Amla Rice/Nellikkai Sadham/Gooseberry Rice


Amla has never been one of my favorite foods. I would never willingly reach out for an amla. I used to like the smaller variety of gooseberries, but never the big variety. My mom was a huge proponent of it, always encouraging me to eat it, telling me how it is beneficial for health and that it has 20 times the Vitamin C of an orange etc. Somehow, the fact that mom wanted me to eat it, made it even more loathsome. I think its a trait common among kids. I know coss I am seeing it in my son now. What goes around, comes around eh! 🙂

Anyway, times have changed now, and now I find myself wanting to try amla, but unfortunately here in the US, I am yet to find fresh amla in the grocery stores. I am thankful that I can find frozen amla here, and thinking of my mom, I picked up a packet. I decided to make amla rice, the way my mom used to sneak this in to my diet when I was younger. It is a very quick and easy recipe to put together, but very flavorful.


2 cups basmati rice
1 package of frozen whole amla, thawed
3 tbsp gingelly oil(nallennai)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal
2 tsp channa dal
2 tbsp peanuts
1 tsp chopped ginger
6 green chillies, slit
1 sprig curry leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
pinch asafoetida
salt to taste

Cook the rice with the ratio of 1 1/2 cups water to 1 cup of rice. When the rice is done, fluff the grains with a fork. Add in one tbsp of gingelly oil and spread on a plate to cool.


While the rice cools, rinse the amla with cold water and pat dry. Using a knife, remove the pit from the amla and chop it into pieces. Place the chopped amla in a mixer or food processor and pulse to make into a coarse mixture. Do not add any water and take care not to make a paste. Set the coarse amla mixture aside.

Heat the remaining gingelly oil in a large wok or pan. Add in the mustard seeds. Let it splutter. Add the urad dal, channa dal and peanuts. Let the dals and peanuts get golden brown. Add in the chopped ginger, curry leaves and green chillies. Let this infuse the oil for a few seconds. Now add in the asafoetida. Finally add in the coarse amla paste, turmeric powder and salt to taste. Saute the amla mixture until cooked, about 5 minutes. Now add in the cooked rice and mix to combine. Adjust salt as needed. Tastes great warm or at room temperature. Makes for a great lunchbox item.


Verdict: This rice gets ready in a jiffy, especially if you have leftover rice. It tastes very similar to lemon rice, except it has a faint sweetness as an aftertaste. DH ate a whole plate of it thinking it was lemon rice. If so much for adults, then kids can easily be fooled. 😀

Sending this to:
‘Lets cook – Rice’
Cook Like Mom
Celebrate – Love for Mom, series by Jagruti
Food she Loved, I Loathed event
Taste of the Tropics – Turmeric, event series by Chef Mireille
Walk Through Memory Lane, series by Gayathri

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  1. Deepa

    REally quick fix if we have left over rice..Btw loved your baked beans brownies ..terrific recipe

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