Gongura is widely consumed all over Andhra pradesh, India. It has many culinary uses, Gongura Pappu ( gongura with Lentils), Gongura mamsam (gongura with meat) and Gongura royyalu ( gongura with shrimp) But the most popular is the pickled version. It is also known as Puntikura. Gongura is a very rich source of Iron, Vitamins, folic acid and anti-oxidants.The Tamil name for "Gongura" is "pulichakeerai" . In Mumbai markets, it is Commonly called as Ambaadi . It is a summer crop, and the hotter the place, the more sour the leaf gets. Gongura comes in two varieties, green stemmed and red stemmed. The red stemmed variety is more sour than the green stemmed variety.
I have very few but good friends. You can count the number on fingers. One among them is a vegetarian. She took me to a restuarant at hyd, for lunch one day, saying that the speciality of that restuarant is "Gongura pacchadi". She visits that restuarant just for the sake of this item. She calls it as a " fine delicacy" of that restuarant, and certainly it is...I tried and liked it so much.
It is an instant chutney version. It is not for storing for too long, like the pickles. well, it can be stored for a week in the fridge in a tightly capped bottle.
It was pretty hard to find Gongura in Toronto. I miss my mom's home made Gongura pickles and Gongura mamsam. I found out the name for it in Tamil and asked every shop keeper. I visited several stores in search of it. Finally, Just recently, we found out a place where we can get fresh gongura. The taste of the leaves are not too sour like we used to get in Hyd, but it's better than nothing.
here is the recipe for you:
Gongura Instant Chutney
Gongura - 1 cup( after wilting) cleaned , washed , dried and fried with little oil.
Green chillies - 10/20 approx, adjust according to taste
Garlic - 2 cloves
Sesame seeds( nuvvulu) - 50 gr, dry roasted and powdered
Cumin ( jeera)- 1 tsp, dry roasted and powdered
for seasoning: Optional
Red Onion - 1 sliced
Fenugreek - 4 or 5 seeds
Fry the Gongura leaves in a pan with few drops of oil. Keep it in a seperate bowl. Fry the green chillies with little oil . Dry roast sesame ,cumin and grind them to a fine powder. Blend together gongura leaves, green chillies, sesame seeds, cumin, garlic, salt with little or no water. Season it with oil, if you prefer.
Pour oil in a pan; add red chillies, mustard, cumin, fenugreek fry until it crackles. Add curry leaves and sliced onions and fry till brown and pour it over the Gongura and mix well. Serve with hot steamed rice.