Instant Amla/Gooseberry Pickle (Kerala Style)

I have been experiencing hair fall recently despite no apparent diet/lifestyle change. Wondering how to tackle this, I have decided to try including gooseberry/amla in my daily diet. Amlas are considered to be excellent for health and are packed with vitamins. I am not a fan of raw gooseberries but love them in murabbas (candied sweet preserve) or pickle. This pickle version uses very little oil and can be consumed immediately although the taste and flavors tend to be better after a couple of days.



Gooseberry/Amla – 10
Red chili powder – 1 tbsp
Asafoetida/Hing powder/piece – 1/4 tsp or 1 small piece (size of half a marble)
Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
Sesame/til oil – 1 + 1 tsps
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves – 3-4 leaves

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Makes – 1-1/2 cups

Heat a thick iron wok and dry roast fenugreek seeds until they change color and you get the aroma of roasted fenugreek seeds. If you are using whole asafetida, roast that along with the fenugreek seeds as well. Powder the fenugreek seeds and asafetida piece using a mortar and pestle (or mixer). Set aside.
Wash the gooseberry and pat dry.
Heat a thick iron wok and add 1 tsp of sesame oil. Add the gooseberry to the oil. Stir occasionally and cook in medium heat until the white gooseberries turn soft and tender (approximately 15 minutes).

Remove gooseberry from the kadai. The oil used to cook the gooseberry remains in the kadai. You can use this again for the tadka. When it cools, cut the gooseberry into smaller pieces and add salt. Mix well and keep aside.

Add one tsp sesame oil into the same iron wok that was used to cook the gooseberry. Heat the wok and add mustard seeds to the oil. Let it splutter.
After mustard seeds splutters, add the curry leaves, red chili powder, powdered roasted asafoetida and fenugreek, salt as required and mix well.
Switch off and allow it to cool.

Transfer to a dry ceramic jar (bharani) or glass jar. Steel and plastic containers are not recommended since pickle is acidic in nature. Refrigerate and use within 1-2 weeks. Remove in small batches for daily use. Always use a dry spoon to serve the pickle.

Notes: You could use whole asafetida pieces for this recipe, but this would take a while to melt and blend in with the amla pieces. Although whole asafetida is more flavorful and aromatic than the powder, for an instant pickle asafetida powder is recommended.
The spice level in this pickle is moderate. You can add more red chili powder and oil as per taste.

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