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

Gongura Pappu (Gongura Dal)

Fresh Gongura

These fresh gongura leaves came all the way from Houston, Texas. Lovingly picked and packed from their backyard garden by our dear friends. I have been longing to get such fresh gongura for a while now and I felt like my prayers were answered. Yes, I love the tangy taste of gongura that much.

The following is one of my favorite gongura preparations. Gongura, toor dal and green chilli, my mother’s recipe, pure gongura love.

Gongura Pappu
(for two or four people, for four to two meals)

Toor dal -3/4 cup
Fresh gongura leaves – about 4 cups, tightly packed
Indian variety, small green chillies – 8 to 10
Shallot or red onion – cut to big chunks, about half cup
Turmeric – ½ teaspoon

Rinse toor dal. Take them in a vessel or pressure-cooker. Add gongura, green chilli and shallot. Also turmeric and two cups of water. Close the lid. Cook the dal, until it reaches fall-apart stage. Add about half teaspoon of salt and gently mash the cooked ingredients together to smooth consistency. Now, infuse the dal with tarka or talimpu, where natural ingredients that are good for well-being are added in small quantity. Daily vitamin dose, Indian way.

1-tablespoon ghee
2 sprigs curry leaves, 2 garlic cloves, slivered,
4 dried red chilli pieces, ½ teaspoon chana dal and urad dal each
¼ teaspoon each – cumin and mustard seeds

Heat ghee in a vessel until a curry leaf tossed in it sizzles. Lower the heat to medium. Add the curry leaves, garlic, dried red chilli, chana dal and urad dal, in the order listed. Toast to pale brown. Then add the cumin and mustard seeds. When mustard seeds start to pop, add the gongura dal. Mix. Serve hot. Great on its own, and also with rice or roti for anytime of the day.

Gongura Pappu and Mango
Andhra Love ~ Gongura Pappu and Mango

Gongura is available at Indian grocery shops during summer season.
This dal doesn’t need tamarind or lemon because of gongura’s potent tangy taste.
If you try this recipe, join and share your photos of gongura pappu at Mahanandi Flickr Pool.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Gongura(Sour Greens),Toor Dal (Monday June 23, 2008 at 6:25 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

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)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

Gongura Pappu(Dal)

I’ve been quite busy for the past couple of days, cleaning up the house, rearranging things. All these are part of the preparation for the most important festival, ‘Vijaya Dasami’. The ten-day festival, also called ‘Dassera’ or ‘Nava Ratri’, celebrates the Goddess Durga, the Mother Force of Hindu Scriptures. The festival starts from today, 4th Oct and ends on 12th with grand prayers, processions and feasts.

It is very easy to let go of these traditions and say “whatever or next year”. Because we live in an isolated environment, far from our traditions and festivals, particularly from the festive mood and the atmosphere. I understand the values and importance of these festivals so I try to be enthusiastic to follow the rituals and celebrate as much as possible.

What I am going to do on my food blog during these ten days of festival is to try to write about all the food items that I am going to prepare on the grand festival day, Vijaya Dasami. I usually prepare: a dal, two types of curries, rasam, chutney, papads, bajji, chitrannam with lemons, rice and bhakshalu(poli). I am planning to write about one item each day for the next ten days.

I am going to start my festival food with dal, not any dal but the Andhra special –Gongura dal.

Gongura Leaf

For the uninitiated in Andhra cuisine, Gongura is a leafy vegetable and has very distinctive sour taste. For the past couple of years we are able to purchase it in Indian stores, here in US too. I am sorry but I don’t know its English name, it’s usually sold here also as ‘Gongura’, under its Telugu name. When cooked with toor dal or as pickle, it wakes up, more like zings the taste buds and makes you crave its unique taste.


1 bunch of Gongura, leaves separated & washed
1 cup or four fistfuls of toor dal
Green chillies at least 6, jalapeno variety
1 medium sized onion, cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp of turmeric

What makes this recipe unique(my family variation) and so tasty is adding one garlic clove, half tsp of coriander seeds and cumin, all together made into smooth paste and then added to the dal. This paste compliments and gives wonderful aroma and taste when cooked with gongura.

In a pressure cooker, take all of the above ingredients and add one glass of water. Mix them once and pressure cook until three to four whistles or until toordal is tender and breaks apart when held. Wait until the pressure is released, remove the lid and add one teaspoon of salt to this cooked mixture and mash it with a wooden pappu gutti or using an immersion blender into smooth paste.

Now, in a sauce pan, over low medium heat, do the popu or tadka (means toasting the mustard, cumin seeds, red chilli pieces and curry leaves in one tablespoon of ghee or oil). Add the cooked and mashed gongura dal to this popu. Stir all of it once and cover with a lid. Gongura dal is ready.

Tastes great with rice or jowar roti. Best way ofcourse is the combination of this dal mixed with rice, ghee and papad.

Gongura Dal and Rice on a Sago Papad
Gongura and rice mudda(ball) on sabudana(sago) papad.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Gongura(Sour Greens),Toor Dal (Tuesday October 4, 2005 at 9:46 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi: