Sundried sweet amla candy and the salted tangy amla supari are very good methods of preserving the fruit. These can then be used as mouth fresheners and appetizers. Every year ma used to make them in winter and all through the year we would munch on them. I learned from her and began making my own version.
I know I am going overboard with amla recipes but then this fruit deserves such attention. A potent source of Vitamin C ,it helps our body’s immune system, digestive system and is good whichever way you eat it. In Ayurveda Amla is used to make many preparations including the well known chyawanprash. This bright green translucent fruit is full of other nutrients too. You can Google to look them up.
Beginning from October fresh amla is easily available in markets. This is the time to eat it raw in chutney, or with salt. You can add it to many dishes ( daal, rice, tamdi, veggies, salads, juices, squash etc) or make a jam or pickle it, make a preserve in honey. Even make candy or salted mouthfreshener or mukhwas, like we will make today. My son thinks I am obssesed with it. Maybe I am, it is a key to good health and helps to detox the body among other things. 😀
To make the Amla mukhwas/supari/appetizer take fresh unblemished fruit when it is in season. Wash it properly and pat dry. Now grate the fruit and keep aside.
In a plate mix rock salt, table salt, ajwain (carrom seeds), asafoitida and mix properly. Add this to the grated amla along with little ginger juice and lemon juice. (250 gm grated amla, 1 inch ginger juice, 1 tablespoon carom seeds, juiceof 1/2 a lemon, 1 teaspoon teaspoon table salt, 1 teaspoon rock salt (leveled).
Keep this in sunlight for 5-6 days. The drying time will depend on the amount of sunlight and heat it gets. Once the grated fruit changes colour , shuffle it so that it is properly dried.
The wedges you see is the Amla candy which is sweet. I will give a quick recipe for that too at the end of this post.
After 6 days the tangy amla mothfreshener/ appetizer/supari is ready to eat.
You can eat it in this shredded form or make small size balls. I prefer it like this.
The darker ones are from last winter.
It is a unique experience to have a taste tangy supari and then the sweetness that lingers in your mouth if you drink water just after having it. It is a good digestive aid too. They are so easy to make I have now stopped buying them. Do try.
This sweet dry Amla Candy is highly addictive and I eat 5-6 at a tme daily. This one in the pic is gifted by someone. I still have to make the candy for this season but it closely looks the same as the recipe is the same. To make this tongue tickling candy you will need 1/2 kg Indian Gooseberry, 100 gm Rock candy or mishri Or granulated sugar. (Rock candy is better than sugar for health reasons but these were made with granular sugar), 1 teaspoon Ginger juice, 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
Boil/ steam the Amla and separate the wedges. Throw the seed. Dry these wedges for some hours in the sun so that all the water evaporates.
In an air tight bottle place these wedges of amla, add ginger and lemon juice, stir and add the sugar on top. (If using rock candy or misri , crush the misri and add the powder on top of the amla wedges). Tightly close the lid and keep the bottle in sun for a few days till the wedges settle at the bottom. You will notice that once the sugar melts it has turned into a syrup. Open and stir the mixture with a clean dry spoon so that the sugar is properly dissolved. In 5-6 days of good sunlight they will soak up all the sugar. ( we did it with the Amla Honey preserve too )
Once the wedges have settled at the bottom open the lid and strain the wedges in a bowl. Use the syrup to make amla sorbet.
Now let the amla wedges stay in the strainer till all the water is drained from them.
Take them out in a thali/ plate and dry them completly in the sun. Dry them completely.
Once they are dry, chewy and brown in colour, rub in some powdered sugar or powdered rock candy (misri). Let them dry some more in the heat of the sun.
Your amla candy is ready to eat. Store in an airtight container and enjoy the goodness of amla all through the year.
You can make it chatpata or tangy by adding roasted cumin powder, rock salt, fennel powder etc. It will have a darker brown colour..
If the fruit is dried properly it will stay for a long time.
Enjoy them and do let me know if you make these.