How to eat Indian Gooseberries/Amla/Nellikai



{Due to a recent virus attack I lost a whole bunch of recipe on my blog. I am slowly working on posting them back one by one. I am going to start with the recipes I am getting most requests for. If you remember/want to try one of my earlier recipes which is now not in this blog please write to be at and i’ll try to post it as soon as possible. I am basically just going to re-post the recipe as it was. So some of the content might not be so relevant today but my intention is to get them all back  and I  have over 80 posts to re-blog. Thank you! }

Indian Gooseberries/Amla/Nellikai


Food blogging can be quite preoccupying sometimes. After I started blogging, any exiting recipe, any new vegetable in the market, any seasonal fruit I see all I can think of is to share it with all my readers. If you are a foodblogger I know you are nodding your head right now.

I bought a pack of fresh Indian Gooseberries the other day.  From the time I picked these little beauties up I have been thinking how I want to cook it for my blog. Of course I thought of all the very popular to almost unknown recipes I can use gooseberries in. But I couldn’t resist nibbling on a few of them everyday.  Half of them were gone by day 3. That’s when the thought hit me! I didn’t really want to make anything out of these gooseberries! I simply wanted to eat them as they are.

So today I am going to blog about how I like to eat Gooseberries!

Indian Gooseberries/Amla/Nellikai


Indian gooseberry, or aamla or Nellikai in karnataka is sour, bitter, astringent and quite fibrous. Gooseberries are one of the best sources of natural vitamin C. It contains 20 times more vitamin C than an orange. It is believed to have great medicinal properties according to Ayurveda.

In India Gooseberries were traditionally used in pickles, chutneys and other curries when in season. They were also preserved by soaking in salted water (with or without turmeric) which wan then used regularly used through out the year. Gooseberry murabba is another very well known sweet preserve which is absolutely mouthwatering with any indian flat bread. At home we make ‘Tambli’s’ out of gooseberries which is one of my favorite ways to eat it. But my one and only absolute favorite way to eat and alma is to eat it fresh, as it is!


Indian Gooseberries/Amla/Nellikai


Gooseberries have a very strong taste. They are REALLY sour with bitter overtones. It is an acquired taste for sure.  Not everybody can handle it well ;) For us though it comes naturally. We grew up eating gooseberries, freshly plucked from the tree by the dozen. Our farm had quite a few gooseberry trees and going gooseberry picking was one of our regular activities. While going we used to take some salt wrapped in a newspaper along with us. Yes! you are right… that’s the secret behind enjoying these tart fruits!

Let me tell you how we eat it, first bite into the hard surface of the gooseberry. As you chew the tiny little piece very sour juices will rush out of it into your mouth. Then immediately dip bitten part of the fruit in salt and take another bite. You will now see a great difference in taste. Gooseberry tastes so much better with a little bit of salt in it.


Indian Gooseberries/Amla/Nellikai


Now how to take this already wonderful experience to the next level? Gooseberries taste sweet with a sip of water along with it! As children it was a very fascinating experience for us. After finishing our gooseberries sprinkled with salt, we all would run to the kitchen to take a sip of water and the water would taste really really sweet. You have to taste it to believe it.

I am sure all of you who have experienced this would understand how hard it is to explain it. These are some of my dearest childhood memories and they are all associated with food.


Indian Gooseberries/Amla/Nellikai


What is your favorite way to Indian Gooseberries?



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  • Nagaraj

    I want to know how many amla can we eat on a daily basis?


    how many no of amla should we eat daily??????

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    [...] Indian Gooseberry or Amla Oil is rich in vitamins and antioxidents and good for the general health of scalp and hair. I love this post about cooking with Indian Gooseberries from a Blog called Love Food Eat. [...]

  • Indranil

    Once amla soaked in water over night, is the water good for drinking the next morning empty stomach.
    What are the benefits.?

  • Tammy Shelton

    Where can I find the Amla Fruit,because I’m trying to find new fruits for the super market here in Wilmington NC to put in there stores. So if you have the phone number and/or email address please send it to via email.
    God Bless

    • Steve

      Hah, this is hilarious. I’m looking for alma for making achar (Indian pickle dish), and for me, it must have these tasty little berries! The part I’m laughing over is I am in Wilmington NC!

      The only place that I would guess that might have it is Saigon Market on Kerr Ave. I buy all my spices there, all the Indian spices you could ever want.

    • geetha

      Hi I am from India I know about am la or gooseberry or nellika in tamil. if your interested i can send you .

  • ronit

    is amalki rasayan preservative free..?? it is much stronger than amla powder ..

  • sabarikirishwaran

    Amla (Indian gooseberry) is a natural rich source of vitamin C which gets oxidised easily. The fruit contains 28 % of tannin which prevents this oxidation. When hydrolysed, tannin gives Gallic acid, Ellagic acid and Glucose which is sweet. As the disslution of glucose is an endothermic reaction a cooling effect is produced.

  • Caroline

    thank you so much for this great description of how to eat them! I bought a bag of frozen Indian gooseberries and when trying them I was quite shocked. But now I really enjoy them! Thank you so much!

  • Vedic Juices

    Dear Chinmayie, Beautifully written! Wanted to make others reading this blog that our company supplies Organic Indian Gooseberry (Amla) Juice in the U.S and Canada. It is a convenient, pure and natural way to enjoy the benefits of Amla. Hope your readers find it of value.

    Here’s to Health!
    Vedic Juices :)

  • S. Balakrishnan

    Dear Sir / Mam

    I had Blood high pressure, My friend telling every day take 2 teaspoon of Nellikai (Ammla)powder for 6 months, your pressure will be gone life long it will not be their.

    please explain me is it possible.

    My Mobile No. 09500360551


  • chanda asnani

    I recently learnt that too much amla cuases arteries and nerves to harden, which lead to painful conditions. I have been eating one full large amla daily since 4 months and am experiencing this painful condition of nerves.
    I am told that one should have only 1/4th piece of amla daily. I have stopped consuming for the time being to relieve myself of the problems. if I have any changes, will post again. meanwhile if any one agrees/disagrees with above, feel free to post or mail me.

  • kopal

    I love eating gooseberries,,,to the extent that I have become addicted to its taste and that too raw without any salt or so.
    I just want to know whether their are any side effects of eating them regularly…thnx

  • M Dini

    Dear Bhat,

    Thanks for sharing in yr blog on how to eat Amla fruit. It must bring lots of fond childhood memories just talking about it 😃😃😃

    We have had such wonderful youthful morose like eating raw or unriped mangoes, jambu or guava and even kedondong in Singapore or Asian tropical fruits …

    Thanks for sharing

    It brightens up my day, Dear Friend

    Have a nice day…..

  • anu

    Can it be juiced along with other fruits like carrot?

  • Maal

    Where can i buy fresh amla(online)? I live in Holland

  • Maal


    Where can i buy fresh amla? I live in holland. Is there s online shop?

  • prasad

    i heard that it also a good medicine for hiv patients. is that true, pls let me know

  • k srinivas rao

    hai i am from hyderabad my farmhouse is in nalagonda district andhra pradesh i have 8 acres of land in which i am cultivating indian gooseberry crop which is grown up and the crop is ready, but my problem is i do not know where to sell the product how to market the product what to do please can u help me if possible. my phone no 09866444720.

  • ramachandra

    I was taking packed amla juice daily for the last one year. But got worried about the long term usage of the Sodium BenZoate (preservative) used in the packing. Now decided to eat one fresh fruit a day. Any side effects?

  • Devesh

    My lovely mother used to make Amla Murabba – so gooooood.

    In front of our school, the guy in his push cart used keep in glass jar, Amla in salt water and during recess or after school we used to buy it.

    I miss those good old days!

  • Jem

    Great tips! I will try to eat one raw with salt now!
    I grew up with “English” gooseberries in my garden in London and we would eat them raw – green or red varieties. Now I live in Singapore I stumbled across the Indian larger version. How delicious! Thank you for your advice!

  • nathalie

    I heard that amla gooseberries are very helpful with diabetes and want to buy them fresh or powdered. Can anyone point me in the right direction. I live in Montréal

    • BP Suman

      I am sure some one may have helped you with the information you seek. Just in case no one has, you may try obtaining it from any of the Indian store in your city ( I understand Montreal has a sizeable Indian community). Amla juice and powder is used by most Indians as remedial measure for digestion and general well being.

    • Clarence Fernandez

      Fresh frozen amlas are available in most Indian groceries in Canada.

  • zohar

    Namaste Chinmayie madam,
    I recently came to know the fantastic benefits of east gooseberries(amla). I have to be at home to eat it, but this comes in way of my office.
    Is there anyway so that I can preserve it for consuming later.I dont want to go the burabba way as it is sticky.
    Someway so that I fill it in my backpack and eat it slowly on work.
    Please really need your advice.

  • Prakash

    Namaste Chinmayie madam,

    I happened to visit your website. I have a small query. Do you know how to get rid of sour taste in the tooth that gets after eating goose berries. To be honest, gooseberries are my weakness but once I enjoy these fruits, I have to undergo the annoying sour taste in the tooth!!!!

    Your suggestion / advice would be of great help.

    Awaiting your advice.

  • Indra Bacchus

    I grew up eating West Indies gooseberries, I think it’s the same as Indian gooseberries but a little different looking. I love the sour taste. I mixed it with salt and hot pepper and that’s the way to go. My mom sometimes make it in a sweet syrup and also used it to make fruit cake, which is the best. I miss the fresh gooseberries.

  • aston exelero


  • dharmendra jat (dj)

    1st thanks for ur nice way repsention abt amla…i m 21 nd i use amla dirct with salt nd drnk water ..oye hoye hoye kya bat h …

  • sudheesh moolacheri

    with out any doubt i can say that nellikka is my favourite fruit. Add nellikka (amla /indian gooseberry) in u’r daily menu and live a 100 yrs of healthy life. Enjoy!

  • JKS

    Love amlas and specially drinking water after every other bite!!

  • Michelle

    Wow! I wish we grew Indian gooseberries over here! It’s very difficult to find. It sounds pretty good.

  • sahib kumar thadani

    I was wondering for months about how to eat amlas. I did not want to take amlas in pickles or murabaas. I have been buying amla juice in 500 ml packs. however, today I tried to eat fresh amlas and found that it is possible to eat them raw and they are not so sour as I had imagined. After reading the blog, I will try eating them with salt. I am glad to know that I am not the only one trying to eat them raw.

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