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Amla Pickle in Mustard Oil (Indian Gooseberry Pickle)

Amla, also known as Indian gooseberry, is one of the most antioxidant-rich foods on Earth. The Vitamin C, Vitamin A and antioxidants present in amla purify the blood and make your skin look radiant. It also has numerous anti-ageing properties. It is a super food for cancer patients as it kills cancer cells but leaves normal cells alone. It can be eaten grated, cut into pieces, made into pickles and jams, added to smoothies, or dried and powdered. It helps in reducing cholesterol levels, inflammation and aids blood thinning as well as reduces artery stiffening. It also helps in reducing nausea, bloating, belching, and acidity, decreases the stress on the heart, and helps reverse diabetes. This fruit is so rich in vitamin C that even cooking it only reduces the amount by about one fourth. The high iron and carotene content in amla boosts hair growth and strengthens hair. So, all in all it is a great addition to your diet. Known for its strong flavor, pungent aroma, and high smoke point, mustard oil is often used for sautéing and stir-frying vegetables in many parts of the world especially in West Bengal and other eastern states in India. Some studies have found that mustard oil possesses powerful antimicrobial properties and may help block the growth of certain types of harmful bacteria and fungus and is sometimes applied to the feet to help heal cracked skin on the heels. In some parts of the world, it is applied to the scalp as it is said to help hair growth and is said to alleviate pain and decrease inflammation in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, but caution is advised as it can cause serious skin burns. It may also slow cancer cell growth. It is said to help heart health because of the high content of monounsaturated fatty acids in it, a type of unsaturated fat found in foods like nuts, seeds, and plant-based oils. Pure mustard oil has a high smoke point and comprises mostly of monounsaturated fats, which are more resistant to heat-induced degradation than polyunsaturated fats. But after all, it is still an oil and is not advised on a Whole-Food Plant-Based diet, so it is best to have it occasionally in very limited quantities.
Recipe: Darshana Muzumdar
Lasts for 6 months

This is a very simple and easy to make recipe if you have the readymade mix of pickle spices. There are several brands and they are available in almost all grocery stores.


  • 250 gms (around 6) amla/avla (Indian Gooseberries)
  • 1/2 cup mustard oil
  • 50 gms readymade pickle spices
  • 20 gms (1 tbsp) unrefined or rock salt


  • Wash the amla and put them in a thick steel bottom pot.
  • Add one cup of water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook for around 10 minutes till they are slightly soft and the ‘petals’ or ‘wedges’ kind of start opening.
  • Drain the water. (You can have the warm water as a drink by adding a little salt if you wish.) Allow the amla to cool a little and then separate all the wedges and discard the pit.
  • Chop the wedges into smaller pieces if you wish or use them as is. I usually chop each into three pieces.
  • Heat the mustard oil till it comes to smoking point. Immediately turn off the heat and take the pot off the fire and allow the oil to cool a little.
  • Add the pickle spices, amla pieces and salt to the cooled oil and mix it all well.
  • Pour the contents into a clean glass jar and allow to cool a little more. Cover the jar with an airtight lid and rest the pickle for at least three to four days before you start having it.

Note: The oil is brought to smoking point to remove the strong pungent flavour.

Always use a fresh dry spoon to remove pickle from the jar. Any kind of moisture will spoil the pickle.

Though mustard oil has some benefits, it is still an oil and should be consumed in small quantities.

This dish is not Whole-Food Plant-Based because of the use of oil.

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