We all know that gooseberry (known as amla in Hindi and nellikai in Tamil) is a very rich source of natural vitamin C. In fact it is a power house of Vitamin C. Fresh gooseberry juice is said to contain nearly 20 times as much vitamin C as orange juice. So during the gooseberry season, we can buy it in bulk, preserve it and enjoy its health benefits all through the year. There are many ways of preserving gooseberries and this is one of the methods of preserving gooseberries. According to the website Livestrong-Heating or drying of fresh fruits or vegetables can cause the loss of most of the vitamin C present originally. However, amla is an exception as it contains substances that partially protect the vitamin from being destroyed during heating or drying. Dehydrated Gooseberries are known as nelli mulli or nelli vathal in Tamil.
|Amla – Dehydrated
Wash the gooseberries, wipe it dry and steam for 6-7 minutes. You can use idli cooker also for steaming. When you press the gooseberries with your thumb and index finger, it should open up into segments (as seen in the picture below). At this stage you can remove from heat.
After it cools a little, remove the seeds, spread it on a plate or mat and dry it well in the sun until there is no moisture. After it dries completely, it looks like in the main picture above.
Another method – Without steaming the gooseberries, just cut the gooseberries into small pieces. Discard the seeds and keep them to sun-dry until all the moisture evaporates and it is completely dry.
Storage and Shelf Life – Store it in an air tight container at room temperature. It has a shelf life of one year.
How to use it internally– Soak it in hot water for 15-20 minutes and use it to make gooseberry pachadi, gooseberry chutney, gooseberry buttermilk (grind a few pieces and mix it with buttermilk) etc. You can add a few pieces when making herbal teas.
For External Use
Hair oil – You can make amla hair oil with this dried amla. Massage your hair with that oil twice a week. It help to maintain a healthy scalp, strengthens hair roots, prevents hair loss and premature greying. Find more details on how to make amla oil here.
Hair Wash – Soak dried amla in water overnight. The next day boil it well, and leave it to cool. Strain and use that water to rinse your hair. You can use it for the final rinse.
Other methods of Preserving Gooseberries
More Gooseberry Recipes
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