Gongura or గోంగూర in Telugu, also known as Roselle in English, is a green leafy vegetable plant that is widely consumed across multiple states in India. However, it is highly popular and most loved in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states of India. Botanically, It is called with the Scientific Name Hibiscus Sabdariffa and belongs to the Malvaceae also known as Mallows family.

Gongura is a red or green stemmed plant that is widely grown across the Caribbean, Central America, India, Africa, Brazil, Australia, Hawaii, Florida, and the Philippines. The leaves of Gongura are the most consumed component of the plant. 

In this article, we will be covering,

Gongura - Benefits

Taste & Looks of Gongura Leaves:

The leaves of Gongura are an excellent source of riboflavin, folate, zinc, iron, antioxidants, and vitamins A and C. The leaves of Gongura are broad and a single complete leaf during the baby stages of the plant. As the plant grows, the leaves split into 4 or more parts. Leaves of Gongura are usually alternate and green like with any other leafy vegetable with red veins and the endings of the leaf are toothed.

Gongura leaves are sour in taste and are mainly grown for its culinary and medicinal value as an herb. Gongura leaves with red stem are sourer than the one with green stem and the sourness of the leaves depends on the climatic conditions of the region in which it is grown. The hotter the region, the sourer the leaves. 

What is Gongura called in my native language?

Gongura has multiple names and below are a few names as it is called in various states and languages of India:

  • In Tamil Nadu, It is popular as Pulicha Keerai (In Tamil: புளிச்சைக் கீரை)
  • In Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, It is famous as Gongura
  • In Orissa, It is called as Khatta Palanga
  • In Northern and Central Karnataka, It is known as Pundi Palle (In Kannada: ಪುಂಡಿ ಪಲ್ಲೆ)
  • In Maharashtra or Marathi, It is known as Ambaadi (अंबाडी)
  • In Bengali, it is called as Mestapat
  • In Gujarati, it is known as Ambadi

Nutritional Potential of Gongura or Roselle:

In terms of nutrition, Gongura or any green leafy vegetables, in general, are an essential part of a balanced diet. They are low in calories (100 g of raw leaves provide just 49 kcalories) and offer higher nutritional benefits. 

  • Its leaves are rich in dietary fibers.
  • It contains vitamins such as Vitamin A, B1, B2 & C.
  • A Study reveals that the leaves of Gongura can be used as potential sources of vitamins, minerals, phenolics with antioxidant activity and antimicrobial agents.

Gongura Nutritional Information:

Water86.58 g
Protein0.96 g
Total lipid (fat)0.64 g
Ash0.51 g
Carbohydrate11.31 g
Calcium215 mg
Iron1.48 mg
Magnesium51 mg
Phosphorus37 mg
Potassium208 mg
Sodium6 mg
Vitamin C12 mg
Thiamin0.011 mg
Riboflavin0.028 mg
Niacin0.31 mg
Vitamin A287 IU
Fatty acids0 g
Cholesterol0 mg

Is Gongura good for health?

Considering its nutritional value, Gongura or Roselle is a wonderful green leafy vegetable that has numerous health benefits. Traditionally, extracts of Gongura or Roselle are used to treat urinary tract infections, cold, and toothaches. It is rich in antioxidants and is believed to protect the Heart.

Knowing about what Gongura is is not enough; you will have to deeply understand in order to learn about the key benefits of Gongura. Some of the health benefits associated with the consumption of Gongura are as follows:

  • It is a homemade remedy for building immunity: Gongura contains Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, which helps in building immunity and appetite of an individual. Vitamin C present in Gongura also helps in preventing and reducing the regular occurrence of cold as well.
  • Gongura promotes digestion and removal of toxins from the body: The seeds of Gongura fruit are popular for its diuretic and tonic properties. The dietary fiber present in Gogura helps in easy movement of food within the body and also helps in regularizing the bowel movements. By regularizing bowel movements, it helps in the prevention of constipation.
  • Helps in building strong bones: The calcium and phosphorus present in Gongura help in building bones and making it strong. Since our body cannot prepare calcium, we will have to depend on food that we eat and other supplements to meet our daily recommended intake of calcium. Including Gogura in your diet, would be of great help when you plan your diet.
  • Acts as a protective shield for your liver: Gongura contains antioxidants in abundance. Antioxidants are known to protect diseases by eliminating free radicals from the body. A study reveals that Gongura leaf extraction helps in the protection of the liver.
  • Helps in strengthening weak gums and teeth: The calcium present in Gongura helps in eliminating gum and teeth related problems and makes them strong.
  • Helps you maintain good health during pregnancy: During the pregnancy phase, women would require 27 milligrams of iron daily. Gongura being rich in Iron can help you meet this required when added to your diet program along with other foods that are rich in Iron. Please Note: Please talk to your doctor before having Gongura
  • Helps in weight loss & weight management: Food rich in carbohydrates are the main reason for weight gain. Gongura helps in the absorption of carbohydrates thereby helping in weight loss and weight management. Research has been made on rats to understand if Gongura can help in adsorption of carbohydrates and has been proved to be positive.
  • Gongura is good for your eyes: Gongura contains Vitamin A which is very beneficial for your eyes. 

Precautions While Consuming Gongura:

Gongura is one of the wonderful leafy vegetables and has multiple health benefits. However, what is good, will remain good if consumed at the right quantity. If the same is consumed excessively, it would result in complications.

Below are a few precautions that have to be taken care while consuming Gongura:

  1. Please talk to your doctor and get it clarified if you can consume Gongura during pregnancy.
  2. Gongura contains Oxalic Acid in excess. Oxalic Acid is one of the main reasons for the kidney stones formation as it combines with Calcium to form Calcium Oxalate. It is advised that people who are prone to Kidney stones or who are advised to reduce the  consumption of oxalate are advised to consume Gongura in moderate quantities and talk to your doctor if you can consume Gongura
  3. While cooking, ensure that you don’t use a vessel made of cast iron or aluminum. Gongura reacts with cast iron or aluminum vessels to produce a metallic flavor thereby making it inedible. 
  4. Gongura is a natural source of iron and has been used to treat anemia in some countries with mixed results. If you have high iron levels, you should avoid using them.

How is Gongura consumed?

There are multiple ways in which Gongura can be consumed and many parts of this easy-to-grow green leafy vegetable are edible. In India, Gongura or Roselle has been included in the diet for long and its leaves are widely consumed. In Andhra and Telangana states of India, its leaves are used and consumed as chutney or pickle or pachadi. It is also consumed in the form of dal curry or tovve as called in Kannada or Pappu as called in Telugu. Gongura leaves can be pickled, steamed, blanched, or grounded to form chutney.

Raw Gongura or Roselle can be used as an accent, but young leaves of Gongura can be wonderfully tossed into salads, making for an amazing sour bite. Gongura is one of the green leafy vegetables that can make you feel energized and refreshed. When it’s cooked, it makes excellent homemade sauces.

Recipe to prepare Gongura Chutney or Pachadi:

Curious to know, How to do yummy Andhra Gongura Chutney? Discover how to prepare Gongura Chutney at home in the step by step procedure detailed below,

Items or Ingredients Required to Prepare Andhra Gongura Chutney or Pachadi:

  1. One Bunch of Gongura Leaves
  2. 2 to 3 Green Chillies
  3. 2 to 3 teaspoons of Red Chilli Powder
  4. 1 teaspoon of Mustard
  5. Half teaspoon of Fenugreek
  6. 2 tablespoons of Oil
  7. Half teaspoon Asafoetida or Hing
  8. Salt to taste

Step 1 – Selection & Cleaning of Gongura Leaves: 

Clean the bunch of Gongura leaves, then separate the leaves from the bunch. When picking out a bunch of Gongura, look for leaves that are bright green and firm. Yellow leaves can be left unused. Rinse the leaves thoroughly in the water and drain it. You can store all the cleaned leaves of Gongura in a cup.

Step 2 – Preparation of Masala Powder:

  • Heat the Kadai on Gas Stove
  • Add 1 teaspoon of fenugreek and mustard along with a half teaspoon of Asafoetida or Hing
  • Dry roast on medium flame by stirring occasionally. Roast until you get the aroma.
  • Dry roasting of fenugreek enhances its aroma and flavor
  • Once roasted, grind it into a fine powder

Step 3 – Cooking of Gongura Leaves:

  • Take Kadai and Heat it by placing on the stove
  • Add 1 tablespoon of oil, wait for the oil to heat up
  • Add cleaned Gongura leaves and 2 to 3 Green Chillies
  • Saute until the color of Gongura leaves change to light brown

Step 4 – Grinding Everything Together:

  • Take the grinder jar
  • Add the roasted masala powder
  • Add Sauteed Gongura leaves & chilies
  • Add 1 tablespoon of Chilli Powder
  • Add salt to taste
  • Grind everything into a fine paste

Step 5 – Final Step of Andhra Gongura Chutney:

  • Take a Kadai, heat it on the stove
  • Add 1 tablespoon of oil
  • Add the grinded paste 
  • Saute for 2 to 3 mins

It’s done, Now you can enjoy eating Gongura Chutney!

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