star gooseberry pickle or harfi achaar recipe – an easy recipe of star gooseberry pickle which requires no sunlight or drying in the sun.
every summer, i make this punjabi mango pickle or the khatta meetha aam ka achaar. this time i did not make any mango pickle as in the summers, it would rain at times and would be cloudy. did not want to take a chance. strangely enough, officially its the monsoon season here and its not raining. i made this star gooseberry pickle as i did not want to rely on the sun which was unpredictable then.
in this star gooseberry pickle recipe, apart from tempering the oil with spices, there is no other cooking involved. i kept the pickle at room temperature in a dry place in my kitchen counter for 7 days. just make sure you use a sterilized glass bottle or jar for pickling. while storing pickles, jams, sauce or squashes, i always sterilize the jars.
to make this kerala style pickle, i referred a recipe in one of the cookbooks i have. changed the proportions a lot. the result was a spiced tangy pickle. the amount of oil and salt added in the pickle help as natural preservatives and does not allow the pickle to get spoiled. the same pickling method and recipe can be made with amla or indian gooseberries as well. this pickle stays good for about 6 months and the yield is about 500 gms.
the star gooseberry pickle can be served with any indian meal. it goes really well with sambar-rice, dal-rice and even curd rice. the pickle can also be served with steamed rice topped with a bit of ghee or oil.
star gooseberry pickle recipe below:
- 400 grams star gooseberries
- ¼ cup red chili powder (lal mirch powder)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
- ½ cup rock salt (sendha namak) or add as required
- ½ cup + 3 tablespoon sesame oil (til ka tel) - indian one and not the east asian one
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
- 1 teaspoon methi ke dane (fenugreek seeds)
- 1 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
- first rinse the star gooseberries in water. dry them with a kitchen napkin. there should be no trace of moisture.
- take them in a large bowl. add the red chilli powder, turmeric powder and rock salt. mix very well.
- in another pan, heat the sesame oil first. then add the mustard seeds & fenugreek seeds and allow them to splutter.
- then add the asafoetida. stir and switch off the flame.
- let the oil cool completely and then pour it over the gooseberries marinated with the spices. mix very well.
- spoon the pickle in a sterilized jar.
- close tightly with a lid and keep the pickle in a dry corner of your kitchen for 7 days.
- after every 2 to 3 days, give the pickle bottle or jar a good shake or a stir with a clean dry spoon.
- the star gooseberry pickle will be ready after 7 days.
- once the pickle is ready, keep in the fridge or at room temperature.
- in cold climates, you can keep outside. in a hot and humid climate, keep in the fridge. serve star gooseberry pickle with any indian meal of your choice.
step by step star gooseberry pickle recipe:
1. firstly rinse the gooseberries and dry them with a kitchen towel. there should be no trace of moisture. these are small in size and are deliciously tart. these star shaped gooseberries are also known as arai nellikai. i have not removed the seeds as these were too small. if using a larger variety, then chop and remove the seeds. slice off the sides which are bruised, if any.
2. take the gooseberries in a large bowl. add the red chilli powder, turmeric powder and rock salt.
3. mix very well. if you taste the gooseberries now, you will find it salty. after adding oil and the pickling process, the saltiness is not felt. the flavors get mellowed down.
4. in another pan, heat the sesame oil. let the oil become hot. not smoking hot, but just hot enough to fry the spices.
5. first add the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds and allow them to splutter.
6. then add the asafoetida. stir and switch off the flame.
7. let the oil cool completely and then pour it over the star gooseberries marinated with the spices.
8. mix very well.
9. spoon the pickle in a sterilized jar. close with a lid and keep the pickle in a dry corner of your kitchen for 7 days. after every 2 to 3 days, give the pickle bottle or jar a good shake or stir with a clean dry spoon. the yield is about 500 gms of pickle. the oil will float on the top later. but not to worry as thats how indian pickles are meant to be 🙂
10. the arai nellikai pickle will be ready after 7 days. once the gooseberry pickle is ready, keep outside or in the fridge. in cold climates, you can keep outside. in a hot and humid climate, keep in the fridge. serve star gooseberry pickle with any indian meal of your choice. i prefer it with sambar rice or dal rice combination.