I am a huge fan of pickles. On any given day, you’ll find me having atleast a small serving of pickle rice for lunch. I love the fiery sour taste of pickle that blends so beautifully with the blandness of plain rice separated and mashed lightly with some sesame oil. My fridge is usually home to many varieties of pickles – Avakkai, Vegetable Pickle, Tomato Pickle, Gooseberry (Nellikai) Pickle, Shallots Pickle, Gongura – anything works with me except lemon.
As a child I remember staying over with my aunt at her amma’s place in Hyderabad after she had just delivered my cousin. I was only 6 at that time, but I remember each meal being a feast with several pachadis and pickles. I reserved the best of my attention to the quintessential Gongura pickle.
Amma packed a bowlful of Gongura pickle on my recent visit to Bangalore. Gongura is a sour green plant that is commonly used in Andhra Pradesh in many dishes. The taste of Gongura is exquisite – a certain kind of sourness that one cannot explain in words and can only be experienced. Gongura pickle’s lovely flavour comes entirely from the inherent taste of the leaves themselves and not from any kind of spices. There are many ways in which people prepare the Gongura pickle – by grinding or by chopping the leaves. At home we prefer the latter. The leaves like most greens are a rich source of iron.
Makes – 1 cup of Gongura Pickle
- Gongura (red stemmed) – 3 cups
- Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Hing (Asafoetida powder) – 1/4 tsp
- Salt – 2 tbsp (adjust to taste)
- Red Chilli Powder – 3 tbsp
- Olive Oil/ Sesame Oil – 3 tbsp
- Remove Gongura Leaves from the stem. Wash well and spread on a cloth to dry. Finely chop the Gongura leaves.
- Heat Olive Oil and saute Gongura Leaves with turmeric and hing on a low to medium flame, stirring continously until the leaves are well cooked and water content of the leaves is diminished. After the gongura is thoroughly cooked it will be reduced to about 1/3rd of the original quantity.
- Add salt and chilli powder and saute on a low flame for 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer to an air tight moisture free container, cool completely and refrigerate. Keeps well for 3 months (if you don’t gobble it up, that is).
Gongura Pickle – for the Recipe Marathon
Fellow recipe marathoners:
DK, Siri, Srivalli, Ranji, PJ, Curry Leaf, Medha, Priya, Bhawna, Raaji, Ruchii
Anu, Kamala, Roopa, Divya Kudua, Rekha, Divya M, Raaga, Lakshmi Venkatesh, Sripriya, Viji, Kamalika,Pavani, Roochi, Karuna