Gongura Adugula Pappu

My gongura love has many avatars. One that frequently appears on Mahanandi is amma’s beloved gongura pappu. Today’s gongura avatar is from my mother-in-law’s kitchen, a Nandyala standard and Vijay’s all-time favorite. It’s a simple mélange of familiar toor dal and fresh gongura, does not use lot of ingredients, but relies on slow cooking for a rich and satisfying flavor. The key for this recipe is toor dal should not be overcooked, and it should hold its shape. Back in the old days, the dal is placed on the bottom, topped with gongura and simmered in earthen-ware pots on firebricks. Bottom is adugu in Telugu, so the name “adugula pappu“. This pride of Nandyala is an artisan food. I feel fortunate to prepare it at home with garden-fresh gongura and share it today on Mahanandi.

Garden Fresh Gongura
Garden-fresh Gongura

Gongura Adugula Pappu
(for 2 or 4, for 2 to 1 meal)


    Fresh gongura leaves, coarsely chopped, about 6 cups, tightly packed
    1/2 cup, toor dal (kandi pappu)
    1 medium sized, red onion or shallot, chopped to chunks, about a cup
    6 to 8 green chilli, Indian or Thai variety, about 3-inch length each, finely chopped
    1/4 teaspoon, turmeric
    1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste

    For Hing Tadka:
    2 tablespoons, peanut oil
    10 to 12, fresh curry leaves
    1/2 teaspoon each – chana dal and urad dal
    Pinch each – cumin and mustard seeds
    1/8 teaspoon, hing (inguva)

1. Soak toor dal in two cups of water for one hour. Drain.

2. In a large pot, heat a tablespoon of peanut oil over medium heat. Add the onion and green chilli. Saute until soft and translucent, about five minutes. Add the gongura leaves. Saute the leaves until they collapse.

3. Add the soaked toor dal to gongura. Sprinkle turmeric and salt. Mix well with a whisk or sturdy spoon. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the toor dal is tender for about 15 to 20 minutes. Moisture from fresh gongura is enough to cook the toor dal to tender, and adding extra water is not necessary. But if there is a need, add little. The key for this recipe is toor dal should not be overcooked, and it should hold its shape.

4. Do the hing tadka. In a small pot, heat peanut oil. When oil is hot, add curry leaves, chana dal, urad dal, cumin and mustard seeds, one after another, and toast to fragrance. When mustard seeds start to pop, add hing. Stir for couple of seconds. Add the gongura-toor dal mix to this hing tadka. Gently mix well.

5. Serve gongura adugula pappu hot with rice and some ghee for a taste of tradition.

Gongura Adugula Pappu with Rice and Masala Vada
Gongura Adugula Pappu with Masuri Rice and Masala Vada ~ Meal on a Summer Day


15 Responses to “Gongura Adugula Pappu”

  1. My favourite. My athama prepares it this way but she adds garlic. Indira, what is adugula…my hubby didn’t know 🙂

  2. Divya Vikram says:

    Lovely platter!

  3. Kiran says:

    Love the garden resh gongura and the pappu.

  4. RV says:

    The gongura looks so fresh and I realize how I have been cheated in Indian stores. I buy gongura for my love for this green leaf.. but it has never been this fresh… The platter looks YUMM. Another sad story is that I tried growing gongura at home, but it was a disaster.. sobs

  5. Rita says:

    Hi Indira,
    I always love your food photos. Can you post a snap of your lovely garden? You have kindled the interest of a home garden in me.

  6. notyet100 says:

    yummy platter

  7. lakshmi says:

    Namaste Indira. Home grown gongura leaves looks fresh.
    My mum used to make this gongura pappu with chana dal,adds garlic in seasoning. Tastes good. I don’t know why gongura makes with chana dal only,really great taste,all other dals made with toor dal.she never use garlic in curries except in gongura pappu.
    I want to find gongura here.

  8. Sanjeeta kk says:

    Hmm.. I can feel the sour and tangy taste of Gonkura 🙂
    Thanks for sharing this authentic Andra recipe. I normally buy it of the shelf, but not any more.

  9. Aruna says:

    Hello Indira, What a coincidence? I made gongura pappu just last night. We put garlic in tadka and don’t really use onions in pappu esp. with Toor dal. As said in mayabazar movie (old one), it is Kadamabari Devi’s varaprasadam. Either pappu, pulusu or patchadi, gongura is unique with its tartness. Needless to say that your vada and pappu look scrumptious. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Vandya says:

    It must be great feeling of cooking something that you have grown yourself. The combination of masala vada and gongura pappu with rice looks delicious.

  11. srinadh says:

    Indira garu,
    emi cheppatanikee maatalu raavatam ledu.. konchem asooya ga kooda vundhi… entha fresh gaa vunnayi gongura leaves!!!
    Gongura is my fav but we dont get them here and I dont have a backyard *sigh* but you know what, by looking at the pics, kadupu nindi poyindhi.. thanks alot..

  12. kalva says:

    nanamma makes this tooo. and we call gongura pulusu.. lovely pics!!

  13. Narayan says:

    For a non Telugu, this is revelation – I never knew that Gongura could be used in everyday cooking. I thought the tart taste would not be conducive to dals; but I like your recipe. I will try it out. Gongura is not very easily available in Mumbai – I may have to try the Matunga market. I think this is known as Ambati in local Marathi.


  14. kanthi says:

    Gongura pappu,achha telugu nudikaram laga svachham ga undhi,looks yummy

  15. lakshmi says:

    Namaste Indira. Home grown gongura leaves looks fresh. We live in australia.
    I Would like to grow in my garden.which seasons are good to plant gongura seeds.Could you pls tell , where can i buy gongura seeds online?

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