Thursday, December 11, 2008

Can someone help me find a way to cook this variety of tamarind?

Need your help….My mother got some ‘Nellikka Puli’ and she would like to find out a method to cook this other than pickling and brining…….I don’t know the botanical name or other regional names of the same. From my recollection, it looks like green pearls clustered in a tamarind tree and it resembles a small gooseberry/Nellikka to an extent and I guess that’s why it is referred as ‘Nellikka Puli’. Sorry for the picture quality as it was taken with a mobile camera. Click on the picture to get an enlarged view.

Please take a moment and drop a line if you could throw some light into its botanical as well as regional names and a method to cook this other than pickling and brining. Your tips and help is much appreciated.

Thank You!

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  1. Don't know how to cook it...but reminded me of the old times we used to eat this with salt! I have only heard of making uppilittathu and pickle with this. Sorry..
    A quick look at the google and I have a name for you.. Phyllanthus distichus!!!or is it Phyllanthus acidus? Don't even know how to pronounce that!

  2. Hi Shn,

    About your question - well in Marathi its called Rav (pronounced as Ruv,(rhymes with love)) Aavle. I don't know Marathi very well so I don't know what Ruv means, but aavle means amla or nellikka.

    I am sorry but I don't know any proper recipe with this, but you may want to look for some authentic sources of Marathi and Konkani cuisines and it may lead you to something nice.

    I have not seen this berry in the regular grocery stores in India. Even when we were kids, we have only found this in melas and on small stalls on beaches. I've eaten this with salt and chilly powder mix or similar "masala" that those guys provide with the amla, and winked and giggled all along. The khatta taste (puli) makes me wink. ;)

    This brought back so many memories!!

    Anyway, another thing is that I'm currently making wine from purple grapes by your recipe and we're almost 15 days down and its turning out to a sexy wine!!!! Thanks a ton for the recipe.

    Also, I've been reading your plum cake recipe and today I made the pre-Christmas batch to try out vegetarian version of the cake and some other variations. Once again your tips have been very helpful.

    You have a lovely site and thanks for all the painstakingly detailed recipes. Rock On!!

  3. In my moms garden too there is this tree. We used to eat them too.
    I have seen a recipe for this somewhere, but i can't remember anymore.
    I think it is in one of the vanitha magazine.
    Only thing is i threw my last years magazine after keeping the recipie i could make.

  4. Shn, this is called arai nellikkai (half gooseberry). It is more sour than amla but with the same good qualities. besides pickles they can made into jam (my MIL makes the most awesome jam, they have a tree in their house) just like pickling they can be soaked in sugar syrup for a sweet pickle. I have also seen nellikkai rice on some of the blogs.

  5. Yeah, we just call them nellikai/gooseberry. They are the smaller variety, and are a great health food eaten as such (if you can overcome their sourness). I like them raw! :)
    I wish I could get them fresh here, but I make do with the frozen ones.
    But otherwise can be used to make pickles, same oil, salt, chilly powder etc that you would use for a normal pickle!

  6. Nellikka pachadi:


    Boil Nellikka in salt water and once it is cooked strain it.Heat oil in a separate pan and add curryleaves, crushed garlic,chilly powder,little asafoetida and finally put the above cooked nellikka.Let it fry for 2 minuts. Grind coconut, greenchillies, shallots,small piece of ginger and cumin seeds in to thick paste. Mix beaten yogurt to this paste and finally add the above fried nellikka.

  7. i grew up eating this on my grandmothers farm! as of now, i can't think of anything but pickling and brining, but will ask my family!

  8. The Indian name of this is Indian Gooseberry, and its botanical name is Emblica officinalis.

  9. i think u can use it in fish curries.for a moment i thot she sent it to u.:)

  10. hi,
    this is called aari nellika in palghat side. my grandmother used to make pachadi out of this.

  11. Mishmash

    Though I read all your articles and thoroughly enjoyed and amazed at your 'image acquiring skills' without the loss fine details(Colour, brightness, contrast, hue and tone), I never took time to comment. Sorry about that.
    nellika puli + River fish(puzha meen like eg paral, kuruva etc. You will get that from bangladesh/w.bengal frozen fish section of Indian store. Rohu, catla, Hilsa will work). Thengapaal pizhinju vachal bahu keemam keeto.
    Kunjulli, Ginger,garlic,Green chilli,Turmeric,Curry leaves, Coriabder powder, small quantity of Chilli powder+Coconut oil
    Dont add coconut paste( 1st and 2nd paal).
    I am deliberately not giving you step by step recipe. I am sure you have enough details to make this as a complete fish cury.
    good luck

  12. we call this ari nellikka someplaces cheru nelli...i just used to love eating it raw.....

    Luv resh

  13. Yummm....I love this stuff...we call it ari nellikka, bcos its a small nellikka, I guess...its the gooseberry family, that I am sure of. One way is to pickle it like one of your readers already mentioned--thats what my mom used to do. Nellika pachadi is also very tasty. And your picture is really lovely..can't believe its taken with a cellphone camera...

  14. Hi Shn,
    These are called chinna usirikai(small gooseberry) in Telugu.It is used as a souring agent in daals and chutneys ....just like raw mangoes...and of course to make yummy jam and pickle.

  15. the moment i saw this pic of nellipulli, i became all green in jealousy thinking how in the world did u manage to get neelipulli in US?? then when i started reading i realised that u r talking abt ur mothers home!!
    i immediately called up my mom to chk whether she knows any recipe and she too said the usual ones!! but i guess as couple of them mentioned she can try meen curry!!

  16. If it tastes like Nellikka, it would be great for making wine like nellikka wine....just an idea...

  17. try making wine with it . it is awesome (increase the quantity of sugar).

  18. hi mishmash! :) ive seen this, i think it is called Ara nelika we used to call her 'half nelika' till we realised that that was real lame, its amazing with chillipowder and salt, havent really tried anything else except the pickle and the dried version.

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. Mish ,
    this is Arinellikka in our place..
    here some vendors sell it mixing salt and chilli powder.We do pickling and brining only, still eating it.. :P

  21. You guys are the best! Thanks a ton...when I told my mother about making such a post, she casually made a remark that it would take longtime to get some she is quite surprised to see such a variety of ideas she has started realising the power of blogs and what a wonderful community it is!! Thank You...thank you..thank you! :)

    RP, thax a lot for helping me find the botanical name...i guess it is the otaheite mother was also recollecting the taste of uppilittathu :)

    Blinkandmiss, i couldnt find anything with rav aavle.....hope u like the grape wine taste :) let me know about the end planning to make eggless cake?

    Happy Cook, the tree has an illuminated look when it has these nellikkas ...have u noticed that? :)

    Indo, I got curious about the jam part.....she doesnt have much to make a jam i guess....anyway, i sent her a sadham recipe i got from the net..thx for helping me find the name :)

    Anudivya, how can u eat it raw..???its too much for me...even with a dip in salt, my eyes and eyebrows used to go in opposite direction :D

    Nands, thax a lot for the mother was interested in the pachadi part..:)

    Raj, thanks a lot :)

    Divya, thx dear :)

    mallugirl, hahahha.....i dont remember the last time i got to eat something couriered like that:(

    Anon, i have shared your recipe idea with my mother...thx :)

    Amala, thx for dropping and happy to see such a heartwarming comment :) Oh, yes the details were quite good to make a curry out of it....btw, paral, kuruva ethokke eppozhum undo..atho extinct aayo....!

    Resh, thank you very much...i was really curious to find out the regional names...

    Chitra Nair, yeah, based on the comments and links i got it is sure a gooseberry family....we can conclude that way....already passed the recipe idea...and my father clicked that pic with his phone...will pass the compliments too :) Thx!

    Anon, thx for the info.....i think a coconut chutney would taste awesome with a hint of this right?

    Divz, u understood I'm not that lucky , eh? :))) thx for making that STD call for me...hugs :)

    Swapna & Anon-S, thats sure some great idea.....I wish she had enough to make wine! but can imagine how strong and refined the taste wd be...beautiful idea :)

    Vidya. after reading ur spice mix idea, i had enough water to sail a ship in my mouth!! :) thx a lot!

    Rekhas, wow, ur mother seems to be having a lot of recipes to cook with them...will sure buzz u if i need those recipe...dont know if my mother already cooked with what she got! Thanks again :)

    Seena, chilarude okke samayam.....allathenthu parayaan....arinellikka nalla peraalle....entho oru poetic feel undu :P

  22. Chammanti ? Pachadi ? Pulingi( minus tamarind and Ingi )

  23. We call that gooseberry in these parts. As kids we would eat them with salt and hot pepper and make a syrup, see this post:

  24. We call them as 'nellikayi' small gooseberry. Looks like you got so many intersting allready.
    We cook them in water untill soft, and use for making pickles, tastes yumm.
    Lovely pics.miss them..

  25. hi Shn

    That was so nice of you to read my blog and leave a comment. I have always looked upon ur blog in awe...i have tried some of your recipes also...but whenever i post a comment , it never used to come..some problem..yest also after posting comment, i thot it didnt come even after refreshing the page...... my hubby today said "wow, mishmash ninakku comment ittindallo...ini ippo entha vende???"..:D ..i just started off recently.... Your blog is just beautiful,delicious...


  26. Hi Mishmaash

    Thanks for ur kind words. Actually, I forgot to share one of the MUST-TRY recipe with nellika puli. Nellikapuli+ Boiled egg ( ideally, Duck egg ). Instead of fish, you add boiled egg ( cut into 4 pieces and simmer for few min to gently infuse the magic of spices/coconut milk/oil into eggs. one luxurious option: After cutting the boiled egg, dip in a paste of salt,chilly powder, turmeric powdwer and shallow fry in coconut oil. Of course, not a healthy option, but EARN calorie and BURN calorie is the secret of fitness, yet everybody like to Save calorie!!).

    Try with rice/puttu/appam/paalappam/idiyappam/porotta/chapati/naan.

    You are highly encouraged to regulate the quantity of nellika puli to suit your palate.

    ( Dont blame me that I am giving you fish molee recipe in which tomato is replaced by nellika puli and fish is substituted by boiled egg. What I gave is my grandmas secret recipe. Actually why cant you add Mishmash's home made GARAM MASALA and make a twist!)

    An eazy breey 'naadan COMFORT food'

    Try and reply.


  27. woow....i love type of amla....i used eat them just like can make dal with this

  28. I totally agree it is a a lot of response you have got.
    I should tell my mom too about the different ideas .
    I was a teenager that time i have never noticed then the colour.
    Wil look to it when i am there next time :-)

  29. how about adding sauteing and these to kaachiya mor??

  30. Ohh ohh..I love those. We call it Rajavale(King amla). I love their pickle. I am not aware of anything else with them. Wish I could find them here...They are absolute favorite of mine...

  31. Have never seen this before, but am totally curious to see what delicious creation you'll come up with! :)

  32. Archana, chammanthi wd be great...hmm,,..yummm :)

    Cynthia, Thank you dear for that should teach me how to make that syrup :)

    Madhu, pickles with this is great...but my mother wanted to avoid that else my father will end up eating all tha piclke...:)

    Resh, LOL! You cracked me up...we had a good laugh reading ur message....but your writing was so entertaining, how could I leave without dropping few lines there? :)

    Amala, I dont know how to thank you.....when i got that picture my father sent, I was not thinking much...i mean i didn't want that....but after all the suggestions and now with your latest one, I really wish I could get some of those puli :(

    Anon, thanks so much :)

    Happy Cook, pls....share all these with her.....:)

    Rajani, that would be great....nalla pulicha moru :)

    Shilpa, thanks shilpa, can ask you mom to feature some recipes with it :)

    Kalai,I wish I could ....but my mother is the one who got it :)

  33. Got here rather late.:)
    I can only say what everyone else has. Arinellikai is usually eaten as it is, but I find it too sour.
    My MIL used to pickle it, but the piclke has a short shelf life becuase of the high water content of the fruit. It can also be pickled in brine with green chillies and made into pachadi.

  34. hi shn,
    I am from Palakkad and this is called "ari nellikka" in our place. ARI NELLI UPPILITTATHU is very tasty..i love eating them raw

  35. hi these are indian gooseberry's
    i remember my mother making dal with it....its almost cooked liked a mango dal...n gives the same sour taste

    boil the toor dal. wash the gooseberry's cut them into pc's discard the seeds....heat some oil add the tadka,hing,slit green chillies,onions n add the cut gooseberrys to it add some turmeric,salt,chilli powder bit of water n cover.
    once they turn tender add the boiled dal to it n simmer it
    remove n serve hot with rice n papad n rasam

  36. I boil it for some time till soft and take out the seeds. Then add sugar in equal quantity and make a jam

  37. I boil it till soft and remove the seeds. Then add equal quantity sugar and make a jam.

  38. hi
    i need ur do u make curd at home in wintertime?

  39. malu said...

    i need ur do u make curd at home in wintertime?

    I hope you know how to make yogurt in a tropical climate( ie, boiled and cooled milk+ small quantity of yogurt/curd and warm temperature for a prolonged period ( usually overnight) to keep the bacteria very active. But in cold climate you can make use of your oven( set temp @ 35 celcius). So boil and cool FULL Natural milk ( ie, not fat removed), then add a small quantity of Natural set yogurt into it and keep in the oven @ 35 for overnight or more time).
    Best result depends on the Quality of Milk and yogurt(Store bought). I usually get the desired consistency after 16-18 hours.
    It is important to fiddle around to get the desired result.
    Creating a good working recipe is an experimentation, have fun!
    Hope this help you to enjoy the thrill and beauty of homemade curd.

  40. hello! i wanted to ask you something about kerala food. i have a friend who keeps talking about this fried fish, which is supposed to be a typical thing from there, but i think he means a particular type of fish. they are small and become black & crisp when fried. any idea what he's talking about? i would be really grateful if you could suggest something. Cheers.

  41. hi shn,
    Thanks a lot for sharing ur curd recipe.i tried it many times in winter and was very disappointed with the result.i'm gonna try this recipe..once again thanks for the recipe.Take care.

    luv Malu


    my own gooseberry tree and 2 pickles and a jam i made from them! let me know if you want the recipes i can mail them to you. (i have not put a single recipe coz i am too lazy to type them out - but since i have been enjoying your blog for so long i will pay the price by typing out for you if you want it!!!)


  43. hmmmmmmmmmmmmm, my mouth is watering bcse in my garden i planted this. u can make gd pickle just as u make gooseberry pickle. nice yaar. it is phyllanthus acidus.

    bindu menon

  44. nellikka upplittathu enganeyundakkam ??? Please do reply me at the earliest.


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