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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Usirikaya Pachadi ~ Amla / Gooseberry / Bettada Nellikayi Pickle


Recipe Source: My SIL

I remember greedily snacking on tiny, mouth puckering sour usirikayi  (nellikayi / gooseberries) as a kid during the winter months while my mother used to prepare usiri avakaya using the larger variety (bettada nellikayi.) The big berries were also used to light (cotton wicks greased with ghee would be placed on them and lighted) during Tulasi festival. The little ones, (called nellikayi in Kannada) shaped like pumpkins are pale green colored and are about/little smaller than a grape.
In our family, the larger berries are primarily used to make pickles. Besides the popular usiri avakaya, M's family has another favorite pickle that is prepared using these fresh, luscious, green berries. I get my supply of usiri avakaya from my mother since finding these fresh berries here, has been next to impossible. However occasionally, I find frozen berries at Indian stores and I recently happened to buy them being unable to avoid the temptation. 
I wanted to try the pickle and the process of making pickle using frozen berries needed a little improvisation. I had to wash and thaw them for half a day and then squeeze them to get rid of excess of water. People who are familiar with Indian pickle making know that even a trace of moisture would ruin the fate of pickle. Since I was using the frozen variety and water kept oozing out as I squeezed them, I had lost hopes of preserving it even for a couple of days. I went along anyway and prepared the pickle following my SIL's recipe and refrigerated it immediately.
The pickle stayed fresh for 3 weeks, refrigerated.

Ingredients for about 1.5 to 2 cups:
Usirikaya / Amla - About a dozen (I had 13 berries in the frozen pack)
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Oil 1/2 cup (or more)
Salt to taste
Chili powder 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp
Juice from a small lime / lemon (optional)
For tadka: 1 Tbsp oil, 1 tsp mustard seeds and a few pinches of asafoetida (inguva)

Method:
1. Wash and wipe dry the usirikaya if using fresh ones. If using frozen ones, wash and thaw them for a few hours. Wipe them dry using a towel or paper towels.
2. Chop the berries into small pieces and discard the seeds. Add turmeric powder, salt and oil to it and leave overnight.



3. Next day, grind the mixture coarsely in a blender. Then add chili powder to the mixture and mix well. Taste and adjust the quantities of chili powder and salt if needed. Add the lemon juice and mix one more time.
4. Heat a tbsp of oil in a small saute pan and add mustard seeds. When they start to splutter, add asafoetida and turn off the stove. Cool the tadka and add this to the pachadi and mix well.
5. Refrigerate the pickle to store longer, especially if preparing with frozen berries and use a dry spoon whenever using.

Post a Comment

16 comments:

Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said...

wow, that looks drool-worthy !!!

Sanyukta Gour(Bayes) said...

lipsmacking recipe....mmmmmmmmmm.....love amla......gorgeous color

Kairali sisters said...

Drooling over that spicy tasty pickle with gooseberries...

RV said...

It makes me drool... Love the idea of making pachadi with Amla, it is seriously a must have dish.

Nitha said...

Looks great..

Srimathi said...

My god looking at your pictures my mouth is watering. I dont get gooseberries here.Wish I could.

Torviewtoronto said...

lovely pictures

PranisKitchen said...

thats a very delicious pickle.

Hari Chandana said...

Wow.. mouth watering pachadi.. looks awesome dear !! nice presentation too :)

Ms.Chitchat said...

Your pickle looks yummy and tasty too. It is worth the effort u put in.

jayasree said...

Interesting recipe for amla pickle. I just make with the pieces. Grinding them is also a good idea.

Kitchen Flavours said...

Drooooooooooooooooooooooooling......my all time favourite pickle......

Shabitha Karthikeyan said...

Mouth Watering recipe...Looks great Suma !

chaitrali pathak said...

superb clicks..mouth already watering

PriyaVaasu said...

Lip-Smacking pickle Sumaji!!! Luv that color!!!

G.Pavani said...

mouthwatering n healthy pickle dear...