Pickles & Thokku.

Nelikkai Oorga (Gooseberry/Amla Pickle)

Spicy & tasty amla pickle.
Spicy & tasty amla pickle.

Gooseberries were an integral part of my childhood snacking ingredient. Everytime we went to Nalli or Kumaran in T.nagar for shopping, me and D would longingly look at the little roughly made wooden carts filled with gooseberries bursting with freshness and goodness. The vendors would parcel the gooseberries in triangular packages and throw in a little spice from red chilli powder and salt. The pure delight in eating those ripe bursting fresh gooseberries with the chilli powder mix is completely unexplainable. Madurai amma would make pickles in summer from the bigger variety. There is also a smaller more tart variety thats eaten plain with salt and chilli powder. Love the tartness and the combined sweetness of the gooseberry in my mouth.

Gooseberries are very very rich in Vitamin C and has many more health benefits. It helps assimilation of the body vitamins, flushes out unecessary toxins, promotes hair growth, is a natural body coolant and also is beleived to nourish the brain and our mental functioning. When I saw the packet of frozen Amla in the Indian store, I decided to give it a try to see if it was even worth the effort of pickling it. When I thawed it for some time and tried a small piece, I was astonished to find the same sweetness and tartness exploding in my mouth. The gooseberries are cleaned, washed and slightly cooked I presume.  It was AWESOME. Although it was not as fresh as the ones that you can pick off a street vendor, I was happy that I could at least taste it after almost two years!!! Here is the recipe for the pickle. Best with anything….even parathas!!!


1 packet of frozen Amla from Indian store.( Fresh Amla around 20 numbers)

2 spoons of Iodised Powder Salt

5 red chillies

1/2 spoon of mustard

1/2 spoon of methi seeds.


3-4 spoons of Idhayam  gingely Oil.


  • If using frozen amla you are already good to go. In case of fresh gooseberries, wash the amla fruits well and boil in water with a little salt for about ten minutes. The Amlas should be a little soft, but not squishy.
  • Throw out the water and allow to cool. When cool, you should be able to pry out the little portions along the lines. Put them in a little ceramic bowl.
  • Take a little kadai and roast in oil the following: Red Chillies, methi seeds and then finally the hing. Do not allow to burn, and roast carefully on a medium low flame with constant stirring. Powder this along with the raw mustard and set aside.
  • Sprinkle the mentioned salt on the gooseberries and then the powdered spices on top of the gooseberry pieces. .
  • Mix well and allow to stand for a few minutes.
  • Heat 3-4 spoons of Idhayam Gingely Oil and pour over the gooseberries.
  • Allow 2-3 days for the salt and spices to seep in.
  • Delicious gooseberry pickle is ready to eat. Can be used as a tasty side for parathas, curd rice, molagootals etc.
  • Extra yummy with thakkali/tomato rasam!!!