Gongura, which is known to western world as Roselle, is tangy and sour leaf. Roselle plant leaves and flowers both are edible.
Gongura (Hibiscus Sabdariffa) leaves – the most popular dish in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, India. Gongura leaves are widely used in Andhra Pradesh. It holds a very special place in Andhra people’s hearts. It is called as Andhra favorite dish – Andhra maatha or Andhra Shakambari Varaprasadam. Gongura known as Jamaican sorrel leaves in carribean countries, as Roselle, florida cranberries in western countries. It is known as ambadi or pulicha keerai, LalChatni, Kutrum, Tengamora, Aamelli, Pundi Palle, Pitwaa, Taka bhendi, Khata Palanga, Kotrum, Mestapat, Amaari in other parts of India.
Gongura leaves and its red flowers both are edible. Both have unique sour taste which is an excellent combination for chutney and dal (lentils). In india, gongura is used to make chutney, dal and meat dishes. In certain Caribbean countries, exotic red sorrel drink is made. It is a sweet fruit drink with a sourness from the flowers of this plant. In African countries, jams and jelly is made of red sorrel flowers. Gongura comes in two varieties, green stemmed and red stemmed. The red stemmed variety is more sour than the green stemmed variety.
Just like any other leafy vegetables, gongura leaves are abundant in Iron. It is also high in calcium, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin C and iron. Calcium content and other ingredients makes teeth and bones strong. Improves immune system.
- 3 cups rice
- 5 cups gongura (Roselle or Jamaican sorrel leaves)
- 2 carrots
- 2 potatoes
- 1 medium onion
- 2 eggplants
- ½ tsp - cumin
- 1 chinese spicy cinnamon stick
- 3 anise stars
- 3-5 bay leaves
- 4 tbsp - ghee
- 1 tbsp - oil
- 1-2 tsp - coriander powder
- ½ tsp - chilli powder
- 5 green chillies
- 5 sprigs cilantro
- Soak rice for at-least 1 hour
- Cut onion, carrots and potatoes into cubes. Place deep X shaped slit to eggplant.
- Separate gongura leaves from stem. Discard stem.
- In a pot, add 2 tbsp oil. Then add gongura, ¼ of onion and green chillies. Close the lid and cook till soft. Let it cool and grind to paste. Add water if needed. Keep it semi solid consistency. It should be watery also like paste.
- Meanwhile to another pot, add 4½ cups of water and boil. Now add bay leaf and rice. Lower flame to low, and cook rice till water drains.
- Take big pot, add ghee.
- Add cumin, star anise, cinnamon fry till golden brown.
- Add onion, carrot, eggplant and potatoes. Close lid and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add salt, stir and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Now add gongura paste, chilli powder and coriander powder. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Now take gongura mixture into another bowl. Leave 1 layer of mixture on the bottom. Now add a layer of rice. On top of rice add another layer of gongura mixture. Add layers till all gongura and rice is placed. Place aluminum foil on the pot and close lid on top of foil. Placing aluminum foil ensures steam not to escape. We cooked rice partly, by this process we are cooking rice in gongura steam. Gongura taste penetrates rice and gives it aromatic flavor and taste.
- Close lid and cook on very low flame for almost 20-30 minutes till rice is cooked.
- Mix well, garnish with cilantro. Serve hot immediately.