Amla pickle – How to make Karnataka style nellikai uppinakayi

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Amla pickle is a common condiment found during winters in most of the Indian household. The recipe varies from every family and has a unique taste. The fruit is commonly pickled with spices, salt and oil. The tangy sour flavor of amla with other spices and topped with asafoetida gives a unique combination to the pickle.

Amla is called as nellikai in Kannada, also commonly called Indian gooseberry. This is a berry type found during winters but these days the produce is extended all time of the year. This is the recipe which I follow as learnt from my mother.

It is a store house of health benefits and rich in vitamin C. Amla has both culinary and ayurvedic benefits. They are eaten raw with salt and red chili powder. They are used in preparing pickles, rice, chutney, juices, candy, rasam and many more. It has a distinct sour tangy taste which is very good for preparing pickles. This is a vegan recipe.


Key steps while preparing amla pickle

Use firm and fresh amla for pickle making. Before using them, properly wash and dry to prevent fungus formation.

Gently crush these amla into pieces using a kitchen mortar and pestle. Seeds should be removed carefully without losing the juice of amla.

In this recipe, I have used raw salt but instead table salt can also be used. Quantity of salt varies as per taste.

For tempering, any oil like sesame oil, sunflower oil can be used instead of coconut oil.

A combination of guntur and byadagi red chilies can also be used to adjust the spiciness.

After adding masala and oil, keep the pickle for 2 to 3 hours or may be a day. This ensures that amla pieces absorb the masala and taste perfect.

Detailed recipe of making amla pickle

Firm, fresh amla are cleaned for dust and washed with water. These are properly dried with a kitchen towel.

Gently crush these amla into pieces using a kitchen mortar-pestle / stone. Remove the seed gently without losing the juice from amla. If the amla are very small in size, use them directly for pickle making.

Raw salt is added to the crushed amla pieces. This is kept aside for a day to release water and make the amla pieces soft. Gently mix the pieces.

Pickle masala can be prepared in the meantime.  For masala, heat a half teaspoon of oil, dry roast red chilies, cumin and methi. Roast them until they turn slightly golden and crisp.

Cool pickle masala, dry powder. Add this masala into the salted amla. Mix them well, to ensure the masala coats all the pieces.


For tempering of pickle. Take a small pan, heat coconut oil, add asafoetida, mix. Let this oil cool down.

Pour on the pickle. Gently mix everything, and store this in airtight clean moisture free glass jar. Use the pickle after 2 to 3 hours or may be a day. This is a great accompaniment to hot rice, curd rice.



Pickle recipes on blog

Mango pickle

Tender mango pickle


Amla pickle

Pavithra M AdigaPavithra M Adiga
Amla pickle is a common condiment found in most of the Indian household during the winters.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 d 1 hr
Total Time 1 d 1 hr 5 mins
Course Condiments
Cuisine Indian


  • Amla - 250gm
  • Raw salt - 2 tbsp
  • Red chilies - 10 -12 nos
  • Cumin- 1 tsp
  • Methi seeds - ½ tsp
  • Coconut oil - 3 to 4 tbsp
  • Asafoetida - ¼ tsp


  • Wash and clean amla, see that no water remains. Crush the amla into pieces and remove the seeds.
  • Add salt to the amla pieces and keep this aside for a day. This helps in releasing the water and softens the amla pieces.
  • After resting the amla for a day, mix them gently.
  • For pickle masala, heat half teaspoon coconut oil, roast red chilies, cumin and methi. Cool them and grind into dry powder.
  • Now mix this masala powder with the salted crushed amla. Keep this aside for tempering.
  • Heat coconut oil, add asafoetida, let this oil cool down and pour this on pickle.
  • Gently mix everything and store this in airtight clean moisture free glass jar. Use the pickle after 2 to 3 hours or may be a day. This is a great accompaniment to hot rice, curd rice.


Adjust the salt and spiciness based on your requirement.
This recipe makes a small batch of pickle and can be used in one month (under refrigeration).
Keyword Amla, Condiments, Indian, Karnataka, Pickle, Spices

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