Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Gongura Chutney

Gongura Chutney

We may be almost broke because of self-paid move and college expenses, but we sure are enjoying food like Andhra maharajas. It’s tough to feel depressed when we are able to buy a bunch of gongura leaves for a dollar and could prepare gongura chutney to our heart’s content. Good food does make a difference in one’s mood, doesn’t it?

If you are wondering what’s all this hungama about gongura, well, gongura is Andhra’s tradition. You know you are treated well and can be assured that your Andhra friend really likes you, when you see a gongura preparation on the menu. Gongura dal, chutney, dalcha and meat preparations are to name a few, that can be prepared with these wonderful leafy vegetable.

Gongura leaves are famous for their rich iron content and they taste sour like diluted tamarind pulp. When cooked and made into chutney with caramelized (browned) onions, hot chillies and salt, they turn to marvelous side dish with little effort. This super side dish is a great luxury for me mainly because of lack of gongura leaves availability in US. They usually appear for short period of time during summer months at Indian grocery shops and will get sold out quickly. The demand motivated by severe nostalgia is high. I am very proud to be able to blog about this chutney here on “Mahanandi”, finally from Seattle.

Gongura Leaves (to id: red stems and green leaves like marijuana leaves:)), Onion and Green Chillies


I bunch of gongura – Leaves plucked and washed
1 big onion – cut into big chunks
8 green chillies
¼ tsp of salt
2 teaspoons of peanut oil

In an iron skillet, heat peanut oil. Add and saut? the onion chunks and green chillies to light brown color on medium-high heat. Remove to a plate.

In the same skillet, add gongura leaves and stir-fry them on medium-high for few minutes until they come together and lose their bright green color. Remove to a plate and let cool.

Take them all in a mortar, add salt and with a pestle grind them to a coarse consistency.

Serve with rice, dal and a curry with little bit of ghee sprinkled on, for a traditional Andhra meal.

Gongura Chutney, Bitter Gourd Chips, Tomato Dal and Rice

Recipe source: Amma
Gongura ( or sour greens) is available in Indian grocery shops here in US.
Ga ga over Gongura (article)

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Gongura(Sour Greens) (Tuesday October 10, 2006 at 3:34 pm- permalink)
Comments (30)

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30 comments for Gongura Chutney »

  1. Hello Indira,
    I have visited Seattle couple times and I liked the city very much,more over like the mt.rainer as a back drop for the city.
    I have never tasted gonguru, but it looks yummy…..
    Glad that you are back and blogging agian.

    Comment by Madhu — October 10, 2006 @ 3:57 pm

  2. Indira,
    Aah the famous Andhra Gongura chutney! I’ve to share this story with you – it’s quite hilarious. An acquaintance of my sister’s had gongura growing in her backyard and the gardener mistook it for marijuana and informed the cops. The authorities flew over the house in a ‘copter taking pictures of the backyard and later on questioning the people realized it was the harmless Gongura!

    Comment by Faffer — October 10, 2006 @ 3:57 pm

  3. Hi Indira,

    I always see gongura in the grocery store and always wondered of what use they were! Great to see a good recipe and will now buy some and try this out. I have been reading every single blog of yours and hats off to you!! You write beautifully!

    Best wishes,

    Comment by nini — October 10, 2006 @ 4:07 pm

  4. Hi Indira,

    I am so happy to see you back! Hope you guys are settled well. I wish Vijay all the best with his Masters! Nothing like getting an education and being given the opportunity to do that (at whatever age) in this country is great! Hats off to America!

    I read all u’re posts since u got back. So nice to see those lovely pictures and that yummy food all over again. I missed you!

    And now I am so hungry for Gongura Pachadi and pappu 🙂 I am feeling so lazy to cook today and wish I could come over to your place for dinner 🙂

    Enjoy your carefree days as student and wife!


    Comment by Latha — October 10, 2006 @ 4:15 pm

  5. Wow! I have to taste these leaves sometime soon..Let me see if it is available at our local indian grocers. Don’t remember seeing it there though.

    Comment by rp — October 10, 2006 @ 6:31 pm

  6. Hi Indira,

    Glad to see you back online. Wish you and Vijay all the best with his masters! So you have entered the student life! Have fun!


    Comment by Praveena — October 10, 2006 @ 6:39 pm

  7. Hi Indira.That’s a very nice recipe.The only recipe I knew was a curry..but now I can try this Chutney too.Thanks.

    Comment by Madhuli — October 10, 2006 @ 6:43 pm

  8. Hey Indira, That’s a nice one…I wonder if we find gongura in the Bombay markets, will have to find out the hindi name for it…
    My husband’s aunt prepares an excellent gongura pickle and when she sent two bottles of the pickle to us from Chennai, hubby dear absolutely refuses to share with anyone…Its treasured like anything. I must taste this ‘keerai’ sometime…nice to see you settling down

    Comment by Nandita — October 10, 2006 @ 6:47 pm

  9. I’m glad you are settling into your new home. Moving can be very unsettling, but it’s nice that you are finding things that are good about the new place. This sounds very interesting. I love tamarind, so I’m guessing I would like the taste of this too.

    Comment by kalyn — October 10, 2006 @ 6:56 pm

  10. that’s authentic andhra indeed!

    Comment by tilo — October 10, 2006 @ 7:35 pm

  11. What’s gongura called in english?

    Comment by Supriya — October 10, 2006 @ 8:13 pm

  12. Hey Indira..

    Good post. I know how important gongura is in our lives. This year we were fortunate to eat graden fresh gongura from a friends garden. I even froze some so I can use it all year long! Next year, I may even grow my own!

    Comment by Luv2Cook — October 11, 2006 @ 6:39 am

  13. I am totally, utterly, completely, DEEPLY jealous that you can get gongura where you live, Indira! 🙂 I LOVE gongura in dal, in chutney, in pickles, in anything… and I cant get it here for love or money! You’re very lucky 🙂

    Comment by shammi — October 11, 2006 @ 7:05 am

  14. You’re lucky to get goungura in Seattle and that too for a dollar. Just thinking of gongura pachadi makes my mouth start to water. Thanks for a great recipe.

    Comment by Pavani — October 11, 2006 @ 7:46 am

  15. You are right, food does affect one’s mood doesn’t it? Glad that you have easy access to fresh and exotic veggies in Seattle. I am lucky and get my gongura chutney from my Andhra friends 🙂


    Comment by Saffron Hut — October 11, 2006 @ 9:22 am

  16. Hi Indira,
    I love gongura too..I too get fresh gongura here in bay area….nice pictures

    Comment by meena kandlakuti — October 11, 2006 @ 10:01 am

  17. Very glad to see you back and your delicious dishes and beautiful pictures. Welcome to seattle once again. Happy to know you guys are almost settled in a new city. I have never tried thes leaves. Will try soon 🙂

    Comment by Rekha — October 11, 2006 @ 1:37 pm

  18. Madhu: Seattle is a beautiful city, I agree.

    Faffer: You are kidding, right?:) That is hilarious. I hope your sister friends were not traumatized by all that ‘hungama’.:)

    Hi Nini: If you try, let me know how you like it. Thanks.

    Latha: Thanks for your wishes, we greatly appreciate it!
    You are always welcome to our home for a fine meal.:)
    Hope amma is doing great. I haven’t been to her blog lately.

    They taste real good, RP. Give it a try.

    Praveena: thanks.

    Madhuli: a curry? I have never heard gongura curry recipe. Could you please blog this recipe, I would love to try your gongura curry recipe. Thanks.

    Nandita: Gongura has that affect on people, I know.:) We love love gongura.

    Kalyn: Seattle is easy to like and so much information about it on the net. That made our move and transition little bit hassel-free.
    If you like tamamrind taste, then it’s easy to like these leaves too. They have similar sour kind of taste.

    Tilo: . 🙂

    Supriya: They are called “sour greens” in English.

    Sam: Gongura, fresh from garden, that’s what I call fabulous living. I am jealous.:)

    Shammi: May be in your next visit to Seattle, we can together cook something with gongura. How about that? 🙂

    Pavani: thanks. Gongura chutney has that effect on andhra log, isn’t it?:)

    SH: Andhra log value gongura pickle more than anything. To share it for a friend. Wow, You are a lucky gal, or uou must be one incredible generous person for them to share the pickle with you.:)

    Meena: thanks.

    Rekha: thanks for the warm welcome.

    Comment by Indira — October 11, 2006 @ 1:55 pm

  19. Indira,
    My husband loves Gongura pickle and I know it is a very traditional Andhra dish. I haven’t made a chutney or pickle with gongura yet.. will surely try it sometime .souds eay too..Thanks for the recipe.

    Comment by prema — October 11, 2006 @ 3:45 pm

  20. Hi Indira! Welcome back!!!! Your posts were missed a whole lot…

    You must be enjoying your life in Seattle where you can get great Indian groceries nearby. Nice chutney..

    Comment by mika — October 11, 2006 @ 9:14 pm

  21. hi Indira
    So nice to see u back with wonderful recipes!!!
    Missed u’r writings and recipes so much!!!


    Comment by padmaja — October 12, 2006 @ 3:13 am

  22. I’ll take you up on that next year, Indira 🙂 My sister also lives in Seattle 🙂

    Comment by shammi — October 12, 2006 @ 5:28 am

  23. Just got back from my vacation and was catching up on your posts. After seeing this one I went to the Indian store to buy gongura leaves. I got a huge bag for $2.29. Made gongura dal yesterday. Used Toor and masoor. It was finger-licking. Will try this during the weekend. Thanks for the recipes

    Comment by Krithika — October 19, 2006 @ 4:39 am

  24. Hi Indira,

    I was just searching for different gongura pachadi recipes on the net I found this one among them

    In which, the whole text was exactly copied from yours. Just check it! I just wanted to let you know.This is really unfair.Have a look at it!

    Comment by meena kandlakuti — May 8, 2007 @ 3:53 pm

  25. hi indira .. wonderful job !! try this variation of gongura pachadi. Heat little oil fry red chillies and keep aside. Now fry methi seeds and til seeds (not too much ) and keep aside. In the same pan add a little oil and add cut and washed gongura leaves. It gives out water and becomes soft. Now in a blender grind methi seeds, til seeds and red chillies together. Keep the powder in a bowl. Grind just a few seconds the (by now cool) gongura. Mix it with the powder adding salt to taste. Now season with aavalu and inguva. It tastes really great. Please try and if u like it post it with pictures like u always do. Its easy to prepare. Try and get back. Love- sirisha

    Comment by sirisha — February 4, 2008 @ 11:37 pm

  26. I tried searching for Gongura leaves in Indian stores in Sunnyvale but could not find any. Is the availability of the leaves seasonal?. If anyone is able to find the leaves in any store in the bay area let me know.


    Hi Powell, Yes, they are seasonal. Gongura leaves usually appear during spring and summer seasons in Indian stores.

    Comment by Powell — February 20, 2008 @ 10:09 am

  27. I have to say Indira, born in North but having raised in Hyderabad makes me a big fan of Andhra style cooking and reading your recipes makes them so easy to reproduce in the kitchen.This chutney recipe is great and I am gonna cook this as soon as I get my hands on some Gongura leaves here in UK.

    Comment by Ashita — April 13, 2008 @ 6:06 am

  28. Om Namah Shivaya!
    I’m glad to find your source to learn about the gongura/red chile pickle paste by Ruchi I just got in our local Indian store. I smear it on bread as I do with the variety not mixed with gongura. The taste is very similar so I shall endeavor to find the leaf for the “distinctive” flavor.
    For those nostalgic India transplants: look for my “Guru Geetaa Likeeta” on the web; it’s my Romaniized version of the ancient song to the Guru, readable by anyone able to read this…even those speaking only French, German, etc.

    Comment by Agastya Dhanesh — November 13, 2010 @ 2:04 pm

  29. Awesome recipe!!! Loved it..:)

    Comment by Dpa — January 31, 2011 @ 6:52 am

  30. This is very nice blog and i follow it.
    Tip : U can plant the stems after removing the leaves and it grows very fast .

    Comment by swathi — April 19, 2011 @ 1:21 pm

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