Tag Archives: sorrel leaves


It’s always a pleasure to step out into my garden and pick my greens fresh from the plant. Last time I was in Chicago, in addition to the Cabbage Uttapam recipe, I came away with saplings for Gongura or Red Sorrel Leaves. One of my favorite green leafy vegetables that is scarce to find here. My friend Anu had sowed the seeds in two raised beds. All had sprouted and looked fresh and healthy. She was gracious enough to share a few saplings of amaranth and red sorrel leaves. I am equally amazed that they survived my 4-week absence!

Stepping outdoors I saw these fresh greens and my mind was on Gongura Pappu or Red Sorrel Leaves Dal. My mother always made it with a lot of garlic and it was always tasty and  refreshing! Dal in South India is always made with Toor Dal and tamarind. If the vegetable is tart, there is no need to add tamarind such as with mango and sorrel leaves. Also sometimes adding tomato will suffice such as with spinach and methi.

Here’s how I make mine…

1 cup  Toor dal
1/2 bunch red sorrel leaves or as needed/available
1 whole garlic peeled and sliced (if cloves are big or use whole)
2-3 dry red chilli leaves
1 green jalapeno
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
touch of turmeric
touch of asafoetida
curry leaves
ginger (chopped)
salt to taste

I always pre-cook my dal in a pressure cooker with 2 cups water.

In a large bowl, heat 1 tbsp olive oil, add turmeric, asafoetida, cumin and mustard seeds and peeled garlic cloves. Once the garlic is lightly brown, add curry leaf, chopped ginger, sliced jalapeno and chopped sorrel leaves and fry for 5 minutes. Add the cooked dal and cook on low flame adding water as necessary for 10-15 minutes. Add salt and red chilli powder and mix well.

Top with chopped cilantro and serve hot with sona masuri rice and ghee!

Gongura Pachhadi (Red Sorrel Leaves Chutney)

Recently tasted this new version of Gongura Pachhadi and enjoyed it immensely. I am normally used to the spicy version that my mom makes so it was a pleasant change to try a whole new sweet-sour version of the chutney.

Gongura (or red sorrel leaves) are an integral part of South Indian cooking. A little hard to find in some parts of the US but available in abundance in areas of high density Indian population. The leaves have a tart taste and go well when cooked with lentils. Pickled gongurra is especially a favorite in South India.

In the absence of the original recipe, this is how I made it based on the taste.

1 bunch of gongurra
1-2 tsp red chilli powder
1 small cube of jaggary
3-4 tbsp of oil
salt to taste

1 tsp mustard seeds
a pinch of turmeric
a pinch of asafoetida
a tsp of white gram (urad dal)

Separate the leaves from the stalk, wash and layout to dry on paper towels. Once dry fry in a medium low flame in a pan with the oil for 20-30 minutes. Grate the jaggary and add to the pan and continue cooking on medium low till the leaves are slightly crisp. Add salt and red chilli powder and leave for a few more minutes.

In a separate pan, fry the seasioning in a tbsp of oil till lightly brown and add to the fried gongura.

Enjoy with some hot rice!