Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Nellikka Achar-Gooseberry pickle

Botanical name-Phyllanthus emblica

English-Indian Gooseberry

Nellikka, the best rejuvanator of Ayurveda has excellent healing properties. Fresh nellikka has the power to slow down the ageing and has better cooling effect in our body. Its the main ingredient in 'Chywana prasa'. The tree is known as 'Nelli' in Malayalam.
This round glowing green fruits are my favourite in school days. We had an experiment with its fruit to taste the water sweet after eating the fruit. This maybe because of its bitter taste, the water will be more sweeter.
An adage (pazhanjollu) related to nellikka in malayalam is
'Moothavar chollum muthu nellikka adyam kaykum pinne madhurikkum'
Means that the advices given by elders will feel bitter first and then it becomes sweet.
A treatment for psychatric problems in Ayurveda is 'Nellikka thalam' . According to Ayurveda it cools the body. They used it in dried form also.
Children doesn't like its bitter taste. It has 10 times more Vitamin C than an Orange. This is a precious fruit with rich vitamins. I have heard that the Vitamin C content of Nellikka will not diminish after cooking. Its nice news because of its sourness children will not eat it. We can give them nellikka pickles, it may be accepted. My inlaws always make nellikka arishtam/nellikka vine. I am trying to post the recipe of that home made medicine.

Pickles are an inevitable part of our life. We make pickles with whatever we get. Every home two or three glass bottles filled with pickles. I always make nellikka achar/gooseberry pickle. 'Nellikka uppilittathu' is a nice combination for kanji. My inlaw's use the kanthari for this preparation. When we pickle we have to add some more salt because after some days the pickle will become more sour than we expect.

This recipe is from my Amma who is a veteran pickle maker. In my college days, she was very busy with making various types of pickles, Chammanthi podi, Avalos podi, aval vilayichathu and snacks. Dedicating this post to my lovely amma

Recipe for Indian Gooseberry pickle/Nellikka Achar



Vattal mulaku-2

Gingelly oil-2 table spoons

Mustard seeds-1/4 tea spoons

Pickle powder -5 table spoons

Salt-As per the taste

First wash the nellikka well in running water. Cook them in a vessel with enough water. After 5-10 minutes take all the nellikka from the vessel, after cooling cut them into small pieces. That water in the vessel can be used in the last stage.

In our home we don't use vinegar in pickles. Instead of that we use Gingelly oil.

In a pan heat the gingelly oil and add mustard seeds . When the mustard seeds begin to splutter add the vattal mulaku and curry leaves. Then add the garlic pieces and fry it till brown then add the pickle powder I used the 'Eastern pickle powder', stir well. After some time there will be a slight colour change to the pickle powder then add the nellikka pieces. Stir continuously and then add the water to it. Switch off the stove when the pickle starts to boil. If you are too concious about the aroma we can add a pinch of Asafoetida poder to it. After thorough cooling pour the pickle into air tight bottles. Refrigerate only after 8 days. It will be a nice accompaniment for rice.

If you are interested to know more about the nutritional benefits of Amla. This link may be helpful to you.


  1. very nice blog ashwathi. Unlike other food blogs you got all sorts of information about the recipe you put... Very informative....

  2. Thanks jayasree for yr sincere comments. Its not fair to say a formal thanks to a friend like you. But its really from my heart....