I would wait impatiently for the Uttan Dwadashi festival to get over so that I could bite into the flesh of an Indian Gooseberry dipped in a mixture of salt and chili powder. It was a rule in the house not to eat before this festival. A drink of water after eating this wonder fruit will leave a very sweet taste in your mouth.
Indian Gooseberry is known as Amalaka in Sanskrit, Bettada Nellikayi in Kannada, Nellikayi in Tamil, Nellika in Telugu, Amla in Marathi. The botanical name is Phyllanthus emblica and belongs to Phyllanthaceae family.
It is deciduous tree, which grows to a height of 8 to 18m in height with spreading branches. The branches are filled with light green simple leaves that are closely set along branches. Amla flowers are small, greenish-yellow or pinkish. The fruit is light green and almost spherical and divided into 6 segments. Amla is a fibrous fruit, which is sour, bitter and astringent to taste.
In South India Gooseberries are available from October to December. This is the time when people pickle them, dry them, make hair Oils, prepare jams etc., etc., as regular consumption of gooseberry promises good health and longevity.
Gooseberry is used to make hair oils and shampoos as it helps in stimulating hair growth and stops from premature graying.
Indian Gooseberry is considered holy by Hindus and it is worshipped on Uttan Dwadashi festival where a stick of gooseberry is stuck in a Tulasi pot and worshipped. The Hindus eat the gooseberries only after this festival.
Gooseberry is a powerhouse of natural form of Vitamin C and Iron. It is one of the main ingredients in many Ayurvedic medicines as gooseberries contain a high density of tannins, other polyphenols, flavonoids, kaempferol, ellagic acid and gallic acid. It is one of the main ingredients in the daily ayurvedic tonic Chyavanaprash.
Gooseberry is known to increase vigor, treat diseases like diabetes, asthma, bronchitis, conjunctivitis, glaucoma, diarrhea, dysentery, bad cholesterol and heart ailments. As the edible fruit is full of fiber, it gives relief from constipation.
Gooseberry Jam / Murabba
Gooseberry Sliced Pickle
Gooseberry Pickled in Raw Tamarind Juice
Gooseberry Salty Digestive
Gooseberry Honey Candy
Gooseberry Chitranna / Rice
Whole Gooseberry Jam
Amla Ki Launji