Twists in the tale-Nellikai thokku

Nature gave us a bounty-again-this year.The gooseberry tree in MIL's backyard was so full,with every branch laden with juicy gooseberries.We found them right from the bark of tree upto the top-most branch!!Here is a glimpse of the tree with the succulent fruits.

With so many gooseberries I did not know what to do.Each day morning we found so many of them on the ground that we thought it was a waste to let them remain on the trees and I planned to cook something with it.

These are called 'Ara nellikkai',in Tamil[a South Indian language].They have a unique shape-like a star and are smaller to when compared to the round gooseberry.Unlike its counterpart[Amla,nellikkai],this one is very sour and I have heard a lot of people say they tend to catch a cold or end up with a sore throat after eating even a single fruit.So I was not prepared to eat them as such.

So the next thought was to prepare Gooseberry flavored rice but then MIL was not sure if it would taste good and on second thoughts I changed my priority.

Then I planned to make Nellikkai Pachadi-Yoghurt flavored with gooseberry,but then I already have that in the blog,and I wanted to prepare a new dish.

Finally I settled for gooseberry pickle .I didn't know the method.Mom to the rescue,once again.I set off with her directions.

I pressure cooked them for 10 minutes with a plan to cook them to a stage where I can cut it to pieces and remove the seeds.I put the cooker on the stove and happily forgot about it when lil angel wanted me to play with her.I was so engrossed with the dolls when suddenly MIL asked me what I was cooking.

I ran to the kitchen to remove the cooker from the stovetop and noticed the time and I found that I had cooked it for 15 minutes!After the pressure went down,I opened the lid to find the gooseberries mushy and deseeded!

I had no option to make this thokku which was so yum that I could not believe my tastebuds coz this is my very first attempt in pickle/thokku making.SIL who dropped by for the weekend appreciated it and relished it with curd rice.

With plans to make flavored rice,dismissing the idea of pachadi,settling on pickle,I finally made this thooku!!!

For this delicious and quick thokku you need:

Nellikkai/Gooseberries-20 no.s
Mustard-1/2 a teaspoon + 1/2 a teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds-1/2 a teaspoon
Sesame seed oil-3 tablespoons
Asafoetida powder-a pinch
Red chilli powder-2 teaspoons
Salt to taste

  1. Pressure cook the gooseberries for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Remove and discard the seeds and mash.
  3. Dry roast 1/2 a teaspoon mustard and fenugreek seeds,powder and keep aside.
  4. Heat sesame seed oil,and put in mustard and asafoetida,mashed gooseberries,chilli powder,mustard-fenugreek powder,salt.
  5. Cook for more than 10 minutes on low heat till the oil oozes from the sides.
  6. Cool and store in sterilized jars.


This tastes best if sesame oil is used.In case you don't have this,use any cooking oil.
Adjust the red chilli powder to suit your taste.

Happy cooking...

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