Gooseberry is a nutritious source of Vitamin C. As they are too hard, too sour and have a bitter metallic astringency, it is difficult to consume them. Most people make brine pickles (nellikka uppilitta) out of them, which is very similar to olive pickling. However, today we will be talking about sweet pickled gooseberry.
आंवले का मुरब्बा Sweet Pickled Gooseberry
- pots and pans
- pickling jar
- 1 kg Gooseberry
- 50 gm salt
- ½ kg sugar, jaggery or honey
- Salt, chili & spices to taste.
- Use toothpick, or fork to prick the amla. Its skin is tough, making it difficult for the microbes to reach to the core.
- Rub some salt and drop them in the brine solution (15% salt by weight of water), cover it, and leave it for a week in a cool dark place.
- Do make sure that all gooseberry balls are submerged in the solution and not exposed to air.
- After a week, take them out, drain/ discard excess salt and put them in a pot with sugar and 6 cups of freshwater.
- Cook the gooseberry till they are tender and transparent.
- Add some cinnamon, bay leaf, chili, or spices as per taste (whole spices only) into the boil. Put it in a container and top it up with some sugar syrup (chasini).
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Brine reduces the astringency via lacto fermentation and the cooking in sugar solution preserves the fruit for long term. Brined gooseberry have a shelf life of a few weeks. However, this sweetened gooseberry can last for up to a year. I like to have one gooseberry along with my lunch as a condiment. We dilute the syrup and make it into a drink (sharbat) as well. We can adapt the recipe to make Umeshu (sweet Japanese plum wine) out of it as well.