Wednesday, November 20, 2019



Nellikai or Nellikayi is what gooseberries are called in Tamil and Kannada. We call them Aavalo in my mother tongue, Konkani. They are called Amla in Hindi. This happens to be the right season for gooseberries and we see them in plenty in the vegetable markets in Bengaluru where I live.

Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes with gooseberries such as Nellikayi Chitranna Nellikayi Thokku and our own Avale Kadi.

Rasam, as you know, is a popular accompaniment with rice in South India.  It is more watery than sambar and has a soup-like consistency. Rasams give off a nice aroma thanks to the spices that go into making them.

Recently, I tried out Nellikai Rasam adapted from the well-known cookery website Subbu's Kitchen  and we loved it with steaming hot rice.

  • Nellikai ( Gooseberry), 5 
  • Toor Dal, ( Split Pigeon Pea), 2 tbsp
  • Green Chilli, 1
  • Ginger, 1 and 1/2 " piece
  • Tomato, 1 
  • Black Peppercorns, 1and 1/2 tsp to 2 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida, 1/8 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/4 tsp
  • Coriander Leaves, finely chopped, for garnish
  • Salt, to taste
For Seasoning -
  • Mustard Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Red Chilli, broken into halves, 1
  • Curry Leaves, 8-10
  • Ghee, 2 tsp


Wash the toor dal and pressure cook it along with turmeric powder and 1 cup of water for 2-3 whistles or till done
One the cooker cools, remove the cooked dal, mash it and keep aside
Wash the gooseberries and de-seed them
In a small mixer jar, grind the black peppercorns and the cumin seeds to a powder and keep aside
In the same mixer jar, grind together the de-seeded gooseberries, green chili and ginger to a smooth paste adding just the required amount of water. Keep aside.
In a pan, heat the ghee and on medium heat add the mustard seeds and when they splutter add the broken red chili and the curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds
To this add the peppercorn-cumin powder, and the asafetida and sauté for a few seconds
Now add the chopped tomato and a little water and cook till the tomato becomes soft
Next add the ground gooseberry paste, along with turmeric powder, salt  and 1 cup of water
Mix well and bring to a boil
Lower the flame and let it simmer for 5 minutes
To this add the mashed dal, mix well and add water as required to get the right rasam consistency
Cook for a few minutes till a frothy layer forms on top of the rasam
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves
Serve the Nellikai Rasam with hot steamed rice along with ghee

1 comment:

If you have liked this recipe, I would appreciate your leaving a comment. Thank you !