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Sunday, 10 January 2016

Amla Pickle Recipe


This sweet and sour Amla pickle is a delicious way of preserving the winter fruit and enjoying its health benefits throughout the year. This lip-smacking pickle can be served with any paratha, chapati or Khichadi or dal rice. It gets a spicy kick and bright red color from the red chili powder, a mildly sweet taste from the added jaggery, a tinge of bitterness from the fenugreek and mustard seeds and sourness from the amla (Indian gooseberry). This is an instant pickle made from fresh Indian gooseberries (amla) and we do not need to keep the pickle jars in Sunlight. One can start eating the pickle immediately. The pickle is vegan, onion-garlic free and does not use any artificial color or preservative and the best part is that it is loaded with Vitamin C which helps boost your immunity and metabolism and keeps a number of ailments at bay.

We Indians love pickles and a typical Indian meal stays incomplete without a pickle served by the side. Many fruits and vegetables are pickled and these pickles not only make perfect accompaniments to the main course but also add a spicy flavor and make the food more palatable. Every year during winter months I make a number of pickles from seasonal fruits and veggies. 

                          

What goes into this Amla Pickle?

This amla pickle is my mumma's infallible recipe and i do not dare to change a bit of it. A very simple and easy recipe which can be made within an hour's time from scratch and the best part is that you do not have to wait for days to keep the pickle jar in sunlight before you could have it. Yes, as i said earlier this is an instant pickle and you can start serving your pickle immediately. Let's quickly look at the ingredients. 

Amla / Indian Gooseberry:

You need fresh amla for this recipe. Select a fruit that is medium to large in size, pale green in colour with shiny skin, and without any blemishes or bruises. 1/2 kg of amla (around 14-15 in number) yields around 2 cups ( 1 cup = 250 ml)  of a pickle. You can easily double the recipe. Washed amla is steam cooked, separated into wedges and seeds discarded. We have two large Gooseberry trees growing in our society and i was lucky enough to get a few of the fresh fruits as my share this year. I made this pickle using these beauties. Below is the pic of the tree fully laden with gooseberries.
                                     

Mustard Seeds Dal:

In Maharashtra, mustard seeds dal is easily available in any grocery shop. It is called as Moharichi Dal in Marathi. It is nothing but split and skinned mustard seeds. If you are not able to source it, you can simply grind the mustard seeds coarsely and use it. Do not skip this ingredient as it gives a distinct taste and texture to the pickle.

Jaggery:

Jaggery can be used in grated form or as powder. It balances the spiciness of red chilly powder and sourness of the amla and gives the pickle a mildly sweet taste. I would recommend not to skip this ingredient as well.

Red Chilly Powder:

I have used Kashmiri red chilly powder which is mildly spicy but lends a bright red color to the pickle. You can adjust the amount of chilly powder as per your spice tolerance.

Oil:

Oil here acts as a preservative so do not reduce the amount very much as we are not using any preservative in this pickle. The oil layer should always cover the pickle to ensure it does not turn rancid. In Maharashtra all pickles are made in Groundnut oil. However, you may use any refined oil or even mustard oil for making this pickle.

                            

Turmeric Powder:

Turmeric powder imparts color and taste to the pickle apart from its health benefits.

Hing/ Asafoetida:

Most of the Indian pickles have hing as a flavoring agent. However, you may omit its use to make the pickle gluten-free.

Fenugreek seeds:

Roasted and coarsely ground fenugreek seeds are used in this pickle, though only in a small quantity. It gives a distinct flavor to the pickle. 

Salt:

You can use any salt variety in this pickle. Here i have used salt and red chilly powder in the same quantity.
                                   

Shelf Life:

The pickle stays good at room temperature for about 3-4 months and up to 6 months on refrigeration in an airtight container provided there is always an oil layer above the pickle which acts as a preservative and prevents the pickle from getting rancid. I always keep amla pickle in the refrigerator as the colour of the pickle may darken after a few weeks.


Amla as a superfood:

Amla is an amazing seasonal fruit found in abundance in the Winter season in India. Being packed with Vitamin C and a great source of antioxidants, amla or the Indian Gooseberry contains numerous nutrients that actually help you live a longer and healthier life. It can definitely keep a number of diseases at bay as it is packed with compounds like polyphenols, minerals like iron and zinc and vitamins like carotenes and vitamin B complex. Amla has eight times more vitamin C than an orange, twice the antioxidant power of acai berry and around 17 times that of a pomegranate. The humble Indian gooseberry, commonly known as amla, truly deserves its superfood status. Click here to know more about the health benefits of including Amla in your daily diet.

                                

When in season, I try to include fresh amla in our daily diet in the  form of juice and  Amla Chutney, and to enjoy the benefits of this super fruit throughout the year, i make sure i preserve it in the form of Amla Jam, Amla Candy ( Sun-dried candied gooseberry), and Awala Supari ( Mouth freshener)

This is an old post which i had published in 2016 during my initial blogging days. I have updated this post today with some new pictures and written content but have not changed the recipe. I have many such old posts where the photography is dull and the recipe is not up to the mark. Such posts need to be updated with new pictures and written content. Thanks to Renu, my dear friend, and a fellow blogger who came up with a Facebook group, Foodies_Redoing Old Posts as an initiative, wherein we bloggers can update our old posts with either new pictures or written content or both every two weeks. This is my 9th entry into this event (29th November).
Foodies_RedoingOldPost

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 2 cups pickle

Ingredients: 1 cup = 250 ml
  • 1/2 kg Amla / Indian Gooseberry (14-15 large or 17-20 small )
  • 1/4 Cup Red Chili Powder
  • 1/4 cup Salt
  • 1/4 cup Mustard seed dal
  • 1/4 cup grated Jaggery
  • 2 tbsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp roasted fenugreek seeds / Methi dana powder
  • 1 tsp Hing / Asafoetida
  • 1 1/4 Cup Oil
Method:
  1. Wash the Amla , pat dry and prick all over with fork. Keep them in a colander. Heat up water in a big vessel. Keep the colander of Amla over it and cover it. Let the Amla cook on steam for about 20 minutes. 


      2.  Dry roast the fenugreek seeds on a heated skillet until fragrant. Cool and grind to a powder. Also, let the amla cool down. Now remove seed and make small wedges of the cooked amla.
     3.  In a big vessel first spread the Amla wedges. Now sprinkle the Turmeric powder all over it followed by the Fenugreek powder, Hing , Mustard Seed dal ,Salt and Red Chili powder.
     4. Mix it nicely with a spatula. Now add in the grated Jaggery and mix again. Heat up the oil on a low to medium flame. Do not boil it. Put off the flame and let the oil cool down a bit. Now add this oil to the pickle masala and mix very well. Keep the pickle covered overnight. 
      5. Next day oil will float up. Stir it again and fill in clean and dry glass jars. The oil layer should always cover the pickle in the jar. This pickle stays good at room temperature for about 2-3 months. But color may darken slightly so better to refrigerate.
      6.  This pickle can be eaten immediately and does not require to be kept in sunlight. Serve it with chapati , rice, khichadi or any paratha of your choice. 
                         
     Recipe Notes:
  • Select a fruit that is medium to large in size, pale green in colour with shiny skin, and without any blemishes or bruises to make this pickle.
  • I have used Moharichi dal which is split and skinned mustard seeds. In Maharashtra, mustard seeds dal is easily available in any grocery shop.
  • If you are not able to source it, you can simply grind the mustard seeds coarsely and use it. Do not skip this ingredient as it gives a distinct taste and texture to the pickle.
  • The amount of red chili powder can be reduced as per your spice tolerance. I have used Kashmiri red chili powder which gives a bright red color and is mildly spicy.
  • The pickle stays good at room temperature for about 3-4 months and up to 6 months on refrigeration in an airtight container provided there is always an oil layer above the pickle which acts as a preservative and prevents the pickle from getting rancid. I always keep amla pickle in the refrigerator as the colour of the pickle may darken after a few weeks.
For more pickle recipes from this blog, check out the following, Spicy raw mango pickleBharvan Lal Mirch Ka AcharGreen Chilly PickleInstant Lemon Pickle.

I hope some of you would love to try out this recipe. If you do so, feel free to share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments in the comment section below this post. All your suggestions are also more than welcome. If you like my work and feel it is worth following, do hit the follow button at the top right corner of this blog. Your appreciation means a lot to me. For more recipes and new updates follow us on social media.
                              
                              
                              
                              


10 comments :

  1. I am a sucker for pickles.This amla pickle looks awesome.Lovely share.

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  2. Amla pickle looks so so good, Poonam. Tempted already!

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  3. A few weeks ago made some amla pickle. Your preparation looks so tempting. You're so right such pickles are incomplete without the mustard seed dal. It adds such a distinct flavour to pickles.

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  4. I love pickles and your pics are so so tempting. Amla pickle is even good as it has the goodness of amla. I can enjoy this pickle as a spread on roti's or bread or even mixing in plain steamed rice.

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  5. I'm literally drooling over the picture. Amla pickle looks so delicious and lip smacking.

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  6. Wow ! Nice share Poonam. Pickles are always welcome, they add the zing to the platter. It looks delicious, hope to make it sometime.

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  7. Amma (mom) makes amla pickle in lemon juice only. the steaming process here makes it even more delectable. just got fresh amlas today , will try a small batch of this method soon !

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