Gongura Pulihora – Make the Most of the Sorrel Leaf

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Gongura or Sorrel leaves are an important part of Andhra household. These tangy and delicious leaves make for a mouth-watering pickle, popularly known as Gongura Pachadi. Also, Sorrel leaves are added to other vegetarian and non-vegetarian food preparations to bring in the zing flavour.

So, while we are on the topic, let me introduce you to the amazing Gongura Pulihora or spiced red sorrel leaves rice. This dish is ideal to be eaten as a breakfast or added to the list of other preparations at home. An excellent alternative to the regular lemon rice or tiger rice that we are so familiar with.

Gongura Pulihora Recipe

1 cup Sona Masuri rice or equivalent
1 large bunch Red Sorrel leaves/Gongura
1 tbsp. Tamarind Pulp
Salt to taste
1 tbsp. Sesame Oil
1 tbsp. Oil

To roast and grind

1 tbsp. Sesame seeds
1 tbsp. Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds
3 Red chillies

To temper
2 tbsp. Oil
1 tbsp. Mustard seeds
1 tbsp. Urad dal
1 tbsp. Chana dal
1/4 cup Groundnuts
3-4 light coloured long Green chillies, slit
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
2 Red chillies
a sprig of Curry leaves
a pinch of strong Asafoetida

1. Dry roast fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, red chillies and sesame seeds separately until they are well roasted.             Remove them and let it cool.

  1. Remove the sorrel leaves from the stems carefully and wash them properly for 3-4 times. Drain them in the colander until all the water gets away.
  2. Take the same pan heat 1 tbsp. oil and add stemmed and sorrel leaves and fry until they wilt and become slightly mushy. Cool the mixture. Add tamarind pulp at the end.
  3. Grind the roasted seeds to a fine powder and add sautéed sorrel leaves and grind to a smooth paste.
  4. Wash and soak rice for 10-15 minutes and cook it in rice cooker or pressure cooker with 2 cups of water until it is done. Let the rice sit for some time and spread it on a wide plate by smearing a tbsp. of sesame oil which helps in keeping the grains separate.
  5. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a deep bottomed kadai/pan and crackle mustard seeds.
  6. Add ground nuts and fry them until they turn slight red in colour and the skin begins to split.
  7. Add Chana dal, urad dal, and red chillies and slit green chillies and fry until the chillies wilt and the dals turn light golden brown in colour. Add curry leaves, asafoetida, turmeric powder and fry half a minute. Add ground Gongura mixture and let it cook until it thickens and the oil separates from the edges. It takes 7-8 minutes. Switch off the flame and let it cool completely.

Reserve some portion (2-3 tbsp.) of the Gongura mixture prepared and add cooled and spread rice along with salt. Mix nicely until everything is neatly incorporated. Now taste the rice and add more Gongura mixture or salt as needed and adjust the rice according to your taste buds.

Prepare it slightly sour so that it tastes delicious. Rest the preparation for an hour at least.

Serve Gongura Pulihora as a variety rice in your meal or as a meal by itself with Curds. Enjoy!!




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