Sunday, 5 July 2015

My experiments with Amla I

Amla or Indian gooseberry is known by various names in various parts of the world and our country . It is not just a wonder fruit that is one of the richest sources of vitamin C , 445 mg/100g  but also packed with nutrients and antioxidants.
Since it is a fruit packed with a richness of nature and finds its place in every chavanprash and a number of Ayurvedic preparations  I embarked upon the journey to incorporate in my daily live and more importantly into the lives of my family members.
Eating Raw Amla
I tried eating it raw but if you are not used to the taste then you might experience it to be very sour with a certain tartness in taste. Drinking water over it gives you a certain sweetness in the mouth.
I was ok eating it but I must confess that eating it as a chawanprash, a murabba or a chutney is much easier on the palate.
Determined that I would incorporate it my households daily life I began to explore ways of incorporating in my family’s daily diet.
I started with cutting the amla fruit and scooping out the hard pit with a knife.
Alternatively one can chop it with a vegetable chopper to get rid of the hard greenish core.
The outer fruity part is packed with the juice and nutrients. I tried a number of ways to extract the juice and I share with you the ones that were successful
1 1)      I cut the Amla fruit in to two halves with a chopper or a sharp knife and put these halves into the juicer     and  extracted the juice. A point to be noted is that not just the juice but the left over fibrous remains are also  very useful.

2 )      Another way is to grate the Amla fruit using a grater and then blend the grated Amla shreds into a blender with  water.

   Then straining the blended mixture in a sieve separates the juice from the fibrous remains. Once I had this juice with me I tried incorporating it in my daily diet and this was relatively easy.
The first recipe that I tried was to create a virgin mojito with amla. It is a perfect drink when you come back from a hard day at work or having a part
The process is very simple
I am using 1 Amla for 2 glasses of mojito
Since it is difficult to take out the juice of a single amla in a juicer so I grated the entire amla without deseeding it in a metal grater as the amla fruit is a hard fruit and a plastic grater may break.

Add half a glass of water to the grated amla and blend it in the blender. The process of blending extracts the juice from the Amla fibres. The blending should be continued till the individual strands cannot be seen and the mix becomes homogeneous.  Use a fine strainer to separate the juice from the fibrous part.
I added  a few strands of mint leaves into the filtered Amla liquor and using a muddle crushed them to gets their flavors  out into the liquid.
To sweeten this mix one can add sugar  or honey .

To complete the drink add a glass of water or soda
Mix all the contents in a jar with a muddle add ice cubes and serve chilled.

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