Khatta Meetha Teekha "Amla Jamun" ….... No this is not Gulab Jamoon but Amla / Avalo / Gooseberry / Nellikai cooked whole in jaggery / gud with the addition of spices …... Superb in taste with the added health benefits of Amla …... Tastes great with panpolo / oondi / parathas ...... Yumz …..
Amla is a very well known Indian gooseberry which in itself is a powerhouse of nutrients. Used extensively in ancient Indian medicinal practice of Ayurveda. High in Vitamin C it also contains iron and calcium which is very good for health. A favorite among those who are very conscious of health, they are consumed either raw, juiced, powdered or simply added in preparation of pickles, jams, murabbas etc. Though it is best to consume Amla which is available now almost all round the year barring a few months in its original form. The larger once though fibrous are a little bit tough in swallowing and sometimes get stuck in the throat too. So its better to just steam them a bit before consuming. Adding them to dishes makes them more adaptable specially to chutney. Murabba a jam sort of delicacy is prepared with amla with jaggery. This can be stored almost for an year. Amla Jamun is just a name adapted to the otherwise familiar Murabba. Here the Amla is cooked whole and then further cooked in jaggery and stored in bottles while in case of murabba they are either grated on cut into pieces and used. So by and large the method remains the same, but for the presentation. Usually this is prepared only with jaggery, but I have prepared this with addition of spices to make it khatta meetha teekha ie sour sweet and spicy. Tastes great and goes well with our very own panpolo / neer dosa or oondies. You can have this with spicy stuffed parathas too. Do prepare this and enjoy with your family and friends.
Amla / Avalo / Gooseberry : 12-15 large sized one’s.
Jaggery / Gud : About 150 – 200 gms.
Water : 1 cup
Kashmiri Red Chilly Powder : 1 tsp
Dry Ginger Powder : 1 tsp
Cardamom Powder : ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Wash well and wipe dry with a thick towel the Amla / Gooseberry and keep this ready. The Amla’s should be good quality and fresh without damages or decoloured. Do not use spoilt one’s or those which have turned brown. Choose those Amla’s that are large and light green in colour. They are usually the best ones. To not use small sized Amla’s for this particular recipe as we are not deseeding them. The larger one’s not only look beautiful and easier to serve, but they can also be cut into two pieces and deseeded before serving them to children.
In a thick bottomed kadai add in the water and bring to boil. Lower the heat and add in the Amla kept ready. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Cook for a few minutes. When you find that a little bit of cracks appearing on segments of amla / avala, immediately remove the amlas and keep them aside in a plate. Do not overcook the amlas as we have to again cook them a little bit in jaggery and if cooked too much they may break into segments or get mashed.
Now in the same boiling water add in jaggery after grating or cutting them into small pieces. Bring to a boil, stirring to see that the jaggery melts. Once the jaggery gets melted cook on medium flame till it thickens a bit. Once the jaggery has thickened, check with a spoon inserted in the melted jaggery. If it coats the back of the spoon it is done.
Now add in the chilli powder, dry ginger powder, cardamom powder and salt to taste. You should just add a large pinch of salt, that is enough do not add in more or else it will become salty. Mix well and bring to a boil. The added powders should get mixed well with the jaggery mixture. There should not be any lumps whatsoever and the jaggery should be a thick syrup textured.
Now add in the cooked whole amla and mix well, to coat the amla’s on all sides. Raise the heat level and bring it to a boil. Once it comes to full boil, keep stirring for 2-3 minutes till the syrup gets thick and coats the amla’s well. The Amla Jamun is done. Remove and allow it to cool a little bit. Pour them into sterlized glass bottles and keep it aside. Keep rotating the bottle once in few hours to evenly coat the amlas. This remains good for months if kept in fridge.
You can serve the Amla Jamun with dosa, roti, parota etc. A Word of Caution : Be careful when you serve this to children as the Amla has not been deseeded. They may by mistake swallow the seeds which is injurious to health. So precaution is better than cure. When serving cut the amla into two, deseed them and then serve pouring the syrup on it. Best served with panpolo (neer dosa) or oondies. They taste simply awesome with it. I always serve them with the same. You can go ahead and make your own combos. You can send them in packed tiffin for children with parathas and I assure you the tiffin will come back clean without a trace of the food.