Gongura rice

When a fresh bunch of gongura leaves came my way, I had to think of doing something different with it. Gongura pachadi, dal, thokku and pickle are some of the popular dishes made with these leaves. So I decided to try making gongura rice and it is going to be a regular at our table from now on. 
Gongura is a plant local to Andhra, Tamilnadu and parts of Karnataka. Also called sorrel leaves, this refers to the sour leaves of the plant. Gongura is packed with nutrients and antioxidants.
Gongura leaves – 3 cups
Tamarind – size of a small lemon
Urad dal – 2 tbsp
Dried red chillies – 4
Chilli powder – to taste
Curry leaves – 15
Asafoetida – a pinch
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste 
Sesame oil – 4 tbsp 
Rice (basmati) – 1 1/2 cups
Water – 3 cups
For the dry spice powder
Urad dal – 1 tsp
Chana dal – 1 tsp
Coriander seeds – 3 tsp
Black pepper – 1/2 tsp
Dried red chillies – 1-2
Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp 
Peanuts with skin – 1/3 cup
Sesame oil – 1 tsp
Wash and cut the gongura leaves and cook on the stove top till done. Add the tamarind to it and grind. So not over grind as you still want the leaves to be visible. In a kadai add the oil and pop the mustard seeds and then add urad dal, red chillies and asafoetida. When the dal is nicely browned add the ground gongura and tamarind, curry leaves,  red chilli powder and salt. Keep stirring till the gongura is almost of thokku consistency and  the oil separates from it. 
Dry roast all the dry spice ingredients and grind into a coarse dry masala. Cook the rice a little dry. Fry the peanuts in the oil and set aside.
In a large bowl add the cooked rice, peanuts and add 3-4 tbsp of the cooked gongura. You may need to adjust the amount of gongura you use according to your taste. Add salt and 2 tbsp of the dry spice powder. Mix carefully and serve with pachadi and or chips.  Serves 4.
You may have lots of gongura thokku left over. Store in fridge have it with tayir sadam. 

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