Instant Amla/Gooseberry Pickle

Lately, I try eating one Amla a day – cut in small slices, boiled in a cup of water mixed with a teaspoon of honey. Reason being, my cousin said that it is extremely good for the hair. As for the mixing honey part, that’s done with a little hope of shedding some weight. Another aunty I know, shared something even more interesting about Amla. She said eating Amla would keep us young forever. Although it may not be entirely true, there should be some element of truth to it!

Here are some interesting facts about Amla that I found on www.organicfacts.net –

The health benefits of the Indian Gooseberry or Amla can be attributed to the high vitamin C content. Amla enhances food absorption, balances stomach acid, fortifies the liver, nourishes the brain and mental functioning, supports the heart, strengthens the lungs, regulates elimination, enhances fertility, helps the urinary system, is good for the skin, promotes healthier hair, acts as a body coolant, flushes out toxins, increases vitality, strengthens the eyes, improves muscle tone and it acts as an antioxidant.

Amla is used in many hair tonics. It enriches hair growth and hair pigmentation. It strengthens roots of hair , maintains color and luster. Eating fresh fruit or applying its paste on hair roots improves hair growth and color. It serves as a very good hair growth booster thereby preventing hair loss.

Hmm… May be that aunty was entirely right 😉

Let’s get to the pickling now! I love pickles! I cannot imagine having rice without a dollop of pickle. Yes! You heard me right – a dollop! I can just have it like a side dish no matter how chilly hot it is. Despite my love affair with pickles, I never dared to prepare one on my own. For some reason, I always thought only grannies possessed that secret art and patience to go through the entire process of sun drying it and soaking it in salt and what not!

But a couple of days back I came across this recipe. I couldn’t believe how easy the procedure was. The very next morning I went to the vegetable market and bought some very fresh amlas and last evening I tried out the recipe. It has turned out so delicious. It’s amazing how a little spice and oil can elevate the taste and flavor of a simple fruit!

Do try it out and enjoy it with sambar/parrupu/rasam/curd rice!

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Ingredients

  • 30 Amlas/Indian Gooseberries
  • 8 Dry red chillies
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 2 tbsp Gingelly oil
  • A big pinch of Asafoetida
  • Salt to taste

Makes 2 cups (approx)

Method

  • In a medium vessel, boil water (enough to cover the amlas little over an inch) with a pinch of salt and the turmeric powder.
  • As the water boils, add the amlas one by one carefully. Boil for 5 mins, turn off stove and drain the water.
  • Once the amlas cool down, slice them small.
  • In the meantime, dry roast the red chillies and fenugreek seeds. Grind it into a fine powder and keep aside.
  • In a frying pan, pour oil. When the oil is hot enough, temper the mustard seeds and asafoetida.
  • When the mustard seeds splutter, add the sliced amlas, the chilly/fenugreek powder and extra salt as required. Mix them well.
  • Cook the amlas for an hour on low flame, sauteing it at regular intervals (this increases the pickle’s shelf life as the water content in the amlas are reduced!).

Storage – Once cool, refrigerate the pickle in an airtight jar

Recipe adapted from Uma’s Kitchen Experiments.

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