Though we always get amlas/ Indian gooseberry year round, I have always preferred eating the smaller variety of gooseberries called” Sirunellikai” in Tamil. I used to love eating sirunellikai after dipping it in red chilli powder and salt mixture. When I was younger, most of my time were spent under the sirunellikai tree in my parents house.
Though sirunellikai is also in rich in vitamin c, the bigger variety of gooseberries called “Amla” is clearly the winner, when it comes to health benefits. Last week, I was reading a medical journal in which a person had described his experience with anemia. Due to some illness, his red blood count had gone dangerously low.
After struggling for some time to improve it, he was advised to take amlas that are soaked in honey, by an ayurvedic practitioner. He had reported that his anemic level raised remarkably after consuming them daily. Vitamin c in the amlas, help in iron absorption and honey is wonderful in raising the blood count. Though I don’t like fresh amlas, I love this amlas soaked in honey.
They taste wonderful and doesn’t have any bitterness at all. Regular consumption of this amla in honey increases the blood count. It is especially important for Indian women, as almost 55% are anemic. We get honey soaked amlas in shops too, but they are very expensive. To make amla in honey at home, wash the amlas and pierce it all over a fork.
Arrange the pricked gooseberries in a glass bottle and pour pure honey on top. Close with a lid and keep it in sunlight for few days, till the amlas leach out water completely. Now take the amlas alone in another dry bottle and pour fresh honey on top, now this amla in honey mixture will last a long time.
There is also an another method- deseed the amlas, after cutting it in half, dry in sunlight till the water has completely dried out. Once the amlas come to room temperature, add the honey till it is full immersed and wait for the amlas to soften. Both methods need hot sunlight, choose the method you prefer and find convenient .
How to Preserve Amla (Indian Gooseberry) in Honey
1. These are the two common types of gooseberries found in India. We need the bigger variety of gooseberries popularly called “Amla”.
2. Wash the fresh amlas and pat them dry completely using a kitchen cloth. Prick them all over with a tooth pick.
3. Arrange the cut and deseeded amlas tightly in a glass bottle.
4. Pour over honey, on top of the arranged amlas. The amlas should be fully immersed in honey.
5. Cover the bottle with a cheese cloth and keep under hot sunlight for 4 to 5 days. The water will leach out of amlas, once the water has completely leached out, remove only the amlas from the thinned down honey mixture and take it in a separate dry bottle. Now add fresh honey to it, till it is fully immersed. You can now store this in your pantry for a long time. Store the thinned down honey in the refrigerator for making the second batch.
- Try to use only fresh amlas to make this.
- The amlas should be completely leach out all the water, before removing it from the bottle to add honey.
- Always keep the amlas under the sunlight till it fully leaches out the water during the first addition of honey, else it will start molding on top.
- The thinned down honey can be reused again and again for making fresh batches.
- Make sure to use dry spoon while using.
- Pricking the amlas makes it easier to leach out water completely.
- The second time you add honey, you don’t need to keep it under sunlight, start consuming once the amlas have softened
- They last a long time. Consuming one honey soaked amla everyday is very good way to improve our health.