Monday, May 9, 2016

Gooseberry pickle/ Nellikaayi Uppinakaayi/ Amla Achaar ~~South Indian recipes

A tasty, spicy and tangy side for our scrumptious meals, Indian Gooseberry pickle is one of the easiest pickles to make this summer.

Summer is meant for Sundried food prepared and stored for the rest of the year; Papads, Pickles, Fryums, salted and dried mangoes and others. We usually make rice papads, Mango and gooseberry pickles, Sago papads, Jackfruit papads and loads and loads of foods that are stored and eaten in chilly and rainy days. My MIL makes all of these and I get to eat all these when I visit for Ganesh Chaturthi every year. She also packs most of these for us so I have never ever prepared any pickles or papads. This time, I wanted to try my hands on at least few of papads and pickles and the theme for our Blog hop was just perfect.

Mango pickle is the most and very commonly prepared pickle in summer and every region has it's own variant. For example, Mango pickle from Udupi tastes very much different from the Mango pickle from Andhra Pradesh. We have many variants from different places inside our state and this is the recipe from my MIL's sister Sharada atte. I am using her recipe for this pickle instead of the mango pickle. Indian Gooseberries are usually found growing in tiny trees around our houses in my native. They are tiny compared to the ones we buy in market yet they taste almost the same.

Indian gooseberry is one of the healthiest foods that is very rich in Vitamin c. We consume Amla juice with our green tea every day since it contains numerous health benefits. As soon as my little princess turned 8 months, I also prepared Amla chyavanprash to give to her as per the advise from my grandma. Since we are already talking about health benefits, I will just mention few of those benefits to make this post complete.

Hair care: Amla is used in many hair tonics because it enriches hair growth and hair pigmentation. It strengthens the roots of hair, maintains color, and improves luster.
Eye Care: Drinking Gooseberry juice with honey is good for improving eyesight, and studies have shown it to improve nearsightedness and cataracts, while reducing intra-ocular tension.
Calcium Absorption: Calcium is an essential component of our bones, teeth, and nails, and also ensures that we have beautiful lustrous hair.
Diabetes: Gooseberry contains chromium, which has a therapeutic value for diabetic patients. Indian Gooseberry stimulates the isolated group of cells that secrete the hormone insulin, thereby reducing blood sugar in diabetic patients and keeping their body balanced and healthy.
Digestion: Alma is very high in fiber, like most fruits. Fiber adds bulk to the stool and helps food move through the bowels and keeps your bowel movements regular.
Heart Disease: As mentioned above, gooseberry strengthens the heart muscles, so the heart pumps blood smoothly throughout the body.
Infection: Due to its antibacterial and astringent attributes, Indian Gooseberries protect the body against infection and improves the body’s immune response.
Anti-Aging: Amla prevents health-related hyperlipidaemia by reducing the amount of free radicals in the body through its antioxidant qualities.  [Source:]


Indian Gooseberry/ Amla 500 grams
Salt 1 cup
Mustard seeds divided 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds 1/4 teaspoon
Cumin seeds 2 tablespoons
Asafoetida divided 1 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder 1 teaspoon
Cloves 10
Red chillies (Byadagi) 25
Mustard oil 1 cup

Wash the Gooseberries well and spread them on a clean muslin cloth till they are completely dry.

Choose a clean and dry glass jar. Put all the DRY gooseberries in the jar and add the salt. Mix well. Cover it airtight and keep it. Mix once or twice everyday by shaking the jar a little or with a completely dry ladle.

This is the picture of the jar on the third day. The salt is completely dissolved and the gooseberries look dull and pale, soaking up the salt.

This is the sixth day picture. They have released the juices and it is perfectly balanced with the tang and salty taste.
Once the juices are released, you can make the masala to add. Dry roast all the ingredients listed one by one in the given order and let them cool completely. [Except for oil + 1 tsp Mustard seeds + 1/2 tsp asafoetida]. Let them cool completely.
Heat the oil, heat it till it starts fuming and add mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds starts to splutter, add asafoetida and remove from flame. Set it aside and let it cool completely.

Meanwhile, powdered the dry roasted ingredients to a coarse powder.

Add the powder to the gooseberry mixture and mix well. Once the oil has cooled down, add it on the pickle mixture and mix. Cover airtight and serve when needed.

* Make sure the utensils are all completely dry while using to make this pickle.
* The pickle tastes best 4-5 days after the masala is added.
* Do cut back on salt and chillies as per your taste preference.

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