Pickles are an essential part of south Indian food. They could be eaten along with almost anything but most importantly with thaiyir sadham (curd rice). I especially love eating hot thayir sadham with urugai . During my school days when Amma was busy packing lunch for us and she herself getting ready for work I will mix curd with the hot rice that she has spread out on a plate to cool and tuck it in with the urugai, especially nellikai (gooseberry) pickle for breakfast. It used to make my mom mad. She couldn’t understand how anyone could prefer eating thaiyir sadham so hot. My love for that still continues and the person who does the wondering part is my DH.
Though I have made mango, lemon, narthangai and avakkai pickles I never came around to making nellikai pickles as both Amma and I don’t know how to make it. It never occurred to me until the other day I came across several packets of goose berries (Arai Nellikai ) when I was out grocery shopping. So I promptly bought a pack of quarter kg of them and went home without knowing how to do the pickles. After coming home I called up my MIL on how to make the pickle and she gave me the recipe for me.
She encourages me so much to try out new varieties of food. She has been a huge encouragement and never criticized me when something went wrong by mistake or never said a word if the dish did not taste as good as I had promised it would. She will just put it down to experience. She does very good pickles.
Now to the berries, Goose berries are known as Amla in Hindi, Arai nellikai in Tamil. They are very sour and packed with lots of vitamin C. They promote good hair growth and stops pre mature graying. So try to add them in ur food often in any way possible.
This post is updated with Step by Step Pictures. Now to the Recipe.
Make incisions along the fine lines that run along the gooseberry with a knife and cut the pieces as shown in the picture.
Heat oil in a kadai to smoking point and add the gooseberry pieces.
Keep sauteeing over medium flame till the edges starts changing color.
Powder the spices in a mixie jar or a food processor.
Wait till the gooseberry turns to this color and shrink in size. You can see that the edges have started to get brown.
Add the ground spice powder and mix well and cook over medium flame.
The oil that been absorbed will start to leave the sides and this is the time to take off the stove and store properly.
Arai Nellikai Oorugai
Wash the goose berries well and let them dry by spreading them on a dry cloth. There should be no water drops or moisture present. You will see fine wedges going from top to bottom of the berry. Slit them with a knife along the wedges and separate the wedges like shown in the picture. Throw away the seeds.
Dry roast the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds separately in a kadai and powder them together in a mixie jar. Keep it separately.
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed kadai and put the cut goose berry wedges in the oil. Cook in a medium flame till the berries starts shrinking in size and starts changing color. Cook them further by tossing them continuously till they become brown in color. Now add the turmeric, chili powder and the ground mustard, fenugreek powder and salt and cook for another 10 minutes.
Take off the fire and let it cool. Store in a ceramic jar or in a food grade air tight plastic container. You will see that the berries have shrunk in shape and let it soak for 1 or 2 days before using so that it can absorb the oil and chili into it. After 2 o 3 days you can see that they have soaked up to their original shape.
Serve with Curd Rice. I have used Gingelly oil as it is traditionally used for making pickles. if you are not comfortable with the flavor use any cooking oil.
Labels: Goose berry/Nellikkai, Pickles, Side Dishes - Rice, South Indian Lunch, Step by Step Recipes