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Gongura Pappu ~ Andhra Style Lentils with Sorrel Leaves

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The love of the sour Sorrel leaves or Gongura leaves in Andhra cooking is legendary. it is used as a souring agent in vegetable, dal/lentil and meat dishes and is world famous as Gongura Pachadi which is a chutney made out of it. As is normal, the preparation and the combination of foods it must be eaten with changes in every region. For instance, in the telangana area, gongura pachadi is eaten with jowar roti and sliced raw onions, in nellore i know it is eaten with hot steaming rice and a dollop of ghee and sliced raw onions. I prefer to skip the raw onions and just gorge on the pachadi with hot rice….

today’s recipe is a bachelor / singleton friendly one pot deal to make gongura pappu. this is a style of cooking i prefer the most… easy and effortless, yet the resultant dal is so full bodied and flavorful, it warrants to be put on a menu for a home style brunch.

Gongura Pappu (serves 2)

time taken – 20 minutes

serves – 2-3 persons

Tur Dal / Split pigeon peas/ arhar dal  – ½ cup (washed and soaked in water for 15 minutes)

Gongura Leaves / Sorrel  – 1-1½ cups (washed and stems removed)

Small onion (chopped – optional)

Green chilies – 2

A pinch each of asafetida and turmeric

Salt to taste

For the tadka/ seasoning

Ghee/ oil (gingely oil is preferred) – 1 teaspoon

Whole cumin seeds/ jeera – 1 teaspoon

Dry red chilies – 2-3

Fresh curry leaves – 15

Garlic – 2-3 pods

  1. Take all the ingredients except the ones for tadka into a pressure cooker, add 2 cups of water and cook for 3-4 whistles. The dal should be cooked and you should be able to mash it with the back of a ladle.
  2. When the pressure releases, add the salt and mash the dal with a spoon. Put the dal back on the heat and simmer for 5-6 minutes.
  3. In a small pan, heat the ghee/ oil and add the whole cumin. Let it splutter, add the red chilies and peeled garlic, fry it till the garlic is turning golden brown.
  4. Add the curry leaves, when they crackle, add it to the boiled, mashed dal. simmer for 2-3 minutes. Serve hot with rotis although steamed rice and ghee is preferred.
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