It is gooseberry (amla) season, and the sour berries are all over Bangalore. I couldn’t resist picking up some, of course. They found their way into our lunch one day, recently – this beautiful Amla Rice or Nellikai Sadam/Chitranna. We loved it to bits!
Here’s how to make the nellikai sadam!
Ingredients (serves 3-4):
- 1 cup rice (I used Sona Masoori)
- 1/4 cup peanuts
- 1 tablespoon oil
- A pinch of asafoetida
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 2 dried red chillies
- 1 medium-sized onion
- 2 tablespoons fresh grated coconut
- 6 medium-sized fresh gooseberries (amla)
- 2 green chillies
- Salt, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Red chilli powder, to taste
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons dosa milagai podi (I used home-made powder)
- A few stalks of fresh coriander leaves
- Wash the rice well under running water. Pressure cook the rice with 3 cups water, for 3 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally. Allow the rice to completely cool down, and then fluff it up gently. Keep aside.
- Now, we will prep the veggies that you need for the dish. Chop the onions finely. Slit the green chillies length-wise. Grate the gooseberries finely. Chop the coriander finely. Keep aside.
- In a pan, dry roast the peanuts on medium flame till they turn slightly crispy. Keep aside.
- In the same pan, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds, and let them splutter. Add in the peanuts, asafoetida and the dry red chillies. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds.
- Add the chopped onions to the pan. Saute on medium flame till they turn brownish.
- Now, add the grated gooseberries to the pan. Saute on medium flame for a few minutes, or till the raw smell of the gooseberries disappears.
- Add the grated coconut. Saute on medium flame for a couple of minutes.
- Now, add in about 3/4 of the cooked rice, the slit green chillies, salt to taste, sugar, turmeric powder, dosa milagai podi, and red chilli powder (if using). Mix well. Cook on medium flame till everything is well incorporated together. Gently stir intermittently, to ensure that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Check for salt and seasonings, and add more if required. Add more cooked rice if required.
- Switch off the gas and mix in the finely chopped coriander. Serve hot.
- Any cooked rice left over rice can be used to make curd rice or other variety rice dishes.
- Skip the sugar if you don’t like the idea of a little sweetness in your food, but I personally wouldn’t suggest that. The sugar adds a beautiful depth of flavour to the dish.
- Ensure that the cooked rice has completely cooled down, before using it to make this dish. Otherwise, you might end up with a gloopy mess.
- If you have day-old cooked rice left over, you can use it to make this dish, instead of cooking the rice fresh.
- Increase or decrease the quantity of grated coconut, green chillies, red chilli powder, sugar and dosa milagai podi, depending upon your personal taste preferences.
- I used home-made dosa milagai podi to make this dish. You can use store-bought powder instead, too.
- I used Sona Masoori rice. You can use any rice of your choice to make this dish.
You like? I hope you will try this nellikai sadam out, and that you will love it as much as we did!