Gongura Leaves (Sorrel leaves)
Gongura is a plant, Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa), grown for its edible leaves in India. These leaves are used in south central Indian cuisine to impart a tart flavour. Gongura comes in two varieties, green stemmed leaf and red stemmed. The red stemmed variety is more sour than the green stemmed variety. Gongura is a rich source of iron, vitamins, folic acid and antioxidants essential for human nutrition.
Gongura pacchadi is quintessentially Telugu cuisine along with pacchadi (chutney or relish). Telugu people, mainly from the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, India, locally called it as Andhra Matha due to significance in their day to day diet.
While it has many culinary uses, the most popular is the pickled version. Although Gongura is widely consumed all over Andhra Pradesh.
Similarly, Gongura is popular in Tamil Nadu as well, and is called pulichakeerai in Tamil. In Kerala it is called (Mathippuli).
It is popular in North and Central Karnataka cuisines as “Pundi Palle/Punde soppu, and is regularly eaten with Jollad (Jowar) rotti.
The famous combination with pulichakeerai is Ragi Kali/Ragi Mudde, which once used to be a regular food for the people in villages (since these items are easily available in agricultural forms).
In Marathi, it is called Ambaadi (अंबाडी). And is specially prepared to a stew and served to goddess Mahalakshmi/Gauri during the annual festival of Mahalakshmi which falls on three days in between the ten days Ganesha Chaturthi festival in Maharashtra.
Gongura in Hindi is known as Pitwaa, Gongura in English is called Kenaf Leaves, and Chin Baung in Chinese. It is a summer crop, and the hotter the place, the more sour the leaf gets.
Health Benefits of Magical Gongura Leaves
Gongura is an excellent source of folate and a very good source of vitamin B6, both of which are needed to maintain low homocysteine levels. Apart from this, it is a rich source of iron, vitamin C, anti-oxidants, calcium, iron, zinc and vitamin A.
According to studies, the leaves are also a great way to keep your bones strong. This mineral-rich plant has calcium, magnesium and phosphorus in abundance, all of which are important for maintaining strong and healthy bones. A diet rich in these minerals can help in preventing bone loss and conditions such as osteoporosis.
The high content of vitamin C, popularly known as ascorbic acid, plays a major role in boosting the immune system and in increasing the number of white blood cells in the body. This is also one of the reasons gongura is widely consumed even during the monsoons. Also, since it grows a little higher than ground level, risk of contamination is comparatively low.
The very mention of gongura pachhadi will have any Telugu drooling. A very popular dish in Andhra and Telangana, gongura is also used to make mutton and chicken dishes, also revered as the show-stopper of a meal in special family get-togethers.
When cooked with toor dal, it adds a certain zing to the dish and is popularly known as gongura pappu. Apart from curries, varieties of pickles are made with gongura. Cooking gongura with colocasia is a popular ethnic dish in Assam. In Tamil Nadu, it is widely used for pulichakeerai masiyal and thokku.
Famous Gongura Recipes
Gongura Pachadi is also known as Gongura Chutney Recipe. It is an authentic Andhra cuisine chutney recipe made with ‘gongura’ leaves, also called as sorrel leaves.
Gongura Pickle | Andhra Special Gongura Pachadi
Sorrel Leaves Chicken |Easy Gongura Chicken Curry at home in telugu by vismai food