Recipe – Indian Gooseberry |Amla Chutney With Peanuts


Indian gooseberries | Amla | Nellikai, dried or fresh, pickled or raw, I like them in any form. Apart from the usual culinary uses Amla also plays a major role in traditional Indian medicines. Unique in flavour, this lovely neon green fruit is in abundance. The ripe ones have a lovely golden yellowish hue. I have also seen some with a pink tinge or rusty-red, even white.

Though it is exceptionally tart and astringent, the water tastes sweet after a bite or two of this fruit. I love eating it raw with little sprinkle of cayenne pepper and salt. One has to develop a taste for it to eat raw but one can use it splendidly in chutneys, jams, murrabas (preserves), candies or grate it and add to vegetables, rice, daal, soups. salads too. Amla juice is considered very beneficial for many diseases and for cleansing the toxins from the body. Add amla to any of the fresh fruit juices to enhance its taste and nutritional value. The fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin C (100gm of amla has approx 600mg of Vitamin C, over 240% RDI). One berry may contain Vit C of two oranges. That’s a lot.

The fruit pairs well with many of the fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. The classic green chutney with mint/coriander and amla is part of dialy meals across India.

When choosing the fruit, always pick the ones which are not bruised, taut and full to get maximum flavour.

I love to make chutneys of various kinds and you can use amla in a variety of chutneys. This one is with roasted peanuts. You can use soaked raw peanuts too. I prefer the roasted flavour. I didn’t know that peanuts weren’t actually nuts but were part of legumes like beans and that boiling peanuts increases its disease fighting compounds.

Peanuts are heart friendly and I love them in all forms. From simply roasted/boiled/ salted/unsalted ones for munching to adding them in various recipes or even those coated in jaggery. Remind me to make peanut brittle or moongphali ki patti. yummiest thing ever. A few days back I made the first batch of peanut butter and it is vanishing rapidly.

To make Amla Peanut chutney you will need :

Handful of shelled, roasted or soaked peanuts

Raw Amla – 1-2 medium size

Chopped coriander greens –  about 1/2 cup

Garlic pods – 3-4

Ginger – 1/2 inch

Green chilli – 2-3 ( as per taste and hotness)

Salt – as required

Ingredients in a grinder

Ingredients in a grinder

Method : 

You can soak the peanuts in drinking water and use them with the papery skin they have. I roasted the shelled peanuts on low heat till they gave out the toasty aroma. Once roasted, remove the skin by rubbing the peanuts between the palms of your hands. Use peanuts that are clean, not bruised or blemished or broken. Remember to use a handful to roast any nut. Nuts don’t like to be crowded. If you put a large amount they won’t get roasted equally and burn too.

Wash and cut the Amla in wedges. Remove the grape like pit. Chop green chillies, ginger and garlic roughly.

Add all the ingredients in a grinder with a bit of water to make a smooth paste. I do not like the chutneys to be very smooth so I leave them a bit grainy ensuring that the ingredients have grinded properly.

Spoon the chutney in bowl and squeeze some lime over it (half a lime).

Amla Peanut Chutney

Serve it with almost anything. Use it as spreads for sandwiches like I did or pair it with sooji / besan ka cheela.

The chutney goes well with everything.

Two Tangy Recipes With Indian Gooseberry (Amla) – Green Chutney and Pickle


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I thought of listing the enormous health benefits and nutrients that make this tangy fruit one of my personal favorites but then I thought I will just give a link here Know 50 Health benefits of Amla  . This posts tells almost everything and for more there is always mother Google. 😀

Did you ever eat raw  Amla and had water over it? If yes, then you must be remembering the natural sweetness it gave to water.  As a kid I loved to eat the fruit raw with a little sprinkle of salt or just mix the grated amla in my food. It gives a lovely flavor to arhar dal especially. I still love it.

For those to prefer this wonderful delightful fruit  in a chutney or a spicy tangy pickle here are two recipes perfected in my kitchen.

 Amla Mint Chuntney and  Instant Amla Pickle 

Let us first go green with fragrant home grown Mint which again like Amla has a lot of health benefits. You can always look them up on Google.

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I love mint in my drinks, soups, chutneys and yogurt or as a mouth freshener too.  Mint chutney with some fresh coriander (cilantro) and Amla is one of my favorite condiment with anything and everything. I just love this fresh green soothing spread.

To make Amla , Mint Chutney you will need:

Amla – medium size  2 nos.

Fresh Mint leaves – One small bowl

Fresh coriander – one small bowl

Onion – I small (roughly chopped)

garlic – 2-3 nos.

Ginger – 1/2 inch (roughly chopped)

Green Chilies – 1-2 9 to taste)

lemon juice – I teaspoon

Roasted cumin power – a pinch (optional)

Salt – to taste

Sugar – 1 teaspoon ( optional)

Method

 Wash the leaves and chop them roughly.  Put the first 7 ingredients in a blender with salt and blend till they make a coarse paste.  all the ingredients should turn into coarse paste not smooth .. although some prefer it the other way.

Take out in a bowl and add sugar, cumin powder and lemon juice. Mix well. Garnish with twig of  fresh mint.

Your delicious , tangy green mint amla chutney is ready to serve.

Now for the Instant pickle 

Ingredients 

Amla or Indian Gooseberry  – 5

Green Chilies – 2-3 nos.

Asafoetida – a pinch

Salt – to taste

Mustard  (sarson)  seeds- 1 teaspoon

Fenugreek (methi) seeds – 1 teaspoon

Turmeric – 1/4 tespoon

Red chili powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Mustard Oil – 2 tablespoon

Method 

Steam the washed and dried Amlas and cut them into small pieces once they cool.

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Heat mustard oil in a cast iron or non stick pan (I use cast iron) till it smokes. Remove from heat.

Cool it just a little and add both the seeds and hing ( asafoetida).

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When they begin to splutter add red chili powder and turmeric powder.

Stir in the pieces of steamed amla and raw chopped green chilies. Also add salt.

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Once all the ingredients are mixed properly let it cool completely in a bowl or in the pan itself .

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Take a clean glass bottle to store the pickle and keep it airtight.

This pickle can last for at least a week if not more. I make it in lesser quantity and fresh through out winter.

You can adjust the salt and chilies according to taste but try to keep the natural flavors. Over spiced pickle can lose its flavor and nutrients.

Your pickle is now ready to eat.

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Do give me feedback on the recipes and any  suggestions that you would like to share are very much welcome. 

Enjoy !