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Sour leaves are a vibrant green in color and either are red stemmed or green stemmed. The red stemmed variety has a stronger sour flavor whereas the green stemmed variety boasts a more mild tartness. Sour leaves are a popular ingredient in southern India and are best pickled, blanched, tempered or ground into a paste and then added to stews or curries.
Sour leaves are available year-round in tropical climates.
Sour leaves can be botanically classified under the Hibiscus sabdariffa or Hibiscus cannabinus genus, depending on the variety. Sour leaves are also known as Gongura and chin baung ywet.