Highly regarded for its health benefits, amla is called a superfood. This instant achaar is a delicious way of consuming amla (Indian gooseberries) on a regular basis.
Amla is native to Indian subcontinent, and has been known for its numerous health benefit since ancient times. It is one of the richest sources of vitamin C. It has nine times more vitamin content as compared to orange and lemon. Amla has 450 mg vitamin C per 100 g whereas orange has 53 mg per 100 g. Amla has also been highly regarded for it’s benefits for hair and skin health. Women across India use amla shampoo/oil for long and beautiful hair.
Due to it sour, bitter and astringent flavour profile, it is not easy to consume amla in its raw form. There are two widely known ways of preparing amla. One is with sugar syrup and the other is with spices. Naturally, I chose to stick with the spiced (savoury) version so I could take the benefits of amla without harming my body from the additional sugar involved.
This instant amla achaar is easy to make. You can serve it along rice dishes or parathas. My favourite combination is daal-chaawal and this achaar. You can tone up or tone down the spice level depending on how you like it. The quantities provided in my recipe makes a relatively milder version, if you stick to using Kashmiri red chilies. If using other kind of chilies, the spice level can vary.
The main ingredient here is amla. I ordered mine from jjgt.de but you can also sometimes find it at Indian stores. Other than amla, there are a handful of spices needed that are
- Coriander seeds
- Fennel seeds
- Mustard seeds
- Whole dried Kasmiri red chilies
- Amchur powder
- Turmeric powder
In addition, you will olive oil and salt for this recipe.
Four Simple Steps
- Prepare the amla: Wash and thoroughly dry the amla. In order to maintain its preservation, the amla needs to be totally dry. Once it’s dried, it will be cut into wedges like pieces. Be careful with the seed in the middle. You need to cut around it and discard the seed.
- Preparing the spice mix: You will either need a dry grinder or a mortar and pestle to grind the whole spices. The spices do not need to be grounded very finely. A coarse mixture is what we need for this recipe. Then we mix the powdered spices into our coarse mix to get our spice mix.
- Mixing the amla, spices and oil: This step involves mixing all our prepared ingredients together. You need to get dirty here and do this bit by hands (wear gloves to avoid yellow hands). The amla pieces need to get thoroughly coated with the oil and spices.
- Cook on low heat: The final step is to let the heat do it’s work. The mixture needs to be cooked on low heat so the amla can get tender evenly. You only need to stir it twice in between.
Storage and Consumption
Once the achaar is done, you need to bring it to room temperature before transferring it into a clean and dry glass container. The container should have an airtight lid. Store it into the fridge for up to a month. You can also make a big batch and store it into the freezer, which can last up to 6 months. Always remember to use a clean and dry spoon to scoop it out.
I like having this achaar with rice dishes and parathas. Also tried it along my morning eggs and it works wonderfully. Since my version is mild, my kids like to have it too.
Instant Amla Achaar
- 350 gm amla
- 2 tsp coriander seeds (dhania)
- 2 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
- 2 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
- 5 pcs whole dried Kashmiri red chilies
- 2 tsp amchur (raw mango powder)
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- Wash and pat dry the amla. It is essential that you thoroughly dry the amla so it can store well. Cut it in wedges, discarding the seed in the middle.
- In a grinder, add the coriander seeds, fennel seeds, mustard seeds and Kashmiri red chilies. Grind coarsely, then transfer to a bowl.
- Into the coarsely grounded spice mix, add amchur powder, turmeric powder and salt. Mix until well combined.
- Into the amla, pour the olive oil and add the prepared spice mix. Mix it using your hands until all the amla pieces are nicely coated with the spice mix.
- Transfer to a pan and cover with a lid. Place on low heat and let it cook for 30 minutes. Give a stir after every 10 minutes.
- Once done, let it cool down. Then transfer it to a clean glass jar and store into the fridge. It holds well for up to 1 month in an airtight container if you use a clean and dry spoon to scoop it out every time.