Ambat Chukka is one interesting green. It looks like spinach/palak and tastes like Gongura but it is neither. In fact, it is unique in its own way. It is tangy, sour, and absoluely versatile to use so read all about this interesting ingredient below.
Spinach dock, Sorrel, Sour spinach ( English Names)
Ambat chuka ( Marathi)
Chukka, Khatta palak (Hindi)
Green Sorrel leaves are small to medium size, light to dark green with a slightly broader base and narrow tip. They are smooth to the touch and have a firm yet tender stem.
Ambat Chukka has a distinctly citrusy, sour/tart taste giving it a very interesting flavour profile.
Though it is available throughout the year, summer is the time when it is readily available in the local markets of Mumbai.
How to purchase and store?
While purchasing sorrel, it is essential to buy bunches with smaller yet firmer green leaves. They should not be discoloured or wilted. Also, note the flavour profile slightly varies based on how tender or old the leaves are.
This leafy vegetable has a short shelf life due to its high moisture content; hence, it is best consumed fresh but can last in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.
Nutrition Benefits of Ambat Chukka
This leafy green is a rich source of fibre, vitamins A, and C, and many other micronutrients thus making it great for the gut, skin, weight loss, etc. On the other hand consuming it mindfully is important due to its high oxalic acid content.
Sorrel has a very versatile culinary usage. You can consume it raw or cooked and here are some ways to consume it-
- Dips and chutneys like pachadi
- Ambat Chukka Dal
- Khatta Bhaji
- Egg-based dishes
- Fish/Meat-based dishes eg beef chukka or fish chukka
Culinary tip: Avoid cooking it in iron or cast iron vessels.
If you have any interesting recipes or have tried this vegetable do share your views/recipes in the comments below.