Andhra Special: Gongura Chicken ( Chicken in Sorrel Leaves Gravy)
For my 201’st post, I thought I should post a regional recipe. When I first moved to US in 2001, we all had packed food items from home – be it pickles, papads or even pulses. While we were getting adjusted to the new life there, we all bonded over homemade simple meals. News,updates,learning’s were shared. Daal-chaawal for the dil ( aka Chicken soup for the soul).
Most folks from Andhra had a bottle of gongura pickle.The tangy sour sorrel leaves picked in a hot oil tempering. The combination is amazing and most Indian stores across US stock this. It soon became a staple in our house and even today stands next to mom’s sweet and sour pickle.
When we moved to Hyderabad, we were introduced to another Andhra specialty made with red sorrel leaves – Gongura chicken. And the pairing is classic. Italians have their Chicken with Spinach, North Indian with fenugreek leaves (Methi– chicken) and Andhra has it with gongura leaves.
Alas not all places make it well and we have had varying degrees of luck. Some places it was too sour,others it was too bland. Till recently, Renuka, our cook made it when she saw chicken and gongura leaves. And it was lip-smacking good. So, good that I asked to make it again when we had friends over.
She willing shared her recipe and blushed when I told her I would share it with you all on Internet.
I hope you all love this tangy chicken recipe as much as we did 🙂
Gongura Chicken Recipe
- 1 lb chicken(boneless skinless cubed into bite sized pieces)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1/2 cup red onion diced
- 1/4 cup mint leaves roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup coriander leaves roughly chopped
- 2 1/2 cups Gongura leaves – washed and roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon – turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon – garam masala powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons -coriander powder
- 2 teaspoons – red chili powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 cups water
For the Marinade
- 2 tablespoon yogurt
- 3- 4 garlic pods minced
- 1 inch ginger root peeled and grated
- 1 green chilli diced
- Juice from 1/2 a lemon ( about 1 tablespoon)
- Salt to taste
For the Coconut Paste
- 2 teaspoons Desiccated coconut ( thawed if frozen)
- 10 -14 cashew nuts ( unsalted)
- 3 garlic pods -roughly chopped
- 1 green chilli – roughly diced
1. Marinade the chicken in the ingredients listed above. Set aside for 30 minutes to an hour.
2. Heat oil in a pressure cooker ( or a pot with tight fighting lid). Add onions and fry till translucent. Add the coriander and mint leaves and saute them for about 30 seconds till wilted.
Then add gongura leaves and saute them for about a minute.
3. Now add all the spices – turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala and salt. Keep stirring as you add the masalas so they wont stick to the pan and burn.
4. Add the coconut paste and cook through for another minute.
5. Finally add the chicken along with the marinade. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add water.
Pressure cook for 2 whistles or cook till chicken is cooked through but not tough about 8 – 10 minutes.
Serve hot with rice or parathas.