Apr 27, 2010

Benefits of Gongura & Gongura Recipes

Gongura is popular in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Gongura ( leaves ) comes in two varieties, green stemmed leaf and red stemmed. The red stemmed variety is more sour than the green stemmed variety. There's more to `gongura' than most native Andhras know.

Gongura pachchadi, gongura pappu and gongura mutton are more than quintessentially Andhra food items: they are Andhra obsessions. Other cultures in India and abroad too pickle and curry the kenaf leaf, but none match the fetish that Andhraites have for this sour-leafed herb.

Every year, thousands of Andhra moms lovingly package level 2 biological hazard-range gongura pickles to ship off to their sons and daughters living abroad. And no Andhraite will agree with a restaurant's claim of serving Andhra cuisine unless he finds gongura pachchadi in the pickle jar and gongura pappu on the menu.

Kenaf ( gongura ) is native to northern Africa, and its history in India goes back 2000 years. Its leaves are a pot-herb. Its fibres resemble jute fibres and are useful in the manufacture of ropes, cordage, canvas, carpet backing and fishing nets. Kenaf seeds are used to make edible oil, soap, linoleum, paints and varnishes.

Some African tribes use the stem as a base for drilling fire out of wood. They also use soot from the charred stem as a pigment. The seeds are an aphrodisiac in Africa.

Kenaf leaves are very low in calories, and rich in protein when compared with other leafy vegetables. They are rich in calcium and phosphorus and have appreciable amounts of Vitamin C. The seeds are rich in essential fatty acids and calories. The seeds also contain radium and thorium, but not in amounts large enough to cause cancer.The roots of kenaf are edible too, but they contain too much fibre and too little nutrition.

In traditional African medicine, kenaf flower juice, mixed with sugar and black pepper, is used to treat biliousness with acidity. Because of their high calorie content, kenaf seeds are used to promote weight increase in cultures where plumpness is valued.

In Ayurveda, the leaves are used to treat dysentery, sore throat and indigestion.

In Africa, the leaves are used as a purgative. Dried and powdered leaves are used to treat guinea worm infestations.

Source & Recipe Credit - The Hindu

Try these recipes ...

Gongura Pappu


Tur dal - 10 gms

Salt to taste

Turmeric powder - 5 gms

Green chillies (slit) - 3
Gongura (chopped) - 50 gms
Curry leaves - 5 gms
Mustard seeds - 2 gms

Red chilli powder - 5 gms
Oil - 10 ml


Boil the dal with green chillies and turmeric powder in twice the amount of water. When the dal is almost done add the gongura leaves to it.

Cook further till the dal gets completely cooked. In a pan heat the oil, add the mustard seeds and the curry leaves. When they crackle add red chilli powder and pour this mixture over the dal. Cook the dal further to the required consistency and serve hot with rice.

Gongura Pappu ( with urad dal )


Ambada (gongura) leaves : 100 gms
Urad dal (washed): 25 gms

Salt: To taste

Ghee: 20 ml 

Red chilli powder: 1 teaspoon
Jeera powder: 1 teaspoon


Boil the dal and keep aside. Meanwhile boil the ambada leaves and make a paste of it. Mix both and add the chilli powder and jeera to it. Cook till they are done. Put ghee and check the seasoning and serve hot.

Ambada ghosht ( Gongura Mutton )


Mutton chops - 500 gms
Ginger-garlic paste - 2 teaspoon
Green chillies (chopped fine) - 6
Onions (sliced fine) - 2
Turmeric powder -½ teaspoon
Cooking oil - 4 tablespoon
Ambada ( gongura ) leaves (chopped) - 1 bunch
Chana dal - ¾ cup
Salt to taste


Soak the dal for half an hour.

Wash and drain out the water from ambada leaves.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil and add the chopped green chillies, ambada leaves, chana dal and warm water. Cook till dal is tender, then mash well before removing from the heat.

Heat 3 tablespoon of oil and fry the sliced onions till crisp. Add the ginger-garlic paste and fry till oil separates. Add mutton and salt to taste along with 1 ½ cup of water and pressure cook till tender.

Remove from pressure add cooked ambada - dal mixture. Stir thoroughly and simmer till well blended. Serve with roti / rice.

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