Amla/Amlaki or Indian Gooseberry marks the advent of winter season. It is a super food and a great immunity booster due to it’s high vitamin C content. Amla is good for skin, heart, hair so I eat it raw (grated) with lunch on a daily basis apart from making variety of chutneys, pickles, jam, preserve etc. Even dry it to use later as a souring agent or as amla supari (a digestive aid and mouth freshener. All the recipes are on my blog. This is a favorite instant pickle with green chilies. Minimal oil and just the right amount of salt and spices. No preservatives or chemicals. You can eat it more than the store bought pickle. It stays well for a month in the refrigerator. I make small fresh batches till the season lasts and then a larger batch to mark the end of the season.
The fruit laden branch you see is from Safdarjung Tomb Gardens. When you visit the garden tombs please look around in the gardens too. There is a wealth of beauty waiting to be discovered. Please don’t vandalize. Be gentle.
The scientific name of Amla is Phyllanthus emblica and it belongs to Phyllanthaceae family. We all know the tremendous medicinal and culinary usage of Amla. The tree has spiritual significance too. It is said that Amalaka fruit was the final gift to the Buddhist Sangha from the great Emperor Ashoka. The Amalaka stupa is in Patna. It’s one of the Bodhi trees and also sacred in Hindu religion. It’s believed to have grown from the heavenly nectar (Amrit) hence the name Amalaki. The greenish yellow Amla berries are harvested by hand and are smooth&hard in texture. They have a sour, astringent taste. Most medicinal trees are considered sacred in Hindu religion and it’s true with Amla too.
Here’s the recipe for the instant pickle :
Green Chilies -6-7
Mustard (sarson) seeds- 1 teaspoon
Fenugreek (methi) seeds – 1 teaspoon
Asafoetida (Hing) – 2 pinches
Turmeric – 1/4 tespoon
Red chili powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Mustard Oil – 2 Tablespoon
Steam the washed and pat dried Amlas and cut them into small pieces once they cool.
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).
When the seeds 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.
Once all the ingredients are mixed properly let it cool completely in a bowl or in the pan itself.
Take a clean glass bottle to store the pickle and keep it airtight.
The spicy tangy amla pickle is ready to eat in a an hour or kept in the refrigerator for a fortnight.
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.
Always choose unblemished fruit that is firm and nice. Make sure there is no moisture while making or serving pickle for a long shelf life.