Indian Gooseberry (Amla) Rice (Nellikai Chitranna)

amla_rice 002

I got this recipe from my mother who had seen this on a Kannada TV program in Bangalore. Gooseberry are called as Nellikayi in Kannada.

Indian Gooseberry is known to be a robust source of Vitamin C. Due to its strong, cooling and laxative properties it has been widely used in hemorrhage, diarrhea and dysentery. It also prevents infection due to the antibacterial and astringent attributes present in it. It has been widely used for treatment of leucorrhea and atherosclerosis. In India, consuming gooseberry is considered the best antidote against aging-related disorders. (Source)

sid_red 007

I found these gooseberries in the frozen section of the Indian grocery here in the US. Even though these are light green in color, the frozen ones that I bought had pale white color. Maybe because of the way they were frozen (freeze-burn), they lost their color and turned into that pale color.

It takes a bit time to get used to the taste of the gooseberry. It has an intense sour and tangy in the beginning and gradually toward the end turns sweetish in taste. So if you are using this for the first time, please use caution and start with small quantity. Also do not forget to remove the pit from the gooseberry before grinding.


  • 1 cup rice 
  •  ¼ cup shredded coconut (frozen/fresh)
  •  3-4 gooseberries (pitted)
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • ½ cup onion chopped
  •   ½ cup raw peanuts (optional)
  • 2 tsp Urad daal
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • Turmeric a pinch
  • ½ cup chopped coriander leaves
  • Asafetida a pinch
  • Salt
  • oil

amla_rice 006


  • Cook the rice separately in the pressure cooker and keep aside.
  • Grind the coconut, gooseberry (remove the pits), green chillies and salt by adding very little water.
  • Meanwhile, take a heavy bottom pan, heat it and add 3 tsp of oil. Add mustard seeds, asafetida, and peanuts (if using), urad daal and mix until the peanuts turn crisp. ( Do this on low flame else the peanuts will burn fast)
  • Add the chopped onion and mix until it turns transparent. Now add the ground paste and stir for about a minute until the mixture turns light brown.
  • Add turmeric powder, rice, salt and mix well. Check taste and adjust seasonings as required.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.



Also Madhuram and Sushma have given me these awards. Than you very much for thinking of me and presenting me these awards:


Blog Award

I would like to pass this onto:



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. indosungod says:

    RC, first Congrats! on those awards and thanks for passing those to me. Accept with a bow!!

    This rice dish should be a treat for anyone with a sour tooth(if there can be sweet tooth why can’t there be a sour tooth 😉 I made pickle with the frozen ones once.

  2. Asha says:

    I love those smaller yellow nellikai, not the Bettada nellikai, sourer the better!:D

    I know, these frozen stuff can never match the fresh ones, but better than nothing. Rice looks great, I make Kai chitranna like this too with green peas. Good one!:)

    Enjoy the awards, hugs!

  3. Kalai says:

    Wow! I’ve never had nellikai in anything other than pickle. I had no idea you get it frozen here. I should look for it. This dish looks really hummy, RC! And a hearty congrats on the awards! 🙂

  4. Aparna says:

    Quite an intersting recipe. I never heard of nellikai in rice. We make pickles, chutneys and even a curry with yogurt.
    Does the rice taste a bit sour/ bitter?

  5. Sujatha says:

    First time here! You have a lovely blog with great mouthwatering recipes.. I am glad I found your blog 🙂 This rice recipe is very new recipe for me.. and I so tempted to try..

  6. Trupti says:

    This rice is new to me RC. It looks very delicious. Thanks for sharing this recipe and thanks for passing the award to me. I am so honored.

  7. RedChillies says:

    Thanks ISG. Gooseberry pickle? Now you should post that recipe. I need more ideas 🙂

    Thanks Asha. ah! I had forgotten about the name for this one as Bettada Nellikai. I agree sourer the better 🙂

    Sure Cham, the taste is very different and very unique. IT takes some practice I should say.

    Thanks Kalai. Sure, it is readily available in the frozen section. Give it a try.

    Thanks Aparna. Yes it does taste sour at the begining, but it turns to sweet taste. Also since this is cooked, it does not have the strong taste.

  8. RedChillies says:

    Aww sujatha. Welcome to my blog and so glad you liked it. I have checked your blog as well. You have great ideas too.

    Thanks Laavanya. Actually the frozen one does not have the same flavor as the fresh ones. The fresh ones are strong and have a distinct taste.

    thanks Trupti. You deserve the awards. Enjoy!

    thanks Sushma. This tastes lot differnt from raw mango. This has a unique sour/bitter taste.

  9. Dee says:

    RC, the only thing Ive eaten with gooseberries is the avakai or the normal pickle mom makes, she also makes a murabba… this is different. would love to try this…

  10. Champa says:

    I am from Mysore and make different kinds of rices too. One of the masala which goes very well with goosberrys and sour pamogranates (I haven’t found sour ones here in U.S though) is grind coconut with the juice of berrys, green chillies, mustard, hing,, turmeric and make into a paste and use that instead. But, no onion when I do this. Tastes awesome. Basically kai sasuve masale. I make another one with roasted methi seeds. That goes very well with this too. Tastes great in cranberries rice too.

  11. redchillies says:

    Hey Champa glad to know that you are from Karnataka. I never thought of using the juice of berrys to make rice. So you use cranberry to make up the masala and make the rice minus the onions? Very cool idea. I will make a note of it.Thanks for the information.

  12. Salley Pedlow says:

    It’s really a nice and helpful piece of info. I’m glad that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  13. SAMMATHA says:

    ALL recipes are excellent and looks very good .you are doing marvelous job because you are sharing this to everyone,i love to cook your recipes and i wish my kid will surely enjoy eating.

Comments are closed.