Friday, September 10, 2021

Gonkura Dal / Gonkura Pappu

Gonkura dal/pappu is tangy, spicy dal based curry using gonkura leaves aka Indian sorrel leaves. This curry is amazing and is comforting when served with rice. This is a popular dal in southern India. Gonkura or Indian sorrel leaves have a tangy taste and because of its sourness, it is called Pulicha Keerai in Tamil. So, with its sour taste, this can be used to cook yummy dals, pickles, rice etc. 

This dal/pappu is made using the gonkura leaves and has an amazing taste. It is easy to make and satisfying to eat with rice. The sourness is balanced with the dal and chili peppers. Adjust the heat with chilies as per your taste. I have added peanuts though it is optional. One of my friend makes with peanuts and I fell in love with the soft nutty bite in this dal. When mixed with rice, this healthy, nutritious, and protein rich dal with peanuts tastes out of the world.

Though it is best served with rice, we love it with chapathi too. Dals are always comforting and pair great with rice and roti. This dal with added greens (gonkura leaves) tastes perfect with chapathi too. Try this and you won't be disappointed too. This is amazing that I serve with plain cooked oats too. If you are thinking to make a low carb meal, this dal can be thinned and served as soup with keto breads.

It is easy to grow gonkura. Just plant the stems after using the leaves on ground or in pot and water regularly. It grows vigorously and with every trim, it branches out more. It yields more. If you have four to six plants, you will get a regular supply that could be shared with friends and neighbors.

In our Blogging Marathon event, I am sharing posts for "Cooking with Greens". Gonkura dal or pappu is a comfort food with rice and am sharing the same for this event. I am also linking this to Thursday Favorite Things, Full Plate Thursday, and Sundays on Silverado.

I love greens and they are wonderful to make appetizers, soups, sides and can be added even in main dishes. Xaak vada or Keerai Vada is a delicious and popular fried snack made with amaranth greens. Spinach or palak can be added to baked appetizers like in Panela Tarts which is a crowd pleaser. Check the blog for more recipes using greens.

serves 4 to 8 

Gonkura leaves - 4 cup, medium packed
Toor dhal - 3/4 cup
Salt - 1.5 tsp
Serrano peppers - 1-2, slit and halved
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Peanuts - 1/3 cup
Water - 3.5 to 4 cups

Oil / ghee - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Hing - 1/8 tsp
Dried red chillies - 4-6
Curry leaves - optional


Pressure cook the dal (with turmeric and 2 cups water) and peanuts (with 1/2 cup water) for three whistles and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan on medium flame for tempering. Add the red chilies and mustard, when it splutters add the split urad dal and green chilies. Fry until the dal turns golden brown. Add asafetida.

Next, add the chopped gonkura leaves to the pan and sauté till it completely reduces and is a bit cooked, for about 5 minutes.

Add the cooked peanuts and dal. 

Add about one to one and a half cups water, salt, and simmer for five minutes. Adjust the consistency and salt as per your requirements.

Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve with steaming rice or roti.


  1. Love the addition of peanuts here. And we love adding greens in our dal too. Great way to incorporate greens. I wish I could grow gongura here. Nicely done.

  2. I haven’t tasted these leaves , but any greens added to dal will definitely be nutritious .The dal sounds delicious with a good protein punch.

  3. This dal looks excellent..we make it little different. Will try this sometime..and also your mention of planting it back is good, never thought of it...thanks..:)

  4. Gongura is a precious commodity for us here and we love dal, pickle, chutney, curry or rice made with these tangy leaves. Gongura dal looks very tempting.

  5. This is such a classic dal. Though I get the leaves locally, they lack the flavor, to which we are used to back in India and I terribly miss it.