Vegetarian Concoctions

February 6, 2007

Aamla (Gooseberries) in brine

Filed under: Gooseberries (Aamla), Snacks and Appetizers — Hema @ 11:11 am

Yesterday, I spotted a bag of frozen aamlas at the Indian store and grabbed it greedily. This was the first time I had laid eyes on amlas in the 5 years that I have lived in the USA. Well, I should say, this was the first time I noticed. Last month when I spoke to amma, she said aamlas were available for Rs.10 a Kg. What I bought was maybe a 200g bag of frozen aamlas for $1.99 (quick and rounded calculation – Rs.100). I could have bought 10 kgs of amla for the same price! 

It has been a while since I did such calculations. New to this country as a student, back in 2001, it was my regular habit to convert dollars to rupees for every purchase and go ‘Rs.2000 for a week’s worth of grocery?’ or ‘Rs.150  for a cup of coffee at starbucks?’. But now, when I  go to India, I do the calculations other way around and feel happy about how much I saved. I still can’t tune my brain to work in miles, faranheit and pounds though. Why the US doesn’t follow the metric system still beats me. The ‘think metric’ photo at  Mythili’s blog really made me smile.


Anyway, back to aamlas. The best way I like to eat them is by soaking them in brine for a few days, which is what I did right after getting back home. You need a glass bottle with a leakproof lid. Make brine with water and required amount of salt. I would say about a tablespoon for every cup of water. Add some turmeric and drop in the aamlas. Make sure you give the bottle a good shake once in two days. In about 4-5 days they will soak up the salt and swell up with flavour. Enjoy!



  1. hai hema
    i too love amlas..very much..i think u got wrong in the calculation…1.99$ will be equal to 90-100Rs..just verify..
    don’t mind..ok..

    Comment by swapna — February 6, 2007 @ 3:18 pm

  2. Hi Swapna!

    Thanks for pointing out my mistake. I have corrected it. Looks like I could do with some math lessons:)

    Comment by Hema — February 6, 2007 @ 3:41 pm

  3. I did the same with the conversions too…and with the cost of everything sky-rocketing in India, its makes it easier on the mind to think in dollars there too (Rs.75 for chilled water..naaa just 1.5$$..heheh)
    hmm..never had amla’s in brine..will try it out if I get lucky with a bag of those too 🙂

    Comment by Priya — February 6, 2007 @ 4:59 pm

  4. Beautiful photo! I love the recipe too but don’t get Amlas though!!Thanks Hema.

    Comment by asha — February 6, 2007 @ 5:20 pm

  5. Just the thought of these yummy little things makes my mouth water!

    Comment by Monisha — February 6, 2007 @ 5:39 pm

  6. WOW!!! I love to nibble on amlas…. i m going to try this next time. 🙂

    Comment by Coffee — February 6, 2007 @ 11:48 pm

  7. This is such an easy way of preserving amla. Any thing which is easy and quick I like it:)

    Comment by archana — February 7, 2007 @ 9:16 am

  8. how lucky hema:) i love amla pickle and can eat dozens of amla with salt:)

    Comment by sia — February 7, 2007 @ 4:36 pm

  9. You are lucky to get them in Florida.
    About the conversion, now when I go to India and convert rupee to dollar, I am apalled by the price.
    Like Coke costs Rs.45 in India and is about a dollar here. That 45 sounds like a lot of money compred to a 1 dollar 🙂

    Comment by sandeepa — February 7, 2007 @ 11:21 pm

  10. Hema,

    I remember doing the same in the first year of my Masters. Heh!

    The other day I was talking to my mom .. apparently she got green chillies and was prepping them to last for an year to send them to me… and she was like .. you need to buy them from me $ 2.99 a pound 😛

    Good and simple one with amla there 🙂

    Comment by Mythili — February 8, 2007 @ 3:14 am

  11. Hi Hema, amlas look so pretty in the jar! I have only seen the readymade pickles, but have not looked for frozen. I will do so now 🙂

    Comment by outofthegarden — February 10, 2007 @ 9:35 am

  12. Hema… I found them! Frozen amla… in the new shop I went to this past weekend. They’re in the freezer and I have my jar ready and waiting. Should I thaw before adding to the brine?

    Thanks 🙂

    Comment by Linda — February 22, 2007 @ 12:17 am

  13. Hi, I posted about this recently and came across this entry just now…I am linking to your post, if you don’t mind..

    Comment by @ — March 7, 2007 @ 2:45 pm

  14. Thank you so much for this recipe. I saw them in the Indian grocery store but didn’t know if it would work with frozen. I used to eat them in India all the time and really miss them. So once again thank you for the recipe. I will try it soon.

    Comment by Shivangi — March 7, 2007 @ 5:18 pm

  15. Hi Hema, I am making your brined gooseberries tonight! Long time no see – hope all’s well with you 🙂


    Comment by outofthegarden — June 6, 2007 @ 8:38 pm

  16. hi,

    felt good hearing that you enjoy aamla so much.

    u must be enjoying really good health- all thanks to aamla.

    Comment by priyal — December 26, 2007 @ 2:03 am

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