
One of the usual topics would be food, and she'd often say she had prepared something with gongura. We were quite unaware of this gongura then. And she'd explain that it is a very famous variety of greens and used widely in Andhra cuisine. And she'd sometimes give us a tangy spicy pickle like thing to taste, in a small bowl in return to something that mom would have sent to her. And it would taste awesome with hot rice and a spoonful of ghee/oil. The next encounter with this gongura pickle was at Andhra style restaurants, where Dee loves the pappu (dal) and this gongura pickle.
So when the vegetable vendor come with fresh bunches of maroon stalked green gongura, i was tempted to buy it, even without any idea of how to use it. And i soon figured out umpteen different recipes from various sources! Then decided to refine it to my taste and make it to suit our tastebuds. And it did come ou good, and a huge bunch of leaves yielded me only a small bowlful of the pickle, and what i thought i'll have to preserve for weeks, didn't last for more than three days! Everyone - including little niece Hima had an extra round of gongura pickle rice for every meal, till it lasted!
Gongura pickle

Preparation time : 10 min
Cooking time : 15 min
Makes : 1 cup of pickle

Gongura leaves - 5-6 cups, washed and picked
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt - 1 tsp

For spice powder:Dry red chilies - 15-20 depending on taste
Mustard seeds - 3 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 3 tsp

For tempering:
Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Asafetida - 1 pinch

Spice powder• Heat a skillet and roast all the ingredients
• Cool slightly and grind it to a powder
Gongura pickle• Wash the gongura, separate the leaves from stalk
• In a heavy bottomed pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil and add the gongura leaves
• The volume of the greens reduces drastically
• Sauté it for a while till the water content evaporates
• Keep stirring, to avoid sticking to the pan, add more oil if needed
• Once done, the oil starts separating out from the pickle
• Add the spice powder prepared and mix thoroughly for a couple of minutes, with the heat on
• Heat oil in a small skillet, add mustard and allow to splutter, add asafetida and mix it to the pickle
• Serve with rice and ghee/oil, curd rice, dosa, etc

Tips n Tricks:
• The gongura reduces in volume drastically - so use more if you want to prepare more

• Sautéed onions can also be added


  1. lovely tangy to have with rice

  2. I love this!!! Awesome! I am going to try jackfruit jam!!!

  3. aaah I guess u tasted it during my wedding too!whatever for more delicacies using gongura, callem , I will put you across to my wifey


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