I found good quality Alma in the local market and bought a large amount to pickle, preserve and use it in other dishes including chutney. Indian gooseberry jam has just the right sweet and sour taste that I enjoy. I added three very sweet Indian red delicious kinnaur apples to the jam to reduce the amount of added sugar. All of my jams and jellies have natural fruit pectin. I avoid the commercial one. I do not use preservative either.
This is a simple recipe that stays well for a long time. I don’t add apples to this jam usually but instead of making apple jam this time I thought of combining the two with a hint of cinnamon, some fresh ginger & zest of lemon. Oh boy ! the result was simply superb. It tastes awesome with toasts, muffins etc.
Here is an easy step by step recipe for the Indian Gooseberry Jam
Indian Gooseberry (Amla) – 1/2 kg
Apples – 3 medium (optional)
Sugar – 400 gm ( depends on how sour the amla is so adjust accordingly)
Grated ginger – 1/2 teaspoon
Juice & Zest of one small lemon
Cinnamon powder – 2-3 pinches
Clove – 3-4
Water – to cook
Wash and steam the Indian gooseberry or amla till they become soft. You can boil them or pressure cook. I kept a vegetable steamer in the cooker and give 2 whistles.
Remove the fruit in a plate and allow to cool.
Separate the fruit into wedges and throw away the pits.
Wash, peel, core and chop the apples (if using).
In a heavy bottom pan add the fruits, lemon zest, grated ginger and the spices along with water. The fruit needs to be totally immersed in water. (Approx half a liter)
Cook it on medium low heat and stir frequently till the fruits break down and resembles nice chunky amla/apple sauce.
You can pass it through a sieve at this point or leave it a little chunky as i did. Just mash it properly with a vegetable masher. You can remove the cloves while mashing. I often use clove powder so that the spice is not wasted.
Stir in the sugar. The mixture will become a little watery at this point. Don’t worry and keep stirring till it comes to boiling point. Keep the heat medium.
(Be careful as the mixture boils and bubbles. Depending on the size of your pot/pan it may splash.)
Squeeze the lime juice now and stir. Keep the heat low.
Remove all the froth that floats to the top.
Cook for some more time.
Do a plate test at this stage. ( Chill a plate beforehand. Drop some jam in the center of the plate and prod gently, if the jam wrinkles on prodding it’s done. If it flows or is saucy then cook a little more. Test again till you get the right texture.
Turn off the heat and let it come to room temperature.
Keep the sterilized jars ready for canning. I simply wash the jars with hot water and dry them completely before using.
Spoon the jam in the jars and close the lids tightly. Stirlization of jars is essential if you are storing jams/jellies for a longer period.
I make small batches so avoid the process.
Always use clean dry spoon for serving.
Enjoy the Indian Gooseberry jam with hot crisp toasts, rotis (flat breads), crackers, any of the swiss or french breads.
*Adding apple is optional. The jam will need a bit more sweetness. You can add honey or more sugar. I want to make it with unrefined sugar too. I think it should work fine. Give it a try and let me know the result.
Sweetness remnds me of jam filled cup cakes I had somewhere. Have you tried making them at home?