With the kind of beautiful gooseberries you get in the market these days, it would be a sin not to pickle them! I absolutely had to get some home and make this nelikkai urugai aka amla pickle.
There’s something charming about old-fashioned, home-made pickle. It adds a very special touch to ordinary meals, I think, specially so if it is made with seasonal produce like this. This gooseberry pickle adds life to a bowl of curd rice, and spices up roti-sabzi like very few other things can. Try it out!
Here is the very simple way in which we make gooseberry pickle in our family.
Ingredients (yields about 1 cup of gooseberry pickle):
- 6-7 medium-sized gooseberries (amla)
- Salt, to taste
- Red chilli powder, to taste
- 1 teaspoon + 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi)
- 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 7-8 fresh curry leaves
1. Wash the gooseberries and pat dry with a cotton cloth. Place them in a vessel.
2. Take about 1 cup water in a pressure cooker bottom, and place a stand on it. Place the vessel with gooseberries on top of the stand, to ensure that no water will enter it. Close cooker and place on gas. Pressure cook on high flame for 5 whistles. Let pressure release naturally.
3. Dry roast 1 teaspoon mustard and 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek in a pan on medium heat, till they slightly change colour. Ensure the ingredients do not burn. Transfer to a plate, and let the ingredients cool down completely.
4. When all pressure from the cooker has been released, remove the gooseberries onto a plate and let them cool till they are cool enough to handle. Press the gooseberries slightly, and they will separate into segments. Discard the seeds, and place the segments in a large mixing bowl.
5. In a mixer, grind the roasted mustard and fenugreek into a powder. Spread this powder evenly over the gooseberry segments in the mixing bowl.
6. Add salt and red chilli powder to taste, asafoetida and turmeric powder to the gooseberry segments in the mixing bowl.
7. Heat the oil in a pan and add 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds. Let them splutter. Switch off gas, and add the curry leaves. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds. Now, add the hot oil with mustard and curry leaves to the mixing bowl.
8. Mix the ingredients in the mixing bowl gently with a clean, dry spoon. Let the pickle cool down completely before transferring to a clean, dry bottle. Keep the bottle at room temperature for a day, and then in refrigerator. The nelikkai urugai aka gooseberry pickle stays well for 6-7 days.
- Make sure you keep a stand in the pressure cooker, below the vessel you place the gooseberries in. This will ensure that no water comes into contact with the gooseberries, which helps in improving the shelf life of the pickle.
- Choose fresh gooseberries that are firm, without any dents or spots.
- Some people omit the curry leaves, and you could do the same too. I like adding them, though.
- This nelikkai urugai aka amla pickle is ready to be consumed the day after you make it. That is when the spices have soaked quite a bit into the gooseberries, softening them further.
- Use only a clean, dry spoon whenever you consume the amla pickle.
- A dash of jaggery can also be added, to enhance the taste of the nelikkai urugai.
You like? I hope you will try out this nelikkai urugai (gooseberry pickle/amla pickle), and that you will love it, too!