Feb 10, 2015

Nellikkai Thair Pachadi / Amla Raita

Do you know that Amla or the Indian Gooseberry has the highest Vitamin C content among all vegetables and fruits? That it has mention in ancient Sanskrit texts, is used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine, and is considered a miracle fruit. Amla can be used to treat eye disorders, increase calcium absorption in the bones, help build strong bones, cure skin ailments, strengthen and nourish hair, promote hair growth, actually just about do anything healthy and nourishing for our bodies.

The Indian Gooseberry (Amla) also has known anti oxidant properties. Amla has been found to offer a full range of benefits from free radical scavenging, anti inflammatory properties, beneficial effect on diabetes.   It is also widely used for its ability to dissolve plaques in arteries, reducing serum cholesterol levels.

Studies have also shown that even preserving in brine or pickling does not reduce the availability of vitamins, especially Vitamin C. Readers may be aware that vitamins B and C are easily destroyed when food is exposed to sunlight or heat, or excess water during cooking. So excessively cooked foods or preserved foods lose their vitamin content over time. Not so with Amla. This miracle fruit continues to dole out its health benefits even when cooked or preserved.

Despite having such a wonder fruit growing in our midst, I feel people in India do not make full use of it. We are in search of that elusive magic potion sourced from deep in the Amazon forests or some wonder drug that is shipped from a Scandinavian country. While those drugs/potions/foods may be good in them selves, I ask myself and everyone reading this – Is it wise to ignore the wealth in your backyard and seek something from far away? Are the money, effort, rising fuel costs, justified?

I, for one, am going to include more of this wonder fruit ‘Amla’ in my family’s meals. I am sure all of you have recipes from different cuisines with Amla as the main ingredient. Do share your favourite recipes with Amla in the comment section below.

Here is one simple, really quick, tongue tickling recipe with Amla. Perks up any meal and loads you up with its nutrients. Go on. Try it out.

Luminous Amla


  • Does NOT contain gluten, lactose, nuts, corn, soya.
  • Suitable for people with gluten or lactose intolerance, or nut allergy.

Preparation Time – 10 minutes, Cooking Time – 5 minutes, Serves – 4-6

You Need -

Cookware – Small wok, Mixer grinder

Ingredients -

  1. 4-5 Amla fruits
  2. 2 tbsp fresh grated coconut
  3. 3-4 green chillies
  4. 1/2 cup skim milk curd
  5. 1/4 tsp salt

For Seasoning -

  1. 1/4 tsp oil
  2. a pinch mustard seeds
  3. a pinch fenugreek seeds
  4. a pinch asafoetida
  5. 3 curry leaves
  6. 1/2 red chilli (optional)

Method -

  1. Rinse the Amla well. Cut incisions along the segments. Pull out the flesh and discard the seeds.
  2. Grind along with coconut, green chilli, and part of the curd to make a paste. Grind more than a coarse paste but stop short of a fine paste.  Add the rest of the measured curd and whip along with the paste.
  3. Heat oil in a small wok/kadai/fry pan.
  4. Add ingredients for seasoning in order. When mustard crackles, pour in the ground mixture, and add salt. Simmer until the liquid foams up.  Do not boil this mixture. Keep stirring over medium heat for it to cook lightly.
  5. Remove to serving bowl and enjoy with hot phulkas,  or steamed rice, a dal and some stir fried vegetables.

Quick Amla Raita



kitchen queen said...

delicious lip smacking raita.

Haddock said...

Just love Nellikkai.
Must try out this recipe.

Veena Theagarajan said...

healthy Raita quite balanced too