Gongura Pulihora recipe is quick and simple. It is a sour and spicy rice dish from Andhra Pradesh, that uses one of the popular local greens- Gongura, which is called Roselle in English. Taste wise, it is similar to Puliyodharai or tamarind rice.
Gongura or roselle leaves are native Indian green leafy vegetables, with a sour taste to them. There are two varieties – one with red stems and other with green. The red stemmed ones have a more pronounced sourness than the green stemmed roselle.
I wrote about growing gongura at home from existing gongura stems. The new leaves are a single whole leaf, while the mature leaf has 3-4 lobes. Gongura pappu or roselle leaves with dal is a wildly popular Andhra recipe, which goes best with plain rice. It is a simple dish in which the dal is cooked along with the chopped leaves. Tempering of ginger, garlic, green chillies and onions fried in ghee adds a lot of flavour to the dal.
This time, I decided to make a Gongura Pulihora. Puliyodharai or puliyogara or pulihora (various South Indian names for the same dish) is one of my all time favourites. I can eat a whole pan of this, all by myself. Add to it some fried vadams and life is bliss. Hello, carb coma!
I wrote about my love for the Tamil style Puliyodharai in this post here.
Making Gongura Pulihora
Coming to the gongura pulihora recipe, it is is a spicy South Indian rice dish. This is similar to the tamarind rice or puliyodharai. In this dish, roselle leaves provide tanginess to the rice instead of tamarind. I tasted it for the first time, when my friend Mamatha made it for our school event. This was for language day, where she had volunteered to cook a couple of dishes for the Andhra Pradesh food counter. The gongura pulihora along with the traditional sweet, putharekulu, made a delicious combination. This rice was one of my favourite dishes that day, I kept going back for seconds and thirds. I didn’t quite get around to asking her for the recipe that day but I went by taste and made my own version. Serve with some plain dal or a raita and crispy fryers and this gongura pulihora recipe makes a winning meal. Editing to add: I did ping her for the recipe while writing this post, and it turns out that it was as simple as mixing a Pulla Reddy brand of Gongura Pickle into steamed rice. Nothing else required. How magical is that! 🙂
There are quite a few reputed brands that sell a variety of thokkus (like a pickle / chutney in lot of oil used to preserve the pickle). If you manage to lay your hands on a gongura thokku, then just mixing that into some steamed rice and adding a tempering of chillies, curry leaves, mustard seeds and peanuts will make a super quick version of the same dish. This Pulikachal mix from Grand Sweets is one such thokku that helps you make instant rice dishes.
Equipment required for making Gongura Pulihora:
Large pan – Kadai
Smaller pan for tempering