Amla pickle is one of the most sought after seasonal Indian gooseberry pickles all over India. This pickle is made with amla, oil and Indian spices. This Indian gooseberry is also called as Amalak in Sanskirt, amla in Hindi, usirikaya in Telugu, nellikayi in Tamil and Kannada and nellika in Malayalam.
The Indian gooseberry is found throughout Nepal and also found in India, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, South China and Southeast Asia. Amla is an excellent fruit which is sour, bitter, astringent and is quite fibrous. Being sour, in India this fruit is usually soaked in salt water and turmeric to make them palatable.
Amla is a rich source of Vitamin C and has many uses in Ayurvedic medicines. Amla has become an important part in most of the ayurveda medicine as it has cooling, diuretic and laxative properties. It has antibacterial, cardio-tonic, antiviral, and has resistance building properties. It’s antibacterial and astringent properties, help in preventing infection and helps in the healing of ulcers, and hyper acidity. It is antispasmodic, and has a mild stimulant action on the heart and helps in lowering cholesterol. Fresh amla fruit is used in make chutneys and relishes in India. It is also used along with several other herbs as an ayurvedic tonic. The fresh amla fruit is just washes as also eaten just like that with some salt. Amla pickle can be prepared in various ways with different spices. Amla Pickle is a tangy and spicy South Indian condiment.
The Indian Gooseberry belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family and ripens in autumn season in wet forest of hill areas in Indian subcontinent. In India it is considered as a sacred tree. The fruit is very nourishing and tastes sour. Both dried and fresh fruits can be used. Amla pickle is a Andhra special recipe very easy to prepare at home and can be stored for a year. Amla is said to be very good for digestion.
It provides remedies for many diseases so it is widely used in ayurvedic medicines. Gooseberry is very rich in Vitamin C. It contains many minerals and vitamins like Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Carotene and Vitamin B Complex. Amla is also a powerful antioxidant agent. Many health problems are conduced by oxidative damage (when body cells use oxygen they produce by-products that can cause damage). Antioxidant agents prevent and repair such damages. Vitamin C is a good antioxidant agent and so is Gooseberry.
For preparing this delicious and spicy Amla pickle, firstly cut the hog plums (amla) into 2 halves. Remove the seeds. Mix a little salt and set aside overnight. The next day dry the plums with a clean dry cloth. Make a thin powder out of the dry fenugreek by mixing and put it in a big bowl. Add the same amount of red chili powder, salt to taste, turmeric powder and a pinch of asafetida. Put a little oil in a frying pan; add mustard seeds, a pinch of asafetida and two whole chilies. Prepare seasoning and let it cool.
Cut jaggery into thin pieces, mix it well with the above ingredients. Take the hog plum pieces in a plate, add a little oil and mix them well. Then add masala prepared with jaggery and mix well. Store it in airtight jar and let the pickle settle for a day or two. Put some oil in a pan and let it cool. Pour the oil on the hog plum pieces until they get immersed well.
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The taste of the spice is very versatile and loved by all. It is not uncommon to find children and even adults dipping the fruit into a mix of salt, sugar and pepper and eating it raw. Indian gooseberry or Amla is also being used in the prevention and cure of diabetes.
Amla is used in many hair tonics as it enriches hair growth and hair pigmentation. It strengthens roots of hair, maintains color and luster. Eating fresh fruit or applying its paste on hair roots improves hair growth and color. Amla oil is very popular in India as it serves as a very good hair growth booster thereby preventing hair loss. Gooseberry contains chromium. It has a therapeutic value in diabetics. Indian Gooseberry or Amla stimulate the isolated group of cells that secrete the hormone insulin. Thus it reduces blood sugar in diabetic patient. Gooseberry strengthens heart muscles. So heart pumps blood flawless throughout the body.
The fresh fruit contains more than 80% water, protein, minerals, carbohydrates and fiber. It is also used as remedies for fever, liver disorder, indigestion, anemia, urinary problems, respiratory problems, cerebral, gastro and cardiovascular illness. Gooseberry lowers cholesterol level and increases red blood cell production and strengthens teeth and nails. Hence the Indian gooseberry or Amla as a fresh fruit or juice or in dried form is much good for your health.