Neer Neelikkai Oorugai | Oil-free Gooseberry Pickle

November is the Thanks giving month and the Recipe ReDux team chose -A Food Memory For Which You Are Thankful as the theme this month!

We are thankful to a whole bunch of people we have come across. These people have guided us, been through our highs and low, taught us a couple of things and in general we are thankful for all that they have done. Then there is another category of people we must be thankful to in a different sort of way- The people who hurt us and made us cry. In a way, I would say, they too have taught us a valuable lesson on how to avoid such situations in future and also easier to handle them should they arise!And I really wish that ever happens.

Anyway, let us just talk about the thanks giving stuff and the ones we love.Before going on to the post I would love to send out a big hug and a million thanks to my dear mom and dad for making me who I am today.... 

My early childhood food memories are always associated with mom cooking delicious meals every day. She used to prepare snacks and other munchies almost every day and I don't even remember her buying stuffs that could be made at home. All these goodies were for me to enjoy as an after school snack.

And the place where we lived was a pretty cold one and yet nothing deterred her when it came to cooking. There was no maid to help her with the daily chores, yet she would keep making one thing or the other for me.She made sure I ate well and tried all sort of tricks to make me finish off the lunch box.And when I say this it did not mean she stayed in the kitchen all the time!She is a multi talented woman who took part in a lot of activities and still dished out hot and delicious meals every day.

Even now,if I need a new recipe or have doubts in cooking or need new ideas, I call her up and we chat about cooking.She is the main inspiration behind this blog too.

Mom is extremely good when it comes to sun dried preserves and pickles. I can still recollect those summers when mom and her friend used to prepare home made sun dried stuffs. I used to sit by their side watching them going about their work .And I can also clearly remember mom making several types of pickles at home.I don't remember mom buying a jar of any pickle from the store!

And as I was planning for this post, I thought I must do a pickle. I have very few of these in my space and it sounded like a good idea to add one more to the list.

Pickles are usually prepared with a lot of oil and salt to up their shelf life. Since the theme this month also specified that we do a healthier re do of the recipe, I opted for this easy, instant and oil free pickle that is not only tasty but also very less of salt and as I said earlier nil oil!

We have a gooseberry tree in our backyard and we have a bounty of it in the peak season.Most of the times,I make some flavored rice with it / a raita - a yogurt based side dish or another variety of spicy pickle with the gooseberries.  For this post, I made this instant pickle.

Here is how the gooseberry looks... It called ara nellikai here and is smaller and tarter than the Indian gooseberry.

For this simple pickle I used:

Gooseberries - 20
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder- a large pinch
Ginger- a small piece
Green chiles to taste / 5-6, chopped

  1. In a large pan take the washed and pat dried gooseberries. Add water just enough to cover the berries.
  2. Add turmeric powder,salt,crushed ginger and bring to boil.
  3. Simmer till the gooseberries are soft. 
  4. Immediately add the green chilies and remove from heat.
  5. Let it cool completely.
  6. Transfer into a clean and dry jar.
  7. Cover and store.Stays good for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.

Here is another pickle that requires no oil - Vadumaangai Oorugai / Baby mango in brine.

Bon Appetit...

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