- Gongura/ Sorrel leaves are rich in carbohydrates, fiber and protein that can increase energy levels and can be included in a balanced diet. It also helps to keep one away from hunger pangs and cravings hence can be included in a weight loss diet.
- Vitamins present can boost the immune system and maintain healthy bowel movements.
- The antioxidants help prevent infection and remove free radicals.
- Other nutrients also help prevent many chronic health problems and diabetes.
- Garlic is one of the best options to boost the immune system. The vitamins and other nutrients help with curing common illnesses. Regular consumption of a significant amount of garlic may also help prevent chronic diseases such as cancer.
- Antioxidants in garlic support brain health and help in reducing the risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
- Coriander seeds contain antioxidants that can help cure inflammation and prevent cell damage.
- It also contains cancer prevention and anti-inflammatory properties that can prevent chronic diseases.
- It helps lower blood sugar and blood pressure levels. It improves heart health.
- Urad dal is rich in minerals such as phosphorus and calcium that help with bone and teeth health.
- It also contains magnesium, potassium and iron which are good for the heart, boosts immunity and improves the digestive system.
- Along with the iron content, it is also rich in protein and fiber hence ideal to be included in a weight loss diet and helps to increase the energy levels.
- Sorrel leaves are good for a healthy diet and can be consumed fresh by including in salads.
- It is said that sorrel leaves were used by ancient Romans to quench thirst when water was not available.
- Sorrel has a sour taste that can be similar to sour strawberry or kiwifruit.
- Sorrel leaves are one of the essential ingredients in Andhra Pradesh cuisine and are also known as Andhra Maatha (mother)
- Ancient Chinese medicine included Sorrel juice that was taken by squeezing the leaves to remove freckles on the skin. They also used sorrel juice to remove stains on linen cloth.
- The juice of sorrel leaves is also included in Indian home remedies for cough, cold and fever.
Suggested consumable by age groups
- One to two tablespoons of Gongura pickle can be consumed in moderation by all age groups.
Good times to eat:
- It is perfect for lunch and dinner.
Eat along with:
- It can be eaten by mixing it with boiled rice and ghee as Gongura rice or alongside curd rice, idly, dosa, bread, etc as a chutney/side dish.
When not to eat or eat more often:
- It is advisable to not eat very often.
- Must be avoided if allergic to sorrel leaves.
Story/History of recipe
Gongura has an important and popular part of Andhra's cuisine. Pickles prepared with these leaves are also famous and a common household condiment of Andhra Pradesh. It is more versatile as it can be prepared as a pickle or pachadi that can be eaten as a side dish for many Indian breakfast and dinner varieties and can also be eaten as the main dish by mixing it with boiled rice and ghee. It is also popular in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Recipe Ingredients, Preparation Steps and Occasions Served
The following are the ingredients needed for preparing Gongura pickle,
- Gongura/ Sorrel leaves / Pulicha Keerai - 1 bunch (remove the stem and rinse with water and clean it)
- Garlic - 6-8 numbers (crushed)
- Mustard seeds /Kadugu - 1 teaspoon
- Coriander seeds / Dhania - 3 tablespoons
- Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
- Fenugreek seeds / Methi / Vendhayam - 1 teaspoon
- Urad dal - 2 tablespoons
- Dry red chillies - 20 numbers or as preferred
- Oil - 1/4 cup or as required
- Salt as required.
- Heat a pan and dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, urad dal and around fifteen red chillies separately, transfer them to a blender jar and grind it into a fine powder. Keep the powder aside.
- In the pan add a few tablespoons of oil and roast mustard seeds, a couple of chopped red chillies and around one tablespoon of crushed garlic until it turns light brown.
- To this add chopped gongura leaves. It can be added without chopping too if preferred as the leaves shrink while cooking.
- Add two to three tablespoons of the prepared powder and salt as required. Mix well.
- Check the taste and add salt or chilli powder if required.
- Gongura leaves absorb oil hence add a few tablespoons of oil and sauté for a while until you can see the oil bubbles and until the mix gets separated from the bottom like a paste.
- Once done transfer it to a clean and dry jar. It has a long shelf life, make sure to use a dry spoon. It can be consumed for more than a month.
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