Monday, August 22, 2011

Spicy-tangy Pickle

Pickles have always been my favourite, with rice, idlis or dosas. I miss my mother’s avakkai, maavadu and the other pickles she makes every year. In the US, I have tried making maanga thookku and instant mango pickle, but I seem to get bored of them very quickly. Yesterday, when I went to the Indian store to buy my groceries, I saw red sorrel leaves/ Gongura leaves in the vegetables section.
This red stemmed leaves are tangy and a rich source of iron, vitamins, folic acid and anti-oxidants. This vegetable is used with lentils, as gravy for mutton, chicken etc. The most well known recipe is the gongura pickle, which is yummy.
I have had this from my mother’s and mother-in-law’s kitchens. So, when I saw it in the Indian stores yesterday, I decided to make it myself. The recipe for this pickle is simple and easy.


Gongura leaves – one bunch
Tamarind extract – 1 cup
Red chilli powder – 2 to 3 tbsp
Oil – ¼ cup or 5 to 6 tbsp approx
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Salt to taste

Pluck the gongura leaves off the stem, wash them and drain the water completely. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and sauté the leaves nicely. The leaves will reduce in volume and will ooze out water. Add tamarind extract, chilli powder and salt and mix well. Remove from stove and allow it to cool.
Grind the gongura mixture in a blender to make a smooth paste. Heat rest of the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add the paste and mix nicely. Keep stirring the paste until you see oil oozing out of the paste.
The tangy, spicy gongura pickle is ready. Mix this pickle with rice and serve with raita or papad or serve it as a side dish for rice, idlis or dosas.
Note 1) Gingelly oil enhances the taste of pickles and is good for your heart’s health. I always use gingelly oil for my pickles and find it really good.
       2)  Keep this pickle at room temperature for a day or two before storing it in the refrigerator.

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