This blog has one purpose. It is to provide my Grandchildren a place of inspiration, a place that reminds them of their Indian ancestry. Recipes herein are a passage to India, and I trust, will journey the reader to the glorious flavors and aromas of the Andhra kitchens.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Gongura Pachadi


Gongura is quintessentially Andhra along with avakai and dosakai. Gongura comes in two varieties, green stemmed leaf and red stemmed. The red stem variety is more sour than the white stem variety. Gongura, or hemp leaved hibiscus is a tropical plant. For chutney, only the leaves are used.
For as long as I remember, we bought 777 gongura pickle. My grandchildren were raised on it and refer to all pickles as gongura. My granddaughter still keeps asking for the 777 jars!. About 5 years ago they changed the recipe. The leaves are no longer coarsely chopped, no whole green peppers and I think they dumbded down the recipe: a lot fewer peppers and a lot less oil. Also they seemed to put tamarind and or acetic acid. It is just too sour. This is the case with all other pickles as well.. So I started to make my own and have been experimenting with fresh gongura leaves. Here is my latest creation:

  • 8 Oz Gongura Leaves
  • 6 Tb Canola oil
  • 20 dried Cayenne Peppers
  • 20 Thai hot or Green Cayenne Peppers
  • 1 Tb spoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1 Tb spoon Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1 Tb Salt
  • ΒΌ T spoon Turmeric Powder
  • Remove the Gongura leaves from branches. Leave the stems on.. Wash and thoroughly dry Gongura leaves. Saute Gongura leaves and green peppers in 2 Tb spoon of oil till the leaves wilted and the peppers are soft.
  • Saute , red Peppers, Mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds in the remaining oil till fenugreek seeds and peppers turn golden brown.
  • Grind the Gongura leaves, peppers, sauted ingredients, Turmeric and salt in a blender or food processor to a coarse paste. Do not add water
  • Best served with Dosa, Hot Rice or Nan.