Uppilitta Nellika and Nellika Chammanthi – Salted gooseberry Chutney.!

Indian Gooseberry / Nellika – the wonder medicine rice in Vitamin C, renowned for reducing blood sugar in diabetics, respiratory disorders and heart conditions – in a easy method to preserve and enjoy .

Nellika or the Indian gooseberry is a very popular fruit in South India. As a child I was often confused as to whether it is a fruit or a vegetable.These delicacies are prominently found in the small handcarts that some vendors pushed from house to house trying to sell their wares. Amidst the cart, laden with eatables, salted nellika and honeyed nellika were the house favorites. It can be cooked and  is used in certain fish curries, into chutneys, pickles, juices and also eaten raw. If you can get over the sour taste at the beginning, it starts to taste sweeter each time you chew, thus refreshing you.

Medicinally these gooseberries are very nutritive and abundantly rich in Vitamin C. A lot of traditional medicines call for nellika. Oils are made with nellika (amla) which are guaranteed to increase hair growth and bring that lost glow back. It is also said to decrease sugar levels in diabetics and also cholestrol levels thus making it a heart medicine too. All in all it is a wonder fruit.

Today I am going to explain a method by which you can preserve the fruit for a longer period and a condiment you can prepare with the same.

SALTED INDIAN GOOSEBERRY – UPPILITTA NELLIKA

  • Indian gooseberry (Nellika) – 15 pcs
  • Water – enough to cover the gooseberries
  • Salt – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Green Chili – 6 slit
  • Garlic – 3

METHOD

  • Wash, clean and dry the nellika. Keep aside.
  • Take a clean and dry vessel. If making large amounts, use a bharni (large ceramic container). Else a small glass jar will be perfect. just make sure that the lid is tight fitting.
  • In a saucepan add the nellika, salt and water and bring to a boil.
  • Take off flame and keep aside . Add the green chili and garlic. If you want it more spicy, you can add more chilies to it.
  • When cool, transfer into the container and keep covered.
  • All the gooseberries should be below the surface of the brine. Else it will get spoiled.
  • You can start using this after 3 to 4 days.

My mom makes a lot of these salted nellika. However she also adds chopped carrots to the same. The gooseberries can be taken out and eaten as it is. The salt will be absorbed by the nellika  and it kind of balances the sour bitter original taste. The real kick of eating this comes by drinking a glass of water after chewing on one of these beauties. That taste is awesome..!!

SALTED INDIAN GOOSEBERRY CHUTNEY – NELLLIKA CHAMMANTHI

  • Coconut grated – 3/4 cup
  • Green chili – 3 to 4
  • Garlic –  3
  • Salted gooseberry / Upillita nellika – 4 to 5
  • Salt – if needed
  • Curry leaf – 10 leaves

Method

  • Combine all the ingredients together in the grinder jar of your mixer grinder.
  • Whiz for about 3 minutes, stirring in between till the contents are coarsely ground and well mixed.
  • Check for seasonings.  Add anything if you need.
  • Serve with hot boiled rice.

Chutneys are normally made to taste.  I have mentioned the basis for this dish. Please feel free to experiment..!

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