Gongura Pulihora Recipe with Video. Tangy and spicy variety rice made with Gongura (red sorrel leaves) that is so easy to make and pack for lunch boxes.
This is a no onion-no garlic recipe that also happens to be vegan and gluten-free.
Gongura is also called Pulicha Keerai in Tamil and is rich in Iron content. Because of this very reason, it is highly recommended to be included in the diet for people who suffer from Anaemia.
This rice tastes wonderfully sour, deliciously tangy, and spicy and is apt to pack for office or school lunch boxes.
There is no fear of any spillage as it happens to be mixed rice. All you need are some pappads or chips to go along with it.
Just like how you prepare 'Pulikaichal' to make Puliodharai, you can make this paste and keep it handy. You can mix this with rice any time you want to make Pulicha Keerai Pulidharai.
Though this sounds just like the gongura thokku that I make, making this like a pulikaichal is different as it has an added element of roasted and ground whole spices.
This not only adds more body to the paste but also makes the rice to be more flavorful and tasty.
Best variety of Gongura to use
There are 2 varieties of Gongura in the market. One, the type that I have used here comes with green leaves and maroon-colored stems and stalk.
The other one has green leaves and green stems and stalks.
Use the one with the maroon-colored stalks as it becomes mushy upon cooking. The latter does not have that quality and is also a bit rough-textured.
Shelf life of Pulihora paste
The paste tastes better, the longer it rests. The tang and sour flavor of the gongura become more pronounced with time.
I always prepare it during the weekend so that I can use it during the following week.
I store the paste in the refrigerator and it stays good for 10 to 15 days.
Use sesame or gingelly oil for authentic taste.
Even though Gongura is tangy and sour, I prefer using tamarind as it enhances the taste more. Skip it if you do not wish to add it.
You need to add both red chilies and green chilies in this recipe and trust me when I say that it will not be way too spicy.
Instead of raw peanuts, you can also use roasted peanuts that are either salted or unsalted.
Feel free to replace white rice with brown rice or millets or quinoa.
see more Variety Rice Recipes
- Cooked rice - 2 cups
- Gongura or Red Sorrel Leaves - 1 big bunch or 2 cups packed
- Tamarind - 1 gooseberry size
- Raw peanuts - 3 to 4 tbsp
- Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
- Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
- Urad dal - 1/2 tbsp
- Chana dal - 1/2 tbsp
- Whole dry red chillies - 3
- Asafoetida - 2 pinch
- Green chillies - 3 to 4
- Curry leaves - 1 sprig
- Salt - to taste
- Gingelly oil - 3 tbsp
To roast & grind:
- Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
- White sesame seeds - 1 tbsp
- Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
- Dry red chillies - 4
- Preparation: Separate the leaves from the stems of Gongura. Immerse the leaves in water and wash properly for 2 to 3 times. Transfer the leaves to a colander for the excess water to drain fully. You can also spread them on a cloth to dry out.
- Make the powder: Heat a pan and add all the ingredients to grind - mustard seeds, white sesame seeds, fenugreek seeds and red chillies. Dry roast till they are well roasted and fragrant. Remove to a bowl and let it cool.
- Cook Gongura: Heat a pan and add 2 tsp oil. Add the leaves and saute well. The leaves will wilt, shrink. Add 1 more tsp oil and mix well till it becomes mushy and turns into a pulp.
- Add tamarind and mix well. It will soften in the heat itself. Take off stove and let cool.
- Make the paste: Transfer the roasted spices to a mixer jar and grind to a coarse powder. Now add the gongura pulp and grind well to a coarse paste. Do not add water. Set aside.
- Make Gongura Pulihora: Heat a pan with 2 tbsp oil. Add raw peanuts and let it roast in the oil till it becomes crisp and skin starts to split. Add mustard seeds and let it pop.
- Add chana dal, urad dal, red chillies and roast till the dals become golden in colour.
- Add asafoetida, slit green chillies, curry leaves, turmeric powder and fry for 20 to 30 secs. Add ground gongura mixture, salt and mix well to combine.
- Cook over low flame for 6 to 7 mins till the mixture begins to thicken and the oil begins to separate. Keep mixing in between to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom.
- Switch off take the pan off the stove and let it cool. Divide the paste into 2 portions.
- Mix Pulihora: Spread the cooked rice on a wide plate. Drizzle more sesame oil, if preferred. Add one portion of the cooked gongura paste and mix well to combine.
- Take a taste test and add more of the paste from the reserved second portion till is tangy enough for your taste and more salt if needed. Press and pack the mixed rice tightly.
- Rest this Gongura Pulihora for at least an hour before you serve for the flavours to merge well and for the sour taste to become bold and enhanced.
- Serve this with pappads or chips.
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