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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Amla (Nellikka) Jam | Indian Gooseberry- Mango Jam (Step by Step Pics)

Indian Gooseberries or popularly known as amla (nellikka) in India is a powerful package of nutrients supporting the immune system and lowers blood glucose levels. But I would not say that having amla jam would be beneficial to lower blood glucose as it contains added sugar. However, kids indulge in junk foods and prefer processed foods over healthy homely meals and for them, this jam may bring down a bit of caloric intake of sugar compared to the store brought jams. However, jam making is a tedious process and may be tiring for hands but I do make sometimes especially when fruits go low priced and are in season. Gooseberries were in season in November and December and kids take a back seat to have the nellikka(amla) raw and  just to ensure they get the benefits of amla, I made the jam. They did happily devour it too.The list of ingredients is short but the continuous work to biceps may be lengthy and overworking. I am not discouraging you to try but just a word of caution.

Gooseberry- Mango Jam
Kids who otherwise may not like amla (nellikka) may love smearing amla (nellikka) jam. I have been making this jam since  three years (during season) and have preserved for almost an year. The first year I made this jam, I made it with gooseberries alone and that's given in the pictures below(first pic below). Though the jam tasted good,it had a dominant tart flavor of amlas (nellikka) which was overpowering the kids tastebuds. For us the tart flavor was just ok and we just enjoyed like orange marmalade. In the following years after that, I added a fruit like apple or mango to reduce the tartness which worked really well. The ones now in pic is the ones I made with mango.You may try with gooseberries alone but with another added fruit the tartness of amla (nellikka) is considerably reduced. Enjoy making this at home !!

Gooseberry Jam

Preparation time ~ 20 minutes

Cooking time ~ 45 minutes
Serves ~ 2 jam bottles
Author ~ Julie
amla/ goose berry 550 gms
mango 350 gms
*sugar 500 gms -600 gms ( I used 500 gms)

Gooseberry - Mango Jam


  • Wash the nellikka(amla) and then steam cook the nellika(amla) for 3-4 minutes. 

  •  Remove and de seed the amla,chop this small and blend in a blender without adding water(it will be a coarse mixture). Keep aside.

  • Wash and chop mango in small pieces. Heat a thick bottomed pan and add the mango pieces along with add half of the sugar mentioned and cook till it’s half cooked(about 5 minutes).
  • Add the coarse mix of amla to the half cooked mango mix. Add the remaining sugar  and give a quick stir.

  • Continue to cook this mixture,the mix may turn watery once the sugar is dissolved. Keep stirring so that the mix doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan and get burnt. It may take around 40-45 minutes to get the jam consistency. Unlike other jams, this jam is thicker.
  • Cool completely before storing in bottles. Can be stored for a year in refrigerator,stays good.

* I went a little low on sugar but you can use more 600-650 gms if you wish to reduce the tartness completely.
* I haven't added any citric acid for preservation as amla itself is a citrus fruit.

Apple Jam
Mango Jam
Grape Jam
Mixed Fruit jam
Berry Jam
Jackfruit(chakka) Jam

Gooseberry -Mango Jam

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Chakkakuru Mezhukuparetti | Jackfruit Seeds Stir Fry (Step by Step Pics)

Little did our great ancestors have knowledge about nutrition and nutritional benefits unlike today's world but they incorporated these veggies in their daily diet and were much healthier than today's generation. These seeds were then preserved and eaten when fresh jackfruit wasn't available. Jackfruit seeds are rich in protein and carbs and low in fat. Chakkakuru mezhukuparetti is a simple healthy stir fry that everyone loves at my home. This requires some good extra time to clean the jackfruit seeds and so I usually end up doing this the previous night watching TV. Earlier I used to peel the white skin and scrape the brown inner skin too. But recently read an article that says the brown skin is highly nutritious and need not be thrown out. So I have started scraping less of the brown layer. Once the cleaning is done the cooking and stir frying is quite simpler and can be done in few minutes. These taste really good if you get hold of good variety chakkakuru(jackfruit seeds) and good matured jackfruit seeds taste best. I know its not the jackfruit season yet but soon they are going to be available too. My post is an old one from our last year's share of jackfruit. Try these out if you like this stir fry !

Preparation time ~ 30 minutes
Cooking time ~ 25 minutes
Serves ~ 5-6
Author ~ Julie
chakkakuru /  jackfruit seeds 20-30
thenga kothu / coconut bits 2tbsp
turmeric powder / manjal podi 1/2 tsp
chilli powder / mulakku podi 1 tsp
garam masala 1/2 tsp
salt to taste
coconut oil 2tbsp
curry leaves a sprig

  • Peel the outer white skin of jackfruit seeds and then scrape the brown skin(usually the skin is totally removed but these days the brown skin is nutritious so I left it here and there).

  • Now cut each jackfruit seeds in halves and quarters and thin strips. Add this to a bowl with water. Drain the water completely once they are all cut. Rinse until the water runs clear. Add in 3/4 cup water,turmeric powder and salt. Put this on flame and cook until the pieces are tender and just cooked(don't overcook as the stir fry turns mushy then). Drain off excess water and keep aside.
OR If you live in a place where fresh jackfruit seeds are not easily available then you may find the cooked ones in the freezer isles in Indian stores. We used to buy it when we were in US. In that case you can omit all the steps mentioned above and proceed further as below after thawing the seeds, quite simple way. They don't taste the exact same way as preparing from the fresh ones but you may always enjoy.
  • Heat oil in a non stick pan and add the curry leaves and coconut bits. Saute until the coconut bits turns slightly browned.
  • Now, add in chilli powder,garam masala and salt if needed. Add in the cooked jackfruit seeds and continously stir fry until it turns brown and crisp.
  • Add a little more oil if the jackfruit seeds look very dry. Serve warm with rice.

* Add enough salt for cooking jackfruit seeds as this is absorbed in the seeds while cooking. Its hard to get the salt right once its cooked.
* Adding garam masala imparts a special flavor.

* Chakkakuru Cheera Thoran 
* Chakkakuru Manga Curry