Thursday, March 17, 2022

Gooseberry Rasam/ Nellikai Rasam

Gooseberry rasam is a delicious and lip-smacking rasam that is easy to prepare and loaded it with nutrients. This is best served with cooked grains and veggies but this simple broth can also be a great soup too!

Gooseberry aka Nellikai (in Tamil) or amla is loaded with health benefits. It has a rich vitamin C and helps body recover from illness. It is also a rich source of Vitamin A, E, iron, and calcium. It is a great immunity booster. The gooseberry has a tartness/ sourness and so is a great option to make rasam.

When we grew up, our backyards will have gooseberry tree. We used to climb and pick the fruits and enjoy with a little salt along with friends. Now, there are two varieties of gooseberry - one is a little smaller and a bit fluorescent in color. That's very sour/tangy one and we call it as aranellikai. The other one being muzhu nellikai, bigger one and less sour comparatively. The latter one gives a sweet after taste when u consume the fruit followed by water. Many times we used to consume the fruit and drink water just to have that experience. These delicious snacks gave us a lot of immunity.  This rasam uses the second type of nellikai and have used frozen fruit in this recipe. If you find the former one, that would be amazing to make rasam out of it too.

There is no tamarind used in this rasam and no need for the rasam powder too. Fresh roasted spice gives the perfect flavor to this rasam. This recipe uses ground tomatoes for I love tomatoes too. That also adds lovely taste and color to this rasam. Ghee is mostly used in rasam for tempering or for roasting spices. For a vegan version use oil. Coconut oil also gives a lovely flavor touch to this rasam and pairs perfectly with the flavors of gooseberry. Most of the times I add the cilantro stems to the simmering rasam or sambhar. These add a crunch as well flavor to the dish. They need not be throwed out, in fact, they enhance the flavor. This rasam can be made in under 15 minutes. At the most prep time is 5 minutes and cook time is 7 -8 minutes. 

Nellikai or Gooseberry Pachadi is a simple and tasty no-cook side that every member in our family love and we make it on certain religious occasions. Amla Rice or Nellikai sadam is also a tasty meal that can be made quickly.  This tasty amla can be made in to sweet and spicy preserves too.

Rasam is an integral part of South Indian cuisine. Our meal is not complete without it and many days for simple meal we have rasam and veggies. So I chose to share amazing rasam recipes in my A-Z theme for Blogging Marathon and this gooseberry rasam is for the letter 'G'. Here is the list of the rasam recipes I have shared till now.

Prep time - 5 minutes
Cook time 7-9 minutes

Tomatoes - 1 cup
Water - 2.5 cups
Salt - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1/3 tsp
Ghee/oil - 1/2 tsp
Toor dal - 1/2 tbsp
Red chili - 1
Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
Gooseberry slices - 1/2 cup, fresh or frozen

For Tempering

Ghee - 1 tsp
Red chili - 1, torn
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaf - 1 sprig
Asafetida - 1/8 tsp

Cilantro - 1 tbsp, chopped, for garnish


Heat ghee or oil in ap pan, roast the toor dal, red chili and pepper. Set aside.

Grind the above with gooseberry slices and cumin to a coarse texture.

Grind a cup of tomatoes with a cup of water. Simmer for two minutes with chopped cilantro stems, and turmeric.

Add salt, ground gooseberry mixture, and one and a half cups water. When it begins to boil, switch off the flame.

Heta ghee/oil in a pan, add the red chilies and mustard seeds. When it splutters add cumin, curry leaf, and asafetida. Dry for 30 seconds and pour onto the rasam. 

Garnish with cilantro and serve as a soup or with rice/cooked grains.


  1. I must try the different varieties of Rasam that you have posted. The Gooseberry one sounds wonderful with lots of nutrients .

  2. This gooseberry rasam is on my to-do for quite sometime. Should give it try. Perfect recipe for alphabet G

  3. I also make gooseberry rasam but this variation is so simple and full of flavors. Shall try it out some time.