Gongura: A super leaf with many names
Gongura is a plant, also known as Andhra Matha (Mother Andhra) in Telugu or Roselle, grown for its edible leaves in India and Fiji. These leaves are used to impart a tart flavour in a dish. Out of the two varieties that Gongura comes in, the red stemmed variety is sour than the green stemmed variety. Gongura Pacchadi is an Andhra cuisine and Gongura has many culinary uses, but the most popular is its pickled version. It is also grown in Odisha, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh & Bangladesh. In Odisha it is known as Gorkura or Khata Palangaw. In Kerala it is called Mathippuli, Meenpuli or Pulivenda. In Karnataka it is popularly known as Pundi Palle or Punde Soppu. Pitwaa in Hindi, Kotrum in Jharkhand, Mestapat in Bengali, Amaari in Chhattisgarhi, Anthur in Mizoram, Sougri in Manipur, Sankokda in Punjabi, Aamelli in Chakma, Mwitha in Bodo, Kenaf in English, & Chin Baung in Chinese. Gongura evidently goes by a ton of different names.
Gongura Pachadi, Gongura ka Achaar or Sorrel leaves pickle is an Andhra Delicacy famous for its tangy & spicy taste. The combination of hot steamy rice, homemade ghee, and some Pachhadi tastes like heaven. Made from freshly ground spices like red chillies, coriander, fenugreek, cumin and garlic, tamarind, and Roselle leaves, it is an integral part of everyday meal. Stocking the pickle is really handy for your busy day or no mood day. The best thing is that it is a cake walk to prepare, takes minutes, and stays good easily for months. Stuck in a hostel with only a loaf of bread at your disposal? Gongura Pickle adds all sorts of flavours to your meal and is actually very healthy.
Gongura pickle is a must in every Andhra home, mandatory during all ceremonies, family reunions & festivals. Apart from being delicious, Sorrel leaves are an excellent source of folate and a very good source of vitamin B6, both of which are needed to maintain low homocysteine levels. According to the studies, the leaves are also a great way to keep your bones strong. The mineral-rich plant has calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which are important for maintaining strong and healthy bones. The high content of vitamin C, popularly known as ascorbic acid, plays a major role in boosting the immune system and in increasing the number of white blood cells in the body. In addition, the leaves are also famously used in dishes like Gongura mutton, and the healthy Gongura Pappu (Sorrel Leaves Dal). With its unique taste full of tangy flavours, Gongura is irreplaceable in Indian Houses.