Sunday, October 11, 2020

Gongura Pachadi

First up, sorry for going silent all through summer. The farm work, office work all consipred to keep me extremely busy but I have been cooking a lot of freshly harvested vegetables and have learnt some new recipes.

Local farms are, don't want to say this lightly are being given the importance they truly deserve, hopefully will continue the renaissance brought on by the corona virus. I have gotten far more enquiries and interest in the farm than ever before. I particulary do not enjoy the other aspects of keeping the farm running successfully, but enjoy growing and all aspects of it. I have been Gongura for about 3 years now.

I did not grow up eating Gongura, in fact never heard of it till about a few years ago and hearing of people talking longingly of this vegetable. Now I have come to like it and also knowing how to cook with it helps.

While this thokku I make with eggplant and gongura is very tasty, I like this Andhra style pachadi made with just Gongura, a tiny bit more. While the summer before last that thokku was my go to favorite, this summer it is this recipe. I saw on youtube. Thanks to the you tuber, I have a fail safe recipe in my hands. A friend forwarded this recipe and since it is in Telugu I never would have chanced on it if she hadn't. So glad she did.

Here's the recipe in pictures,

Dry roast cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds and make a powder. Set aside.
Wash and dry the Gongura leaves completely. Cut onions and peel garlic.
Using a mortar and pestle pound the red chili powder, salt and onion.
In a wide mouthed pan, heat oil and when hot add the garlic and red chilies followed by the Gongura leaves.
Saute the Gongura leaves well till they look completely wilted. Add the pounded onions.
Saute till the oil starts to separate.
Add the roasted powder and mix well and turn off the heat.

My problem is this desire to blend Gongura but leaving the leaves whole is the trick to this pachadi's taste and texture. It is important to dry the leaves completely. Spread them on a kitchen towel and air dry or leave it in the sun for an hour. The first time I made this pickle I used a clay pot. Food cooked in clay pots have a special taste. So if you have it use it. It is also the original non stick cooking utensil :)

Taste great with rice. Spread on a warm chapathi it tastes truly fantastic.

Gongura Pachadi
Preparation Time:20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
  1. 1 lb Gongura leaves
  2. 1/2 cup Sesame Oil
  3. 1/2 cup of small onions, red onions or shallots
  4. 10-15 small garlic cloves
  5. 4-5 red chilies
  6. 1 tbsp red chili powder
  7. 2 tsp cumin seeds
  8. 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  9. salt to taste
  10. seasoning: 1/4 tsp mustard seeds, cumin seeds and a few fenugreek seeds, curry leaves
  1. In a saute pan dry roast cumin seeds and when it starts to turn color set aside. Now add the fenugreek seeds and roast till it turns color. Transfer both to a coffee grinder or blender and powder.
  2. Use a mortar and pestle to pound the onions. Add the red chili powder and salt followed by the onions and pound the onions till they are mashed. Set aside.
  3. In a wide mouthed pan or kadai, heat oil and add the seasonings and when mustard starts to pop, add the curry leaves if using followed by red chillies and garlic. Let them start to turn color.
  4. Add the gongura leaves and saute till they are completely wilted. About 6-8 minutes.
  5. Add the pounded onions and let it cook for another 5-6 minutes. Continue to cook till the oil separates.
  6. Now add the powdered cumin and fenugreek seeds and mix it in.
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