Saturday, December 11, 2010

Nellikayi Chitranna

Nellikayi Chitranna a wellness shot for the season
Amlaki/ Amla/ Avala/ Nellikayi/ Indian Gooseberry  is that potent fruit that is revered in Ayurved, that can be used for general wellness and also to cure many health problems. Incase you already know go ahead and try this recipe. If you don't loose your ignorance here.
I hate to go to the doctors and for small ailments I never do take treatment. Allopathy for me is a need only for acute illnesses and overnight cures. For chronic ailments my choice is Homeopathy and for wellness it is our own Ayurved and all allied sciences and therapies. I owe no loyalty to any single pathy. I choose the one most needed depending on the ailment, symptom and timeline I want it cured.

I am fortunate that I know my body pretty well and have been fortunate that my response to my body is careful and quick and have not gone to a doctor in years for treatment except for a recent full body check up. Also I do not trust doctors easily. In Blr I don't have a doctor at all, I have been here long enough and have been able to maintain my health purely on my observation of the reactions of my body and curing the  symptoms myself with a little knowledge of homeopathy that I have. 

Nellikayi Chitranna is a recipe for wellness especially for the winters. My way of making this special rice with Amla is using it raw. Raw is always better though Amla retains its goodness on cooking and preservations too. In Mumbai we either ate raw Amla or as supari or sometimes as a sherbet. Its only after coming to Blr I learnt you could include it in your cooking. So instead of popping pills for fever, cold and stuff that accompanies the cold season I have started making it a habit to make Nellikayi Chitranna once a week at our home. 

0.5 cup grated Amla
1 teaspoon urad dal
0.5 teaspoon mustard seeds
few curry leaves
1 teaspoon mashed ginger
2 green chilies or more
handful of cilantro
1 table spoon oil
1 cup raw rice
0.25 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ghee
salt to taste

First in a pressure cooker put the rice and wash it well. Now add the turmeric powder, salt and ghee, top up with 2.5 cups water . Close the lid and cook for 2 whistles. Let is cool. Pour out the rice into a big bowl and fluff it up with a fork. 
Then prepare the ogarane/ phodni/ tadka. In a tadka bowl heat the oil, fry the urad dal till golden, splutter the mustard seeds, add the curry leaves, green chili and ginger, finally add the grated gooseberry. Stir once and immediately pour this over the rice. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Mix well with a fork.

Serve it immediately or enjoy it later. It still tastes amazing. This raw grated Amla imparts it flavor, slightly bitter  at the tip of the tongue but a delayed sweet flavor in the back of your mouth is what the rice is all about. Enjoy and stay healthy with Nellikayi Chitranna or Gooseberry Fluffy rice if translated!


  1. healthy and delicious nellikayi chitranna.

  2. This looks delicious. I had to ask. You are an excellent cook and know many traditional recipes. How is amla typically eaten and stored. Even I avoid allopathic medicines and have read about amla's incredible benefits. Isn't it available only for like 3-4 months in a year.
    So do you know how it was stored earlier. Wouldn't pitting the fresh amlas to be powdered later, be difficult. And powdering also without the use of modern grinders and mills.
    Aren't murabbas too sweet to have any benefits?

    I read somewhere that in south India, some people store amlas in brine and turmeric. Do you know about this?
    Oh dear, lots of questions. Please if you can shed any light, I will much appreciate it. I am an adherent of the Weston A Price school of thought and feel that the traditional societies had it all sorted.
    Excellent blog btw.

    1. Hi Zippy! Thank you for writing in and I only to happy to answer your questions. Lets start one by one.

      1. Amlas were stored in several different ways as murabbas, pickles with spices and oil, in brine and even crystalized in sugar or salted and dried.

      2. Drying and then pounding has been traditional. Now it is machine ground.

      3. I had stored amla in brine before click on the lable amla to see all the recipes with it.

      Trust this helps!

      Keep visiting and commenting.


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