Hola guys! How has the end of the year been treating you? I hope you have been having fun this holiday season!
This year, I’m using Paperless Post, a USA-based website, to send out my holiday greetings. Paperless Post believes in making online communication so much fun that you don’t miss hand-written greeting cards, flyers, invitations and other notes. They have some really lovely designs by established artists, beautiful options to choose from for various types of communication needs. You can customise the design you opt for, for your cards, as well as the envelope front and backing and the message. I’ve been enjoying creating customised cards for my friends and family, and plan to use Paperless Posts for upcoming events as well. Do check out the website, folks!
Moving on to food now, today, I present to you a recipe for Gongura Pulihora or Sorrel Rice. All of us at home love gongura – aka pulichakeerai, sorrel, roselle, kenaf or aambadi – the greens with a sour taste to them. Sadly, though, they are one of the least used greens in our household. We use them only occasionally to make Gongura Thokku, a spicy Andhra Pradesh-style pickle. Considering that these leaves are very rich in iron, folic acid, antioxidants and various vitamins, I wanted to use more of them in our daily diets. So, a Gongura Pulihora or sorrel-flavoured rice was made recently, which turned out to be much loved.
Let’s check out the recipe for this delicious Gongura Pulihora!
Ingredients (serves 4):
To roast and grind:
- 1 teaspoon + 1 teaspoon of oil
- 2 cups tightly packed gongura (sorrel) leaves, chopped
- 1-1/2 tablespoons chana daal
- 1-1/2 tablespoons urad daal
- 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds (sabut dhania)
- 5-6 black peppercorns (kali mirch)
- 4-5 dry red chillies, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek (methi) seeds
For the tempering:
- 1/4 cup peanuts
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 3-4 dry red chillies
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
- 2 pinches of asafoetida (hing)
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 cup rice
- Salt, to taste
- 2 tablespoons jaggery powder, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Red chilli powder to taste (optional)
- Lemon juice to taste (optional)
- Wash the rice under running water a couple of times, draining out the excess water each time. Pressure cook the washed and drained rice with 2.5 cups of water, for 4 whistles. You may also 3 whistles, if you want grainier rice. Allow the pressure to come down naturally.
- In the meanwhile, wash the gongura leaves well under running water. Place in a colander, and allow the excess water to drain out. Then, chop the gongura leaves finely and keep aside.
- Heat a pan and add in the peanuts. Dry roast on low-medium flame till crisp. Ensure that they do not burn. Now, transfer to a plate and allow them to cool down fully.
- Now, we will roast the ingredients we need to grind. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pan. Then, lower the flame to medium, and add in the urad daal, chana daal, coriander seeds, methi seeds, black peppercorns and dry red chillies (listed under the ingredients ‘to roast and grind’). Fry till the ingredients begin to change colour and emit a lovely fragrance. Take care to ensure that they do not burn, stirring constantly. Now, add the coconut and fry for a minute more. Transfer the roasted ingredients to a plate and allow them to cool down completely.
- In the same pan, add another teaspoon of oil. Add in the drained and chopped gongura leaves. Roast on low-medium flame till the gongura wilts and changes colour, about 3 minutes. Then, switch off the gas and allow the gongura to cool down entirely.
- When the pressure from the cooker has gone down fully, open it. Set the rice under a fan to cool down completely. Then, fluff up the rice gently. The rice is now ready to use in the gongura pulihora. Keep aside.
- Transfer all the roasted and cooled ingredients from Step 4 above to a mixer jar. Add in the fried and cooled gongura leaves to the mixer jar too. Pulse a couple of times, without adding any water. Stop in between and scrape down the sides of the mixer jar with a spoon. You should get a coarse paste. Keep aside.
- Now, we will prepare the tempering for the gongura pulihora. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan. Add in the mustard seeds, and allow to pop. Now, add the dry red chillies (listed under the ingredients ‘for tempering’), asafoetida and curry leaves. Allow them to stay in for a couple of seconds. Add in the turmeric powder and dry-roasted peanuts. Give everything a mix with a spoon. Switch off gas.
- Add the cooled rice to the pan, along with the spice mix we ground earlier. Add in salt to taste, red chilli powder (if using), and jaggery powder (if using). Use your hands to mix well, but gently. Add in lemon juice to taste, and mix well. That’s it! Your gongura pulihora is ready to be served – you can serve it either warmed up or at room temperature.
- I have used Bullet Rice aka Wada Kollam Rice to make this Gongura Pulihora. You may use any other variety of rice instead, too.
- I have used 2.5 cups of water to cook 1 cup of rice here, which is less than what I usually use. Normally, I would use 3 cups of water per cup of rice, to make plain white rice. This is because I needed slightly grainy rice to make the pulihora, which is not overcooked or mushy. Adjust the quantity of water you use, depending upon how grainy you want the rice to be.
- Gingelly oil tastes great in this Gongura Pulihora. If you don’t have it, though, you may use any other variety of oil.
- Adjust the quantity of dry red chillies you use, depending upon how spicy you want the dish to be. I have used Salem Gundu dry red chillies here.
- If you find the dish to be less spicy, you could add in a bit of red chilli powder, to taste. That is purely optional.
- Make sure the rice has fully cooled down before you fluff it up and use it in making the Gongura Pulihora. Otherwise, you will end up with a mushy, tasteless dish.
- Adjust the quantity of gongura aka sorrel leaves you use, depending upon how sour they are. The gongura I had wasn’t very sour, so I had to use more of it, and also add in some lemon juice. If your sorrel leaves are very sour, you can leave out the lemon juice entirely.
- You can skip the jaggery powder if you don’t like a hint of sweetness in your food. To us, it was the perfect addition.
- This Gongura Pulihora doesn’t really need any accompaniment, but some potato chips, papad or fryums would go beautifully with it.
- I was approached by Paperless Post to try out the experience of using some of their online stationery, on a complimentary basis, and I decided to give it a go. I write about it solely because I loved the stuff they have on board. The views expressed in this post are entirely honest, entirely my own, not influenced by anything or anyone.
Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!