Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ambadichi Amti (Gongura curry)

Tired of the same spinach and fenugreek preparations, I wanted to start adding some different greens in our diet. That is when I came across a nameless maple leaf like green leafy vegetable in our grocery store.
But the problem was that I dint know what it was!
After a lot of high level discussions between my husband and me and trying to figure out on the iphone what this was..we finally decided to ask the owner about this vegetable.
He said.."Ye Gongura Hai!". Now that dint help us at all, as we dint ever hear of GONGURA*!
So we surfed online again and realised that this was called Ambadi in marathi. I was shocked! It was one of my absolute favorite greens and I dint know it looked anything like this before cooking!
I picked up a huge bunch and we headed home.

The story doesnt end here. I still had to be sure before I started wasting time and ingredients on this preparation.
So now it was skype time!
I asked my mom to log onto skype and made sure I had the correct vegetable in my hand. Once that was confirmed, I moved on to finally cooking this green.

What would I do without technology! :)

Serves: 3 to 4 people
Level: Easy

1 large bunch gongura leaves (ambadi), roughly chopped
1/2 cup raw peanuts
1/2 cup chana dal
3/4 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of asafoetida
6-8 fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3 green chillies, finely chopped
1 tblsp chickpea flour (besan)
1 tblsp goda masala
1 tblsp jaggery
Salt to taste

Step 1 - In a small bowl, add the peanuts and chana dal and soak them completely in water for a minimum of 3 to 4 hrs. Overnight would be better. Pressure cook these for 2 whistles till they are cooked well. We do not want to mash them. 

Step 2 - In a large pot, heat 3 tblsp of oil. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add the asafoetida, fenugreek seeds and green chillies. Saute for a few seconds. Add turmeric powder. Saute for a few more seconds and add the chopped gongura leaves. Cook this for a good 5 mins mixing continuously.

Step 3 - Once all the greens wilt and start oozing water, add the chickpea flour and mix well. Add the salt, boiled peanuts and chana dal from Step 1, goda masala and jaggery. Mix well. Add enough water to reach your desired consistency. Mix well and let this boil for 5 to 10 mins. uncovered.

Serve hot with hot chapatis or/and rice.

You can use this same preparation method with colocasia leaves too. It would result in a really famous maharashtrian preparation called "Alu cha phatphata". You will come across this if you get a chance to attend a traditional maharashtrian wedding. Just make sure you remember one change. Unlike gongura leaves, colocasia leaves are not sour. So just add 1/2 to 3/4 tsp of tamarind concentrate to the recipe above.

*Gongura leaves: 
Gongura leaves are also known as Red Sorrel, Ambadi and Pulicha Keerai in various parts of India. It comes in two varieties namely the green leaf and the red variety, the latter being more sour than the former. The leaves are bitter, mildly astringent and have an acidic taste.
The herbal leaves of gongura, have the health benefit of being very effective in relieving the symptoms of fever.  It helps to cool any inflammation and heat in the blood. Fresh leaves help to stimulate the stomach and to sharpen the appetite.  In addition it is the herb that helps to cool the liver.


  1. what a nice little dish! really, hats off to technology :)

  2. Love the picture, recipe and details on where to find the ingredeints.

    Thank you for posting it!


    hip pressure cooking
    making pressure cookers hip again, one recipe at a time!

  3. first time in ur with gongura is absolutely one of my favorites....I loved this version of yours.....this is a must try...bookmarked!!!loved ur check out my space in ur free time :-) following u here !!!

  4. Thanks. Have already bookmarked many recipes from your fishy blog..:)

  5. Hello, first time in your space... can you also tell when to add the cooked peanuts and channa dal please? I think that is a pretty important point right?

  6. Yes it is a pretty important point. :) It is so weird that I did not notice it missing up until now. Thanks so much for pointing it out.

  7. Have updated the blog post.

  8. Hi, nice recipe, I am going to try this tonight! My friend has given me some home grown lal ambadi and I cant wait to try ;) -Niti

    1. Homegrown lal ambadi! How cool is that...I am sure u will love this dish. Keep me posted. :)

    2. Hi, finally tried it today, it was good, but I think I need to make it one more time mto get it perfect :) -Niti

  9. My fav dish. Just made. In my family traditionally we use cooked rice instead of besan or chickpea flr. Try that too.
    Ambadichi patalbhaji is best with freshmade jawar bhakris and dry lasoon chatni and heavy rains...