Saturday 13 December 2014

Gooseberry Pickle (நெல்லிக்காய் ஊறுகாய்)

Traditionally both Indian gooseberry (காட்டு நெல்லிக்காய்) and star gooseberry (அரி நெல்லிக்காய்) are used in Brahmin cuisine, mainly to make pickles and pachadi. Indian gooseberry is larger and firmer than star gooseberry, and is best suited to make pickles. Gooseberry is rich in vitamin C, anti-oxidants and minerals. Traditionally gooseberries are used for skin and hair care. In Ayurveda, Indian gooseberry or amla is used to treat indigestion, constipation and cough. It is believed to reduce blood sugar. You can easily make gooseberry pickle at home and let’s see how. 

Indian gooseberries
Indian gooseberry (காட்டு நெல்லிக்காய்) – 2 teacups or 400ml (approximately 12no)
Red chilli powder – ½ small hollow ladle or 25ml measure (adjust to taste)
Sesame oil – 2 tablespoons
Salt – to taste
Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
Asafoetida – a generous pinch
Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon

Method: Wash the gooseberries and drain the water completely. Heat a teaspoon of sesame oil in a kadai and fry the gooseberries lightly for a minute. Then add 1 tumbler (200ml) of water and bring it to boil. Switch off the stove and close the kadai with a lid. Allow it to stay for 30 minutes. Later remove the seeds from the gooseberries. You can easily separate the flesh along the lines on the surface of the fruit with your hands.
Gooseberry Pickle (நெல்லிக்காய் ஊறுகாய்)
Place the gooseberry pieces in a dry jar. Add salt, turmeric powder, asafoetida and red chilli powder. Mix well.  Heat sesame oil in a tadka pan/ spice pan (தாளிக்கிற கரண்டி), add mustard seeds and when they start to sputter switch off the stove. Add the seasoning to the pickle. Allow the pickle to stand for a day before using. 

How to care for the pickle: Store the pickle in an air tight jar or bottle. Always use dry spoon for handling the pickle. Mix the pickle well with a dry spoon once every day.

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