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 peoples 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 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.
Pesto with gongura is never made before. I take pride to say I made it for first time in history and it was very successful. Natural sourness in gongura leaves left a silky coating, and a heavenly taste over pasta. You don’t need meat.
- Gongura (Roselle or Jamaican sorrel leaves) - 1 cup
- Whole-wheat pasta - 1 cup
- Olive Oil - 3-4 tbsp
- Carrots - 1
- Potato - 1 optional
- Red Onion - 1
- Green or red chillies - 5-8 depending on your spice level
- ½ tsp - ginger garlic paste - optional
- Salt - I use Himalayan salt
- Freshly ground nutmeg - 1
- 1 cup water to cook gongura
- Wash and cut gongura.
- Pour water in a pot, add a little salt. Add gongura leaves. Cook till soft. Turn off stove. Let it cool.
- When cooled, blend along with water, green chillies and half onion. Keep aside.
- In the same pot, cook pasta according to package instructions along with salt.
- Meanwhile, add oil to a pot. Add diced half onion, carrot and potato.
- Cook on medium for 1 minute. Add salt. Add ground gongura mix. Cook till vegetables are soft and gongura leaves sides of pan. Add water if needed. Turn off stove.
- Pour gongura mix over pasta, mix well.
- Serve hot with garlic bread on the side.