Come winter, Indian vegetable and fruit markets are flooded with different cultivars of gooseberries coinciding with Deepavali and Uttana Dwadashi festivals. In India gooseberry /amla is considered sacred and worshiped along with Tulsi the holy basil. Lamps carved out of gooseberries are lit and daily menu will include gooseberry preparation during this season. Amla is a component of versatile triphala - used in Ayurvedic medicine. Gooseberry is consumed as a traditional practice every fortnight after fasting by certain communities in Southern India.
Indian gooseberry (nellikai in Southern India) is used in various forms - pickles, jams, sun dried, candies, powder, juice etc.
I love gooseberry for its unique taste - sour, bitter sweet all rolled into one - and try to use it as many preparations as possible, nellikai chutney, nellikai rice, nelli chettu saaru and so on. Using seasonal fruits and vegetables in cooking is a simple but sure way of reaping the benefits nature offers.
Posted here is a very refreshing , simple nellikai curd preparation that can be paired with ven pongal/khara pongal. It tastes as great even with simple steamed rice as well.

  • Ease - very 
  • Preparation time - 5 min 
  • Cooking time - 10 min
  • Gooseberries - 3 big sized 
  • Fresh curd - 1 cup 
  • Grated coconut - 1/2 cup 
  • Cumin - 1 spoon 
  • Green chillies - 1 
  • Asafoetida - 3-4 grains 
  • Salt - to taste 
  • Ghee - 1/2 spoon 
  • Mustard - 1/2 spoon 

  • Coarsely grind gooseberries, coconut, chillies, cumin, asafoetida 
  • Add curd and salt to taste keep aside 
  • Heat ghee in a wok, add mustard let it crackle, add curry leaves 
  • Add curry mustard seasonig to curd and ground berry mix 
  • Stir gently and serve

Tips and Notes
  • If fresh goose berries are out of season use dried gooseberry 
  • Use fresh curd - sour curd will chnage the flavour and taste 
  • This dish is a very good accompaniment with ven pongal, Ghee rice (nai sadam) 
Health Benefits
Amla improves food absorption, balances stomach acid, enhances the liver health, nourishes the brain and mental functioning, supports the heart, strengthens the lungs, regulates elimination of free radicals. Amla helps in improving vitality and fertility, efficient functioning of urinary system, improved skin health, promotes growth of healthier hair, is a body coolant, flushes out toxins, improves sight and muscle tone and is an excellent antioxidant.


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