Friday, January 24, 2014

Nellikkai Saadam, Gooseberry (Amla) Rice

          Nellikkai/ Gooseberry/ Amla is widely known for its medicinal values, especially in India where it's used a lot in Ayurvedic Medicine, you can find a lot of information about it on the web. There are 2 varieties of it as far as I have seen, a smaller variety which is more sweeter and less sour and the big ones which are very sour. The bigger ones are used a lot in Indian cooking, we make pickles, chutneys and raithas, today I have made a rice with it. It's in fact a very simple preparation, very similar to the way we prepare lemon rice. Depending upon the sourness of the nellikkais, you add more or less, I started with 3 and ended with 5. Since I didn't find the rice sour enough, I just grated a couple more and added to the rice and mixed it. Eating the big nellikkais as such might not be liked by many of us, I find this rice or chutney or raitha is a tasty and healthy way of adding these berries in our diet..

Need To Have

  • Cooked Rice - 3 cups
  • Nellikkai/ Gooseberries - 5
  • Green Chillies - 3, chopped
  • Grated Coconut - 2 tablespoons
  • Dried Raw Peanuts - 4 tablespoons
  • Dried Red Chillies - 1
  • Chana Dal/ Bengal Gram - 1 tablespoon
  • Urad Dal/ Husked Black Gram - 2 teaspoons
  • Mustard Seeds - 1 teaspoon
  • Asafoetida - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Curry Leaves - 10
  • Turmeric Powder - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste


          Grate the nellikkai and keep. Heat some oil, add the peanuts and saute till they get a little roasted. Then add the chana dal, urad dal and mustard seeds.

          Once the mustard seeds start spluttering, add the red chilli (broken into half), curry leaves, asafoetida nad the chopped green chillies and saute for another minute. Then add the grated nellikkai, salt and turmeric powder and mix for another 2 minutes.

          Now add the grated coconut and mix it well. Finally add the cooled, cooked rice and mix it well on slow heat and remove.

As I said I started with 3 gooseberries, and at the end, after mixing the rice I didn't find it sour enough, so I grated 2 more and added. Or otherwise, if the gooseberries are too sour and the rice ends up very sour, then mix in more rice, but mostly 5 gooseberries for 3 cups cooked rice should be perfect.
I have limited the coconut to 2 tablespoons, but you can add a little more too.
Another variation is, you can grind the coconut with green chillies and add it, but in that case take care that you saute it well, so that there is no raw smell from the green chillies.
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