WV14 ~ Gongura Pappu from Amma

Beatific Butterfly from Backyard
Beatific Butterfly from Backyard
(Of all the transplanted, showy flowers in the backyard, the butterflies are drawn to the wild ones which are known in this part of the world as weeds. Butterflies are precious! So now weeds have become part of the landscape.)

Today is Vara Lakshmi Vratham, an auspicious day on which Goddess Lakshmi Devi is celebrated with fasting, Pooja and neivedyam. It’s customary to share the Lakshmi Devi amma blessings with family and friends, and I am glad to share this day with you Net friends.

Neivedyam for the Pooja:

Semiya-Saggubiyyam Payasam
Alasanda Vada
Chintapandu Pulihora (Tamarind Rice)
Sona Masuri Annam
Gongura Pappu
Chayote Kura
Brinjal-Jaggery Pacchadi
Coriander Rasam
Biyyam and saggubiyyam vadiyaalu

My Meal Menu:

Fasting in the morning.

Has ended the day with an early meal -small helping of each item from the Pooja neivedyam.

Cooking. Pooja and meditation

In retrospect:
Great day! Calming cooking, peaceful Pooja in the morning hours.
Met good friends and had pleasant time in the evening.

Generous Gongura from Backyard
Gongura From Backyard

Gongura Pappu from Amma

The gongura seeds I had planted in March are now thriving healthy plants. The generous gongura didn’t mind when I plucked some mature leaves for the Pooja neivedyam menu today. There are several ways to prepare gongura pappu, and the following recipe is from my amma. I thought it’s a great way to pay homage to her on this auspicious day through this favorite vantakam.

Ingredients and Preparation:

Preparation happens in two steps.

Step 1:

Toor dal: 3/4 cup
Fresh gongura leaves – 6 cups, tightly packed
Indian or Thai variety green chilli – 8, chopped to tiny pieces
Red onion or shallots – chopped to chunks, 1 cup
Turmeric – 1/4 teaspoon

Take the above ingredients in a pressure cooker. Add two cups of water.
In a mortar, add a garlic clove and 2 teaspoons of coriander seeds. Pound to coarse paste. Add this paste to the ingredients in pressure cooker. Mix. Close the lid and cook until everything has become soft, particularly the toor dal.

Step 2:

Salt – 1/2 teaspoon or to taste
Peanut oil or ghee – 1 tablespoon
From masala dabba: Following ingredients for inguva(asafetida) Tadka:
a sprig of curry leaves
4 pieces of one-inch, majjiga mirapa(dahi mirchi)
1/4 teaspoon of urad dal
a pinch each – cumin, mustard seeds and hing (asafetida)

Add salt to the cooked dal in pressure cooker. With a pappu gutti (wooden whisk), mash the cooked ingredients to fairly coarse paste like. Remove the dal to a bowl or vessel.

In a small pan, heat the peanut oil or ghee. Add the tadka ingredients in this order, from big to small: curry leaves, dahi mirchi pieces, urad dal, cumin, and mustard seeds. Continuously stirring, toast the ingredients to golden. When mustard seeds make pop sounds, sprinkle the hing. Stir for couple of seconds. Immediately add this fragrant tadka to the cooked dal. Mix well and cover with a lid so that the flavors and aroma of hing tadka are thoroughly absorbed by the pappu (dal).

Serve the gongura pappu with rice or roti. The blissful combination is the old classic: gongura pappu and freshly cooked, hot Sona Masuri rice with some ghee and vadiyaalu on the side. Heaven!

Gongura Pappu
Gongura Pappu in Vadiyam Vadi on Muruku Peetam ~ For Meal Today

© Recipe and Photos Copyright 2009 Indira Singari.


  • By preeti, August 1, 2009 @ 3:56 pm

    Abba, gongura mokkalu enta bagunnayo! Naaku 2 mokkalu vunnaayi. Vaatine appudappudu oka padi aakulu kosi murisipothanu. Mee mokkalaki naa disti taguluthundi :)

    Indira, this last photo reminds me of your famous pappu mudda-vadiyam photo from old blog. And also the other famous murukku with tea photo. Those two were enough for me to keep coming to your blog for so long. I feel the actual mahanandi-ish flavor in your blog today! :)

  • By DK, August 1, 2009 @ 4:39 pm

    I am going to buy some fresh gongura leaves next time I see it in my local market. I am yet to try these leaves(!!) Every time I want to – I see some wilted leaves and it discourages me! I am hoping for some fresh ones tomorrow when I do my usual grocery!

  • By rashmi, August 1, 2009 @ 7:07 pm

    happy varalakshmi nombu…

    wow… nice garden…
    can u share with us.. were can we find gongura seeds here in US

  • By smitha, August 1, 2009 @ 7:28 pm

    I agree with preeti, those two photographs… hmm i used to watch those pictures in your site again and again…I actually went ahead and made murukku only because I was completly mesmerized by that picture…somehow, please dont mind, but I loved your old site and its format.

  • By Diane, August 1, 2009 @ 9:11 pm

    Very happy wishes for vara lakshmi vratham! It sounds like a wonderful, meditative day.

    Here we often have gongura at the Oakland farmers market (although too cool to grow well in my yard), and whenever I get a chance to buy some I make your gongura dal, which I just love.

  • By kalva, August 1, 2009 @ 10:13 pm

    lovely recipe.. mom makes the same way

  • By Kay, August 1, 2009 @ 11:15 pm

    Beautiful butterfly!! :) I have never celebrated the nombu till now. so, its very fascinating to me when friends mention about it.

  • By Latha, August 2, 2009 @ 9:38 am

    Dear Indira,

    May I request for Athrasalu recipe please? whenever time permits…

    Thank you.

  • By madhuli, August 3, 2009 @ 6:34 am

    Lovely photo of the butterfly….

  • By veggiebelly, August 3, 2009 @ 5:06 pm

    That butterfly picture is gorgeous!

  • By madhuri, August 3, 2009 @ 8:10 pm

    butterfly pic is so beautiful… wow what a nice menu you have made….i make gongura pappu too but we dont put onions in it..i love gardening… i love ur gonguraleaves grown… sometimes envies me ehehe.. kidding.. love your garden pics indira… I got key limes this time to make ur lemon recipe..and alas! it rained yesday before i could run and grab they all got wet:( and i though t it will spoil even if i try cos it has water in em

  • By Rekha, August 4, 2009 @ 5:05 am

    Hi Indira,
    Gongura pappu looks so tempting. I tried your Vankaya-Alu Pulusu from your old list and it was very delicious, and I posted the recipe in my blog today. Please check if you have time.

  • By aparna, August 5, 2009 @ 11:58 am

    Indira, I was wondering how much weight you have lost by following this carbohydrate free diet.
    What are the positive effects you are seeing with this diet ?

  • By srividya, August 5, 2009 @ 12:57 pm

    varalakshmi vratham maa intlo kuda baga ayyindi.whata coincidence..i made gongura pappu too that day.u made lot of items for puja..wow! 3/5/9 items are usually made.we have reddy farms here(an andhra guy has leased a piece of land)from where we pluck gongura leaves. also other veggies we get there.butterfly pic is beautiful!

  • By Gowri, August 5, 2009 @ 1:48 pm

    Hi Indira,

    I have been a regular reader since many months. It is very nice! I was wondering if the 2 week no grain diet helped you. Did you lose any weight? I noticed that Kay lost weight but she had meat in her diet. I am a vegetarian and thinking of trying yours.


  • By Nirmala, August 5, 2009 @ 11:58 pm

    Wow, rowing weeds for butterflies :) You are a kind soul. The Varalakshmi vratham neiyedyam makes me drool :)

  • By Vani, August 6, 2009 @ 11:27 am

    Indira, long time since I came to your blog home. I felt right at home when I came today…wow…what a wonderful garden you are maintaining…all the hardwork is showing…kudos…

  • By prabhavathi, August 8, 2009 @ 8:17 pm

    Hi Indira ,
    After a long time, I visited your blog. Varalakshmi Vratamu and gongoora pappu! Many Andhra homes have this pappu on Varalakshmi Vratamu day. Great blog you have with age-old recipes! Vardhillavamma in the sameway!

  • By Lakshmi Venkatesh, August 9, 2009 @ 6:15 pm

    Wow! Looks Very beautiful. Never tried Gongura leaves still.

  • By Meena, August 9, 2009 @ 11:53 pm

    Hi Indira,
    I have been vising your blog for close to 3 years now and this is the first time I am commenting. :) Anyways, the Indian magazie “Good House Keeping” has listed Mahanandi as one of the top five Indian food blogs. Congratulations!
    Not sure if this magazine is avaialble in the US. In case you get your hands on the August edition, it’s mentioned in the recipe section. The others in the top five are:
    A Mad Tea Party, Sailus food, A Cookat Heart & Eatanddust.

    Keep up the great work. I have tried many many recipes from your site and they have come out very well. Even my picky kids don’t complain :-)

    Take care,

  • By Priti, August 10, 2009 @ 6:43 am

    Nice photos. Never had gongura pappu. Will try sometime.

  • By veda, August 11, 2009 @ 3:03 am

    wow!Indira!what a coincidence! I bought gongura leaves delivered at my doorstep today thinking i might find something interesting to prepare from ur blog! I will try this recipeand let u know how it turned out!


  • By Chevalier, August 11, 2009 @ 10:37 am

    O/T: I didn’t know whom else to ask, and you guys are my best guess for someone online who would know the answer. Has anyone of you tasted ‘tegalu’ (or ‘tagalu’) – the long brown fruit/vegetable that you get in coastal areas in Andhra and sometimes in Hyderabad. They are roasted on an open fire, tied into bundles and sold. They are about 10-inches long, and have a brown/black skin, but the inside is white and stringy and fleshy. I love them, but they are really an acquired taste.
    What do you call these things in Hindi/English, and where (if at all) can I find them in the US?

  • By R, August 12, 2009 @ 2:25 pm

    thegalu are toddypalm related. they are from thati chettu..if you eat “munjalu” in summer then you know thegalu too.

  • By Ranjan, August 13, 2009 @ 3:59 am

    Indira, congratulations on Mahanandi being voted one of the top 5 Indian Food Blogs in this month’s Good House Keeping Magazine, no surprise to me though!

  • By Nirmala, August 14, 2009 @ 12:43 am

    Indira, why such a long silence almost 2 weeks ? Hope you are doing fine.

  • By Desi, August 14, 2009 @ 9:48 pm

    We miss you … come back soon!

  • By moi, August 15, 2009 @ 5:09 am

    Hi Indira, happy Indian Independence Day to you and Vijay! It’s coincidence, I suppose, but your butterfly photo reflects the national colors. So does the vadiyam and murukku.

    Congratulations on the recognition in Good Housekeeping magazine that some commenters have mentioned – no surprise, though :) I hope all is well with you – you have been very quiet for a while.

  • By Chevalier, August 17, 2009 @ 2:12 pm

    Congratulations, Indira! And thank you, R – I didn’t know if thegalu were from the same source as thaati munjulu (which also I love, but these are generally more popular).

    Any idea what they’re called in English or Hindi?

  • By Akhila, August 19, 2009 @ 9:44 pm

    Hi Indira,
    You have been silent for a while. Was expecting a post on Gokula Ashtami.Hope all is well.

  • By moi, August 22, 2009 @ 7:05 pm

    Hi Indira, Time Out Mumbai, issue dated Aug 21 to Sept 3, 2009, mentions Mahanandi right on top of its list of Indian cooking blogs (p. 37). Congratulations again!!

  • By Padma, August 23, 2009 @ 9:48 pm

    Happy Vinayaka Chavathi!!! Hope you had a great pooja today.
    Hope all is well. Come back soon.

  • By Shoba, August 24, 2009 @ 11:58 pm

    Hi Indira,

    Please collect some more awards on my website. Happy Vinayaka Chathurthi to you.


  • By kaberi, August 25, 2009 @ 11:22 pm

    Hi Indira akka, here in our town, we hardly find gongura leaves in Indian grocery shops. Can you tell me where did you get gongura seeds? and what it is called in English so that I can search in the farmer’s market or chinese supermarket, please?

  • By Pavani, August 26, 2009 @ 10:30 am

    Hi Indira, Butterfly looks gorgeous. Gongura Pappu is always a favorite for me and i remember the days when we couldn’t find Gongura, i used to cook this dal with sorrel which gives that sour taste. Your picture looks great. I have a gongura picture in my web site too..ofcourse mine is a grown up one.
    I get so much pleasure to see our plants grow every day, wouldn’t you agree?

  • By ms, August 29, 2009 @ 4:18 pm

    Hi indira,
    congratulations! Hope you are doing good – I miss your posts too. Come back whenever possible.

    with best wishes,

  • By Uma, August 31, 2009 @ 1:35 pm

    Hi Indira,
    Hope everything is well with you. Take care.

  • By veda, September 2, 2009 @ 12:22 am

    Hey Indira!

    awesome pappu! it turned out superb!


  • By Chilli, September 2, 2009 @ 1:07 am

    beautiful photo of the butterfly!! So crisp and clean!

  • By Deepika, September 4, 2009 @ 10:23 am

    Hi Indira,
    I just wanted to stop by to let you know that I love your website and photography. Your recipes are simply awesome and I have just started trying out few. Recently I made idlis and they turned out great. I love your garden and all the different kind of herbs and Indian plants/trees you grow. Thanks for sharing your stuff on the site. I am enjoying. Also wanted to ask if you took any specific photography classes to get the professional shots ? I am also interested in taking some formal classes.

    Thanks again for sharing your recipes and your beautiful garden.


  • By Aparna, September 7, 2009 @ 7:12 am

    Hi Inidira,

    Where are you? are you on vacation? we miss your posts> come back soon.

  • By Inji Pennu, September 8, 2009 @ 5:10 pm


  • By deepthi, September 8, 2009 @ 7:39 pm

    How do you grow gongura? Can you please give the details of the gongura seeds and where you got them from. Thanks in advance.

  • By Ranjan, September 9, 2009 @ 8:28 am

    Hi Indira, am assuming you are on vacation or may be busy. Hope you, Vijay, Kittaya and all the family are well and hope to hear from you soon.

  • By Sarvani, September 10, 2009 @ 10:25 am

    Hi Indira, I checkout your website for the tasty and yummy looking recipes. But why have u stopped posting them for sometime now? Hope all is well with you. I miss your posts. Hoping to Read new posts from u soon..

  • By Vineela, September 11, 2009 @ 8:30 am

    Hi Indira,
    Would you mind sharing which peanut oil you use.

  • By Evendea, September 11, 2009 @ 3:22 pm

    The cooking blog world is insipid nowadays. Both Indira and Sanjay (Vah Chef) are missing in action for more than a month!! Please Please Come Back..

  • By R, September 12, 2009 @ 12:44 am

    Looks like …14 Weeks of Workout Vratam can do anything, especially to food blogging passion. We should help warn our friends not to get so serious about Workout Vratham…they don’t seem to go well.. see now Indira seem to be getting very passionate about workouts now instead of food …
    Is Indira..going to start a workout blog really soon…Please we love your food :)

  • By Roopa, September 15, 2009 @ 12:45 am

    Hi Indira,
    Hope all is well! Hope to hear from you soon

  • By Hema, September 16, 2009 @ 3:06 pm

    Indira garu,

    We miss your posts. We were waiting to hear from you soon.

  • By JP, September 17, 2009 @ 11:55 am

    Indira…what happened? Any surprise vacations?

  • By Madhuri, September 17, 2009 @ 6:00 pm

    Hi Indira , Its been a long time since you last posted. Couldn’t wait to see what’s cooking in your kitchen. Come back soon !!

  • By poornima, September 21, 2009 @ 10:14 pm

    Miss you very dearly.Hope all is well.

  • By sreelu, September 24, 2009 @ 11:43 am

    Indira garu,

    Hope all is well with you, miss your post.

    Take care,

  • By vani, September 27, 2009 @ 6:11 pm

    hi indira,

    hope eerything is well with you. it has been long time since u posted a recepi for all of us here. happy vijayadashami to you and family…pls come back fast. i am really waitinf gor ur posts…

  • By Kamala, September 28, 2009 @ 7:31 am

    Hi Indira gaaru,

    Wish you a very happy Vijayadashami.

    Take care

  • By JP, September 30, 2009 @ 6:38 pm


  • By Nirmala, October 1, 2009 @ 4:28 am

    Indira, I pray all is well with you. Awaiting your posts.

  • By Madhuram, October 1, 2009 @ 9:35 am

    Dear Indira, hope you are doing fine. I tried this pappu today and it has come out very well. Thank you very much for this recipe. It’s simple yet comforting.
    Take care.

  • By Ranjan, October 2, 2009 @ 7:38 am

    Hi Indira, hope everything is OK, and you, Vijay and Kittaya are all well. Hope to hear from you soon. Miss you, take care.

  • By Suma, October 2, 2009 @ 11:27 am

    Hope you are doing alright and are just taking a break from blogging. Take care.

  • By Indira, October 2, 2009 @ 1:29 pm

    Dear friends,

    Belated Shubha Dasera greetings!

    Sorry for the silence. Hoping to get back to Mahanandi by October third week. Take care and keep having healthy and good food.

    Best wishes,

  • By moi, October 2, 2009 @ 5:47 pm

    I am so relieved to hear from you, Indira! I hope all is well. Looking forward to hearing more whenever you get back to blogging. Take care!

  • By Ranjan, October 5, 2009 @ 5:19 am

    Indira, welcome back! Just glad to hear you are OK. Look forward to hearing from you later on in the month.

  • By Balu, October 5, 2009 @ 6:02 pm

    Dear Indira garu,

    You are like an invisible friend whom we missed dearly for last few months. Hope all is well and it is good to hear from you. Take care


  • By Jaya, October 6, 2009 @ 1:49 pm

    Hi Indira,

    Great to see ur response… Can’t wait for u to come back with a big bang….I have been a regular visitor to your website and can tell that I have missed something for a couple of months :( I must admit that I keep visiting ur website on the hopes that I would see a post today !!

    Hoping to see ur post during Diwali :) ) Take care

    Keep rocking as you always do – Jaya Raja

  • By A, October 7, 2009 @ 4:33 pm

    Mom’s recipes are always perfect:)

  • By trupti, October 8, 2009 @ 6:27 am

    I miss you and your posts! Hope ALL is well with you and family…..take care, sending the very best wishes for all.

  • By catherine, October 11, 2009 @ 5:34 am

    I wish I could buy fresh gongura leaves because that looks amazing

  • By Cilantro, October 15, 2009 @ 11:09 am

    Wish you and your family a very Happy Deepavali! Hope you are doing good. Have`nt seen you in action for a long time.

  • By Ranjan, October 16, 2009 @ 4:17 am

    Indira, Vijay and Kittaya wishing all a very Happy Diwali and Peace and Joy for the New Year. Ranjan (and Chloe and Max)

  • By Raji, October 16, 2009 @ 1:51 pm

    Happy Deepavali Indira

  • By Meera, November 5, 2009 @ 11:51 am

    Dear Indira,

    Your receipes are so simple, delicious and homey…I have been trying them for the last 3 years and each one reminds me of home (I am a Tamilian who grew up in Hyderabad)living here in Houston.

    thank you for sharing…amma & appa back in India follow your blog too now! Meera

  • By DesiFoodie, November 17, 2009 @ 6:06 am

    Where do you get gongura seeds in Houston?

  • By Recipemom, March 29, 2010 @ 7:27 am

    such homely recipes! i love it.
    Gongura seeds are amazing

  • By Deepa, July 28, 2010 @ 6:45 am

    Tried this gongura pappu recipe..loved it..I’ve put a photo in my blog

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