Saturday, December 27, 2008

AMLA the kaya-kalpa berry

In Ayurvadic medicine,taste is all important.............there are six defined tastes in different food materials : sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent .
a correct balancing of all the six tastes or rasas [as in sanskrit] is considered essential for the growth of a healthy body, ie , a healthy diet has to contain a combination of all six tastes.

now wonderfully amla or emblic myrobalan caters to all the six tastes at one go.......... it acts on the body to balance the three humors : kapha, pitta, and vata.

it rejuvenates the body cells, tones up the tissues and strenthens the is believed to increase the life-force [prana] and has a soothing [sattvic] effect on the mind.

amla is the richest source of vit-C, dried amla provides as much as 3000 mg ofvit-C per 100 gm.......and most importantly it is heat stable, ie, not destroyed during cooking.

amla vit-C is more easily assimilated into the human system as compared to it's synthetic sources.

amla imparts youthful vigour, strenthens lungs, and cures exessive thirst, burning sensation, vomiting,diabetes, emaciation, anorexia, toxicity, fever, impurity of blood and heamorhage. it avtivates the liver, pancreas, circulatory system and digestive system.
it is diuretic, astringent, digestive, aphrodisiac, laxative and is actually a coolant for the human machinary.

amla does wonders as a beauty aid tightens up sagging skin and guards against flabbiness and a very strong antioxidant it slows down the process of aging.

after knowing all this, we should be thankful to god that, this fruit is produced in abundance in nature and is available at cheap rates.......................forget about the blueberries,the kiwis, the avocado and all.....why all these fruits are so expensive, and why on earth, these are called the exotic ones..............hmmmmm.........seems nobody likes the taste of amla.......but being such a strong antioxidant, it deserves to be the most exotic of them all.

we just need to process the fruit in such a way that it becomes tasty too, especially when its vitamin content is heat stable, it allows a lot of flexibility in how many ways it can be processed.

amla comes in winters in abundance, alot of products ranging from candies, murabbas, pickles, juices and powders are now being marketed which can be used by us......amla juice with a little tulsi juice and honey, first thing in the morning, is considered a good antioxidant treatment ,to maintain a good skin and hair.

in day to day cooking amla can be used in the form of sweet or savoury chutnys or pickles......i will suggest some of the recipes which i use for my daily dose of antioxidants.


amla-8-10 nos.
ginger-3 inch piece
garlic-15 cloves
green chillies-5-6 or more
coriander leaves-1 cup
salt to taste

deseed the amla first and put all the ingredients in a mixer and grind untill a fine paste is formed.
adjust seasoning and serve with any savoury snacks or methi, paratha gobhi paratha etc in breakfast...this vit-C dose in the morning will protect from infections during the whole day out.
this chutny can be preserved in the fridge for a fortnight.

the sourness of raw amlas can cause sore throat in many people if taken in the is the recipe of another chuny for them.



amla boiled in a pressure cooker- 250gm
ginger-2 inch piece
garlic-15 cloves
red chilly powder-1 tbsp
yellow mustard powder-1 tbsp
ajwain[bishop's weed] seed powder-1tsp
turmeric powder-1 tsp
salt to taste


mash the boiled amla after desseding
make a paste of ginger and garlic
mix all the ingredients together and serve as required.
this can be preserved in the fridge for a month.


amla boiled in a pressure cooker-1 kg
turmeric powder-50 gm
ajwain powder-2 tbsp
yellow mustard poder-2 tbsp
red chilly powder-2 tbsp
salt 100 gm


boil amla in a pressure cooker with 1 cup of water.
reserve the water and with a little thumb pressure separate the amla segments from the seed and keep aside.
mix all the ingredients together and the pickle is ready to use in about 2 hrs
can be kept at room temperature for about a month in delhi winters.
in the fridge it can be preserved for 6-7 months.
tastes great with any meal of the day, with parathas or with dal chawal.

though amla can be pickled like the mangoes or lemons with masalas and
oil too, this recipe is more my favourite because it has no oil and is quick to make.........all my friends like it and most of the times i make it for them too.


amla deseeded and cut into small pieces-1kg
white table salt 50 gm
black salt-50 gm
ajwain seed powder-50 gm
dry ginger powder -30 gm


mix the amla with both the salts and keep for a day to release water.
now mix all the powders with it let it dry in the sun.
it can be dried in the microwave on low power untill half dried
then it has to be dried completely in the sun.
the smaal supari pieces are great digestive chewables which instantly relieves biliousness and bloating.
it can be stored in airtight containers for 2 years.

amla pieces can be preserved with 15 % salt on a wt/wt basis .
just mix 1 kg amla with 200 gm salt ina glass jar and keep it for a year as such.
this can be used to make salt is needed at the time of chutny preparation.

some sweet recipes of amla are also very good which i will post very soon.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting to read about Amla.
    I drink amla juice mixed sometimes with carrot juice everyday, with the belief that it can cure my dry eye problem, and also as a bonus keep me looking young and healthy.
    Of course the results are yet to be seen, though I have been doing it for months.
    Good to know you.