On my recent visit to India, I learnt quite a few things about Ponnaganti leaves (other names I found are Water Amaranth, Gudrisag, Ponnankani). My MIL says these leaves are comparable to 'Gold', so as to say that these leaves do a lot of good to our body. These leaves are specifically very good for our eyes. Since my MIL comes from a family of Ayurvedic practitioners, she is very well versed in the qualities of many household herbs and spices. She prepares many medicines at home and uses them to treat minor illnesses. I was a little skeptical initially, but I am a 'convert' now, so to say.
Under the able guidance of my MIL, I learnt a few ayurvedic preparations which use some really unknown (to me) herbs. It was quite an interesting learning for me.
Moving on to this recipe, Ponnaganti koora is traditionally prepared with toor dal. And this recipe is a fool proof one and I have tried this many times. Apparently this is an age old recipe handed down to my MIL from her grandmother.
The fresh leaves can be sun dried and used through out the year. I was lucky enough to get some dried leaves. Here is how my MIL prepares..
Ponnaganti leaves chopped finely 4 cups
Toor dal (Kandi Pappu) 1/2 cup
Chilli Powder 1/2 tsp
Coconut powder 3 Tbsp
Peanut Powder 3 Tbsp
Sugar/Grated Jaggery 1 tsp (or as per taste)
Salt as per taste
Seasoning (Oil 2 tsp, Chana dal 2 tsp, Urad dal 2 tsp, Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp, Jeera 1 tsp, 1 Dry Red Chilli and a pinch of Hing )
Method Of Preparation -
In a covered sauce pan, boil the finely chopped ponnaganti leaves and Toor dal with sufficient water.
After the dal is just about cooked and the leaves look cooked too, drain the water and keep the water aside . This water is very nutritious and so please don't throw away the water. Instead make soup out of it or just add little salt and pepper and offer it to kids or drink it yourself! Or this water can be added to rasam or sambar or dal.
Upon cooling, squeeze out the excess water in the dal + ponnaganti leaves.
In a separate sauce pan, add oil and the rest of seasoning and when it is done, add the squeezed out ponnaganti leaves + dal mixture. Fry it a little and add the rest of the powders (Coconut, peanut, chilli).
Add salt to taste and also the grated jaggery or sugar. Mix well and when the curry is dry enough, switch off the flame and the curry is ready to be served! Tastes awesome with rice and ghee!!
Serves 4 adults
Preparation Time 40 min