I had listed the benefits of Amla (Indian Gooseberry) in my earlier recipe of Indian Gooseberry Rice. To reiterate, it is a source of many nutrients. It is believed to be the fruits of Gods which enhances the life cycle of Humans. Amla enhances food absorption, balances stomach acids, fortifies the liver, nourishes the brain and mental functioning, and supports the heart. It also strengthens the lungs, regulates elimination of free radicals, enhances fertility, helps the urinary system, improves skin quality, and promotes healthier hair. This fruit acts as a body coolant, flushes out toxins, increases vitality, aids in vision care, improves muscle tone, and acts as an antioxidant.
And so, any dish which uses this vegetable should be a very healthy dish. And one such dish is the Indian Gooseberry Chutney. I learnt it from my mother when she made this during during the amla season.
Grated Indian Gooseberry (Amla / Nellikai) – 8 Nos
Oil – 1 tbsp
Urad Dal – 1 ½ tbsp
Chana Dal (Bengal Gram) – 1 ½ tbsp
Curry Leaves – from 1 or 2 twigs
Green Chillies – 2 (slitted)
Red Chillies – 7 Nos (Not very spicy type)
Salt to taste
Jaggery (Gur) – 1 ½ to 2 tbsp
Oil – 1 tsp
Mustard – ½ tsp
Curry Leaf from 1 twig
Red Chilli – 1 (broken)
Asafoetida – a pinch
Cut and separate the Amla into pods and then crush them.
Heat 1/8 tsp of Oil in the pan. Roast Channa Dal, Urad Dal and Curry leaves in it.
The Dal should turn pink. Transfer to a small vessel/ plate. Keep aside.
In the same pan, add the remaining Oil and roast the Red Chillies for a minute in low flame.
Add the crushed Amla and Salt. Stir cook till the Amla turns soft. Allow it to cool down.
Take the roasted Dals in a mixer jar and grind them for a minute. Add the sautéed Amla with Chillies.
Add Jaggery. Crush them for a minute.
Add water as required and grind them into a coarse paste. Transfer to a serving bowl.
Heat 1 tsp of Oil in a pan. Add Mustard and allow it to crackle. Add the broken Chilli and Curry Leaves. Stir well. Switch off the flame. Add the Asafoetida immediately. Stir well.
Pour this tempering into the Chutney and mix well.
This Chutney can be served with Curd Rice, Sambar Rice, Idli, Dosa etc.
Note: Do not avoid Jaggery. Adjust the quantity if you want. You should not be able to trace the sweetness of the Jaggery. It should blend with the sour and slight bitterness of Amla.