Pickles!!! They make me drool 😀 . Finally, after quite some time I succeeded in making this nellikai/amla/gooseberry pickle. I can never stop myself from buying gooseberry at the stores every single time I come across them.
And then by the time I look up and decide on a recipe, they go bad. The nutrition profile of amla is what tempts me into buying it every time.
It has been used as medicine in Ayurveda for thousands of years. Amla has a whole lot of vitamins and minerals and is considered a superfruit. It is a unique fruit that has the 3 tastes of sour, sweet, and bitter all in one.
Amla contains abundant amounts of vitamin C apart from vitamins A & E. It also contains good amounts of the minerals iron and calcium apart from antioxidants, polyphenols, alkaloids, and flavonoids, and fiber. More reads at WebMD.
The most common dishes that we come across in India with gooseberry/amla are Pickles and murabbas. Amla is also heated up with coconut oil to make hair oil. It effectively treats premature greying of hair.
The basic amla pickle recipe I learned from one of my neighbor aunties a long time back. The first time I made this pickle I did not even get to taste it as my family finished it off even before it matured 🙂 .
I have come a long way after that, knowledgeable enough to modify a recipe and add my own touch to it. So now, this is how I make it. Yet another one without preservatives.
Do try it and you are going to love it. It will be good on the countertop for quite some time, but if you are making large quantities move to the refrigerator after 15 days.
This will be my first recipe with this wonder fruit. Will be coming up with a lot more later.
Over to the recipe…
Please note that this article may contain affiliate links. That means I may make a commission if you click and buy, at no additional cost to you. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.
Nellikai Pickle / Gooseberry Pickle recipe
- 250 g Gooseberry (Big Indian Gooseberry)
- 2+2 tbsp sesame oil/til oil/nallennai (or as needed)
- 8 cloves garlic
- 4 dry red chillies
- a gooseberry sized ball of tamarind
- 1 tbsp rock salt
- 1 tsp jaggery
- ¼ tsp hing/perungayam/asafoetida powder
- water as needed
- juice of 1 lemon
To dry roast and powder
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- ½ tsp methi/fenugreek seeds
- Wash the gooseberry and wipe it with a cloth or tissue paper. Soak the tamarind in half a cup of water.
- Dry roast the mustard and methi seeds for a few minutes in low flame, till the mustard turns whitish and the methi starts browning.
- Cool this down and powder it in a motor and pestle. Add the garlic pods to this powder and roughly crush them.
- Grind the tamarind, the whole red chillies and the salt in a mixer to a smooth paste using the water in which the tamarind was soaked.
- In an earthenware pan, heat up 2 tbsp of sesame oil. Shallow fry the gooseberry in batches for a few minutes till it mildly browns up on the surface. Keep aside.
- In the same oil add crushed mustard-methi-garlic mix and give it a good stir.
- Add the ground paste, and the hing, turmeric powder, and jaggery.
- When it comes to a boil add the fried gooseberries and curry leaves.
- Taste test, balance the spices, and let it cook till oil separates. Add the lemon juice just before turning off the stove.
- Cooldown and transfer to a glass or ceramic container preferably. Let it mature for at least a week before consuming, but I bet it's not going to last that long.
- The addition of spices is up to personal preference. You can add red chilly powder while adding the other powders if you feel the spice level is low.
- Add more or less lemon juice as needed.
- There should be oil floating on top of the pickle to prevent molding. If there is not enough oil, heat up 1-2 tbsp of sesame oil and pour on top.
- Always use a clean dry spoon to serve pickles. Moisture will spoil the pickle quickly.
- Adding a bit of jaggery enhances the flavors in the pickle.
Do look up my other pickles