Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Nellikai/Indian Gooseberry/Amla thokku

One of my first memories of my mother telling me to eat a particular food that is "very good for me" is Amla/nellikkai/Indian gooseberry. She used to insist that I at least give it a chance since it has good medicinal values. Now after so many years I find myself repeating the same thing to my daughter, albeit, with more evidence from scientific research. My favourite way to eat these otherwise tart, some what astringent and sweet all at the same time is in the form of thokku/pickle. Of course, Anjalie likes it too but I take out her "thokku" before I add chilli powder and keep it mild for her. For the benefits of these gooseberries please refer to

You will need:
Nellikkai/amla/Indian gooseberries- 10 nos
2 tbsp sesame oil/cooking oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek/methi/vendayam seeds powder
1/8 tsp asfoetida
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp of red chilli powder (adjust to taste and omit for children)
10 curry leaves
salt to taste

Wash and boil the berries in salted water for 8-10 mins until soft. Cool and peel out the pegs, removing and discarding the seeds. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds splutter, add powdered methi/fenugreek seeds, asfoetida and turmeric powder and cook for one minute. Add curry leaves and the berries and 1 tsp hot red chilli powder (skip for children) and salt (adjust according to taste). Cook well for a 1-2 mins. Cool and store in clean airtight jar.

The thokku goes well with any South Indian food. But my personal favourite is Yogurt/curd-rice and amla pickle. Anjalie loves this with her dal and rice. But remember to skip the chilli powder for children.

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