Gooseberry known as the Usirikai or Usirikaya in Telugu, Amla (Hindi), Nellikai (Tamil). We get two varieties in Tamil Nadu, I speak from personal experience as I have no knowledge if the other smaller version is available elsewhere in India. It’s called Arai Nellikai. Arai (meaning half) Nellikai is much more tastier and easy to eat. I remember these trees from childhood when some of my friends had this at their place. The tiny gooseberry will be so good to eat just like that.
I have seen people pickling both the varieties. Though basically not being a pickle person myself, I have only eaten it as such. I am sure the pickle version tastes awesome too. This fruit basically being healthy finds its way as a rice and few other dishes. I always wonder at how I never end up blogging on certain ingredients.
So when I got a week’s ration of this for Athamma, she decided to make a Karam with it. We refer to Karam to anything that’s ground with Red chilies, made either as a wet or dry powder. It finds it’s way to different dishes and takes up many forms.
This Usirikai Podi / Karam was very delicious with curd rice and I can assure you that you can just about have it with anything. Serve it with Idlis, Dosas, spread it on them, spread it on toasted bread. Just come out with many innovative ideas, you will surely end up with a tasty bite.
Onion – 1 small
Garlic – 3 cloves
Oil – 3 tsp
Chili powder – 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Cumin Seeds – 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves few
Wash and pit the gooseberry. then cut into small pieces and grind along with onion, garlic raw.
Heat 3 tsp Oil in pan, add mustard, jeera, curry, allow it to pop. Then add the blended mix, sauté till the raw smell leaves.
Add chili powder, salt and continue cooking till oil comes on the sides.
Allow it to cool, can be stored in fridge.
Serve it with rice on the side or any Tiffin dishes.
This goes for my Condiment Mela.