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Sunday, July 15, 2007

gooseberry pickle

gooseberries pickle indian achar gooseberry recipe

I remember two varieties of gooseberries from my childhood - one was about the size of regular playing marbles, bright green, smooth skin, soft flesh and incredibly sour, the other was bigger about the size of chestnut, not as sour, firm flesh, with stripes on the skin (like the picture here) and sort of dull sage green. I used to like the latter more.

The only form in which I have relished gooseberries is as a spicy Indian pickle. I've had some raw gooseberries straight off the tree spiced with some salt and chili powder when I was little. My mom used to brine and sun-dry the larger variety firm green mildly sour gooseberries that was abundant in summers.

For about two decades now I have not had gooseberries as it was not available in any of the stores near where I lived. Imagine my thrill when I spied boxes and boxes of crisp, bright green, tempting little gooseberries at New Seasons Market! I love shopping at the New Seasons, even if it is a bit pricey, as I love their philosophy and service (any store that says, "if you spill or drop or break something, oh well, accidents happens, we'll clean it up, you go on shopping", has my business).

gooseberries pickle indian achar gooseberry recipeThese were not quite the same variety I remember from India - the flesh was not as firm and sour - must be a nicer hybrid... so, right away I got down and pickled a batch.

Recipe for this pickle is very simple: heat some oil, pop some mustard seeds, add the gooseberries and spices*, some brown sugar and some salt, cook a bit, adjust to taste, and can immediately; or, allow to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

*spices: I dry roasted and ground some fenugreek seeds, dry red chilies, coriander seeds, brown mustard seeds and khus-khus (white poppy seeds)

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  • At 12:52 PM, Blogger Asha said…

    Where did you get those beauties?! I haven't eaten them for years. Mouthwatering pickle.We used to eat them a lot in B'lore!:)

  • At 12:56 PM, Blogger Laavanya said…

    I remember eating the smaller sized ones with salt and chilli powder - i went overboard once and ended up having a real bad stomach ache. These look beautiful and am sure the pickle tastes delicious.

  • At 1:43 PM, Blogger Sukanya Ramkumar said…

    The pickle is mouthwatering....I love gooseberry pickle....

  • At 7:05 AM, Blogger Kay said…

    Oooooh! Lucky you! :) I can die for gooseberries. I can kill for gooseberries! (Alright, I'll stay away from you till you finish those)

    That store sure sounds great. Enjoy the pickles and yummy gooseberries.

    Have you tried the other type of gooseberries what we call 'chinna nellikai'? We had a tree of that variety in our house and gooseberry pickle was eaten in huge quantities.

    Your post brought all of those memories back.

  • At 2:43 PM, Blogger Sia said…

    these r british gooseberries sheela. they have soft skin and many seeds(like passion fruit). i love these in tarts and love to eat them as they r.
    but my ultimate choice is indian gooseberries, firm, green and sour...always loved eating these gooseberries and drink water immediately. my mouth is watering just thinking anout them:)
    came to ur blog from sig's and i donno how i missed ur lovely blog all these days:) thanks for this pickle recipe, i know what i am exactly gonna do with these british beauties:)

  • At 7:04 PM, Blogger Sharmi said…

    that is a treasure pickle. thanks for the recipe. I love nellikai urugai!

  • At 8:11 AM, Anonymous simply61 said…

    Tryng to survive the swine flu scare here in Bahrain.Was rcommended that gooseberries be eaten daily...wondered how does one eat these sour beauties....till I hit pon ur recipe..thanks.


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