Fresh pack or Quick process Amla/ Indian gooseberry
Fresh pack or quick pickles, are also very popular, as they are very easy to prepare and are ready to eat. Fresh or quick pickles are not fermented, but heated vinegar or oil or salt solutions are poured onto the vegetables.
Indian gooseberry pickle is good Source of antioxidants. Aid in supply of probiotic or gut friendly bacteria. Fresh pickles help in supplying essential vitamins and minerals. Amla or Indian gooseberry pickle aids in digestion and have hepatoprotective properties.
Pickles and Pickling Process:
Pickling is one of the oldest methods of food preservation. Before the invention of modern refrigeration, pickling was the only way to preserve various foods for future consumption. Generally, pickling began as a method to preserve foods that are either exotic or seasonal and limited by nature and cultivation. The process of pickling can be generally traced back to India, as it is believed to have originated about 4,000 to 5,000 years ago. With hot summers and a lack of water during summers, food production decreases during the summer. Thus, there is a need to preserve excess food produced during winters and hence, the process of pickling was invented to overcome this problem.
The traditional way of preparing long-lasting pickles in the Oriental style uses ingredients such as salt, oil, and dry chili powder mixed with condiments. These ingredients are added according to set proportions. The proportions are meant to cancel out the other’s effect on taste.
In India, unripe fruits such as mangoes, Indian gooseberry, unripe tamarinds, and lemons are traditionally used. Apart from these, various vegetables such as gherkin, bitter gourd, carrots, cauliflower, ginger garlic, onion, jackfruit, and citron are also pickled. In most cases, only one vegetable or unripe fruit is used for pickling. But occasionally, a mix of two or more vegetables or unripe fruits were also made. Generally, pickles made from vegetables and unripe fruits are prepared with the utmost care so that they cannot spoil and be preserved all year long. Non-vegetarian pickles are also popular. These pickles are made from chicken, fish, prawns, and mutton.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time : 10 minutes
Serves: 200 gms pickle
Level : Easy
Course: chutney / pickles
Cuisine: Indian / North Indian
- 200 gms amla or gooseberry (small or bigger)
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder/haldi
- 1 tsp salt/ or as per taste
- 1 cup Mustard oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds, coarsely powdered
- 1/4 tsp asafetida/hing
Wash the amla in water. Drain, wipe and keep aside. They should be moisture free.
Keep the Amlas whole, since seeds are very small and take the amlas in a large bowl. Keep aside.
Heat mustard oil on high flame in a wok / kadahi / pan till it starts smoking. Reduce the heat to low flame and add the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and allow them to splutter, add asafetida, red chili powder, turmeric powder ,salt and add Amlas . Mix very well .
Cover and cook on low flame, occasionally stirring for 7-8 minutes or till Amlas are slightly golden in colour and very well cooked.
Cool the amla pickle. Store in a glass / porcelain jar.
It is ready to serve with any Indian meals of your choice!
Make sure the pickled Amlas with fresh pack or quick process pickles are consumed with in the week. In cold climates, you can keep outside for 6-7days. In a hot and humid climate, keep in the fridge. It is recommended that the pickle must be prepared fresh every week.
Health benefits of Amla:
The health benefits of pickles include a good supply of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, contributes to modest diabetes control, improved digestion, liver protection, a supply of probiotics, and the ability to heal ulcers.
Free radical scavenging from antioxidants: Pickles can be good source of antioxidants.
Supply of probiotic or gut-friendly bacteria: Probiotic bacteria are those friendly bacteria that are present in our digestive system. These bacteria actually help us in the digestion of food. Sometimes, due to the use of antibiotics, along with invading bacteria, these friendly bacteria are also killed. The fall in their numbers can cause digestive problems that can be solved by eating pickles made without the use of vinegar. Naturally fermented salt pickles encourage the growth of these friendly bacteria, which will replenish the numbers in our digestive system and restore our health.
Pickles in Supply of essential minerals and vitamins: The fresh pickles are interesting and appetizing ways of making children eat their share of leafy vegetables and herbs, which are otherwise boring for children. Eating freshly made pickles not only tastes good, but they also supply essential vitamins such as vitamin C, A, K, folate and minerals like iron, calcium, and potassium. Vitamins and minerals are vital micronutrients which protect us from diseases, help us build immunity, bone strengthening, vision protection, curing anemia, and various other functions.
Diabetes Control: Studies have shown that consuming vinegar based pickles improves hemoglobin levels in diabetic patients, which in turn helps in controlling diabetes. The acetic acid present in vinegar has been noted to be responsible for this phenomenon. However, care must be taken to avoid the consumption of salted pickles as excess salt increases blood pressure.
Improves Digestion: In India, Indian gooseberry or amla (phyllanthus emblica) is one of the favourite fruits that are pickled. This fruit is believed to possess several health benefits according to Ayurveda treatments and moreover, since amla is a seasonal fruit, unripe amla pickles are prepared. It is customary practice in some Indian families to have amla pickle as the first course or an appetizer as it is believed that amla pickle improves digestion.
Liver Protection: Apart from benefits such as improved digestion, amla or gooseberry pickle also has hepatoprotective properties. Studies have shown that when amla extracts were administered on lab animals with chemical-induced hepatotoxicity or liver damage, the damage was reduced significantly.
Reduces Ulcers: Ulcers are internal wounds caused due to a failure of mucus membranes and acid interaction on tissues. Particularly, gastric ulcers are caused by a weakening of mucous membrane and hyperacidity. Regular consumption of amla or Indian gooseberry pickles also help in reducing ulcers, if any.
Care to be taken while eating pickles:
Almost all pickles contain high amount of salt in them. Salt is an indispensible ingredient in most pickles. It not only adds to the taste, but it also helps in preserving the pickle and acts as an anti-microbial, keeping away unwanted bacteria, yeast, and fungi. However, excess salt consumption through pickles can cause problems of its own.
Hypertension is one of the major risks of eating excess salt. Hypertension is known to be one of the major reasons causing strokes and heart attacks, especially in older people. Also, hypertension increases with increased age.
Apart from the risk of hypertension, Indian pickles may contain high quantities of oil, which increases the risk of fat and cholesterol development in our body. Hence, the regular intake of pickles must be reduced and must be limited to only occasional consumption.