Wednesday 24 June 2015

Nellikkai Thokku/AruNellikkai Thokku/Amla Pickle/Gooseberry Pickle –TamilNadu Special

Aru Nellikkai is another variety of Gooseberry/Amla/Nellikkai, which is smaller in size and star shaped fruit. Nellikkai is called as Gooseberry in English and Amla in Hindi. We all know it is rich in Vitamin C, iron and helps in purifying the blood. They help in expelling the toxins from our body and improve the defence mechanism. Amla/Nellikkai in powdered form is a great remedy for hyper acidity and ulcer. Now coming to the recipe, today I am going to share Nellikkai Thokku, my mom’s recipe. We have AruNellikkai tree in our house which bore loads and loads of Nellikkai starting from the trunk to the top most part of the tree. We plucked lots of them and I made big batches of thokku and shared it with our relatives. This thokku tastes extraordinary and when paired with curd/yogurt rice it taste heavenly.

Here’s how to make Nellikkai Thokku with step by step photos…


Aru Nellikkai/Amla/Gooseberries
250 gms
Red Chilli Powder
1 tbsp
Turmeric Powder
¼ tsp
Gingelly Oil
¼ cup
As needed

For Roasting & Grinding

Mustard seeds/Kadugu
1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds/Vendhayam
1 tsp

For Tempering

Gingelly Oil
1 tbsp
Mustard seeds/kadugu
¼ tsp
Dry red chillies
2 -3
¼ tsp
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes


Wash the Gooseberries/Arunellikkai/Amla thoroughly in water 3 -4 times and drain the water.
                                            image courtesy: wikipedia
Heat 4 cups of water in a heavy bottomed vessel, let it come to boil. Now add the washed gooseberries and little salt. Let it cook for about 4-5 minutes. Switch off the stove, cove it with lid and let it stand for few 5-7 more minutes.

Remove the gooseberries from water, let it cool. Gently press the gooseberry on the top to remove the seeds and keep the flesh part separately.

Heat a kadai and dry roast [no oil] the fenugreek seeds until light brown colour and transfer it to a plate. Similarly dry roast the mustard seeds until the mustard seeds change colour and pops up. Transfer it to a plate.

Let the fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds cool down. Grind them in a mixer to a powder.

Heat a 1 tbsp of oil in a kadai, add the gooseberry paste and stir once.

Now add the red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Mix it thoroughly and until well combined.

Add rest of the oil gradually and keep stirring continuously until all the raw smell of the red chilli powder vanishes for about 8-10 minutes in medium flame. At this stage the Amla/Gooseberry will be well combined with the masala and will look like thokku. 

Now add the roasted and ground fenugreek+mustard powder and mix thoroughly. Now switch off the stove.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a small pan for tempering. Splutter mustard seeds, then add dry red chillies, asafoetida powder and fry for 10 seconds. Now switch off the stove.

Pour the tempering to the Amla/Gooseberry/Arunellikkai thokku and mix really well.

Let the Arunellikkai thokku/Gooseberry pickle/Amla pickle to cool down completely. Transfer the pickle to a dry jar and keep it in a cool place.

Wow! Delicious, spicy, tangy and delectable Arunellikkai Thokku is ready to be enjoyed. 
It’s a perfect side dish for curd rice, chapathi, roti etc. It can be mixed with steam cooked white rice along with a tsp of gingelly oil and enjoyed.


      If you are making large batches of Nellikkai Urgai, store it in air tight container and keep in refrigerator. It can be used throughout the year.
Adjust the amount of spice [red chilli powder] according to your families taste.
Removing seeds as I have mentioned above is easier, if not you can use a knife to separate the flesh part alone.
Use only gingelly oil for better taste and flavour.
 Make sure you use only dry spoon to get the pickle, otherwise the pickle will get spoiled easily.

Thank you all for visiting my space, please come back again for traditional, authentic, tangy, tasty pickles of Tamil Nadu from my kitchen.

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Until then I am signing off…

1 comment:

  1. never had amla aachar, but it looks yummy


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