Saturday, July 4, 2015

How to preserve Gooseberries-Nelli Vathal Recipe-Dehydrated Amla

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.

Dried Amla-Dehydrated Gooseberry
 Amla – Dehydrated

How to preserve Gooseberries-Nelli Mulli Recipe

How to preserve Gooseberries-Nelli Mulli Recipe

 Prep Time : 5 mins
 Cook Time : 10 mins 
 Recipe CategoryGooseberry-Basics
 Recipe CuisineIndian

   Ingredients needed

   Gooseberries - as needed


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

Gooseberry Pickle

Gooseberry Candy

Neer Nellikai 

More Gooseberry Recipes 

Gooseberry Rice 

Gooseberry Chutney 

Gooseberry Pachadi 

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  1. very useful article. such a simple method to preserve amla!

  2. Hi how long can amla juice be preserved in a freezer? I don't want to add any preservative in it. So what will be the shelf life of plain amla juice in freezer.

    1. You can preserve it for a week but the taste is not as good as fresh juice. So I do not normally preserve amla juice. You can make raita, amla rice etc with amla. Do check the gooseberry category below. link -

  3. Yes it is very usefull for all of us


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