Gongura pappu

gongura pappu

Gongura pappu literally means sorrel leaves with dal. It is a dal curry that has gongura (sorrel leaves) and tur dal (pigeon peas) as the main ingredients. This is a very popular and staple dish in the South Indian states of Andhra and Telangana.

These greens are a late entry in my life. The first time I made a recipe with it, years back with guidance from one of my friends I was totally put off. And vowed never to have it in life 😀  .

After coming to Qatar, I saw these greens getting sold out within minutes in the Indian Supermarket.  And there were quite a few people who came up looking for it and returned disappointed that they could not get it.

I was so surprised at the craze for something that I had written off years back. And this made me wonder if I was missing something. When a whole lot of people were drooling over it there should be something to it, isn’t it? 😀

So I set out on a mission to learn more about these greens and indeed got to know a lot that I never knew before. I have documented all those findings in my greens glossary which you can look up.

There are 2 types – green and red gongura. Either of them can be used for this recipe.

Now, coming back to how I got them and what I prepared with them. I grew my own here in Qatar with the seeds I got from my home place. And they came up pretty well, the pictures of which also you can see in the glossary.

With access to fresh leaves from the backyard, I started trying out recipes. This gongura pappu is the first dish I tried and fell in love with.

So far have tried out gongura mamsam and gongura annam. Waiting to try gongura pickle. I will post all of them in the coming days.

For the unacquainted, these leaves are sour and they lend a naturally tangy taste to the dishes prepared. The trick to making the best dish is to balance the tanginess with sufficient chillies and salt.

These are called pulicha keerai in tamil, pitwa in hindi and ambadi in marathi languages

The greens are healthy too which is why you should give them a try if you happen to come across them. I bet you too will fall in love 🙂  .

O’er to the recipe…

Gongura pappu
A classic Andhra dish made with tur dal and gongura or sorrel leaves. The leaves lend a tangy taste to the dal making it delicious with a cup of steamed rice and a dollop of ghee
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Accompaniment, Side Dish
Cuisine: Andhra, Indian
Keyword: Gongura pappu Andhra style, Gongura pappu recipe, Pulicha keerai paruppu masiyal
Servings: 2 people
Author: Hema Magesh

To cook dal

  • cup tur dal
  • 1 cup water
  • few drops of castor oil

Rest of the ingredients

  • 1 bunch gongura(sorrel leaves)
  • 1 small-sized big onion
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 green chilly(or as per need)
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp channa dal(optional)
  • a pinch of hing(asafoetida)
  • tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp jaggery/sugar
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • salt as needed
  • cups water

For tempering

  • tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp split urad dal
  • a pinch methi seeds(fenugreek seeds)
  • a few red chillies
  • a few curry leaves
  • 1-2 tsp oil
  • Separate the gongura leaves from the stalk, and wash them thoroughly.
    Gongura pappu prep steps 1
  • Wash the dal and pressure cook with the ingredients given under 'to cook dal'.
  • Chop the onion, garlic, chilly, and the green leaves and keep them ready.
  • In a mud pot preferably take 1tbsp oil and add the cumin seeds and chana dal. Once the cumin seeds sizzle and the dal becomes a bit brown add the chopped onions, garlic, and chillies.
    Gongura pappu prep step 4
  • Next, add the chopped greens and saute till they become wilted.
  • Add the mashed dal, turmeric powder, hing, and sugar. Mix well and add 1.5 cups of water and the required salt.
  • When it comes to a boil, simmer for a few minutes. Temper with the items given under 'for tempering ' and pour it over the curry.
    Gongura pappu prep step 7
  • Serve with steaming hot rice drizzled with ghee.

Hema’s P.S

  • On heating, these greens become a kind of brownish-green in color. 
  • They belong to the okra family and are naturally mucilaginous.
  • You may have to use a lot of chillies depending on how tart the leaves are. I have used as minimum as possible as we do not like too much spice in our food.
  • Adding sugar is optional. A bit of sugar or jaggery in sour curries helps to round the flavour.
  • For sour curries generally, we use sesame oil in South India.

Hema Magesh signature




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2 Responses

  1. kanchana says:

    Seems to be like our keerai koottu. Haven’t tried with gongura yet. Shall try 👍

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