November 23, 2009

Honey Gooseberries- Indian gooseberries soaked in sugar-honey syrup

Gooseberries/Nellikkai/Amla are rich source of Vitamin C. The gooseberry from an integral part of various traditional home remedies and is an essential ingreident in most of the Ayurveda medicines. The gooseberry fruit contains as much as 20 times of vitamin C as that in an orange. Iron in the food is best absorbed when taken in combination of food containing Vitamin C. In that scenario, honey and gooseberries form a perfect pair.  I first saw gooseberries soaked in honey at Wayanad.   At first, I did not know that it was soaked in honey. When I saw similar jars at different tourist spots, I asked the cab driver and he enlightened me on that. I jusst bought two pieces to taste it. I loved it. From then on, I wanted to try it at home. But did not search for a recipe though. It was in the back of mind.  Later I found it in Meenakshi Ammal's Samaithupar Part II.

When I was preparing the post I googled to find the benefits of Goosberry to include as part of  the post. I found a recipe for honey berries. I felt it more healthy with out the addition of sugar and think these are the kind I had at Wayanad.

The gooseberry can be preserved using honey, and thus used throughout the year. Take required number of gooseberries and clean them in running water. Pierce the gooseberries using a sharp stainless steel edge at various spots. Now immerse these pierced gooseberries in a jar full of pure honey. Cover the mouth of the jar using fine white cloth and place the jar in sunlight for an hour for 15 days. 

A tablespoon each of fresh gooseberry juice and honey mixed together forms a very effective medicine for several ailments. Its regular use will promote vigor in the body within a few days. When fresh fruit is not available, dry powder can be mixed with honey.

For more info on gooseberries and how it can be used as home remedies, check here.

While writing the post, I am reminded of a popular Malayalam saying -
"Moothavar chollum muthunellikkayum Aadhyam Kayakkum, Pinne Mathurikkum "
(മൂത്തവര്‍ ചൊല്ലും മുതുനെല്ലിക്കയും ആദ്യം കയക്കും പിന്നെ മധുരിക്കും).
It translates as "Both elders's advice and goosebrries will taste bitter at first but will turn to be sweet later ". Have you tried drinking water after a bite of gooseberry. If not, try it. Then you will understand the meaning of the above.

Now on to  the recipe I followed.

You need

Gooseberries - 1 heaped cup

Sugar 3/4 cup

Water - 1/4 cup

Honey - 2 tblspn

Cardamom - apinch


Wash and dry the berries. Prick with a skewer/toothpick at few places on each berry.  Prepare sugar syrup. When the syrup is sticky, i.e. prior to one thread consistency, add the berries and turn well. The moisture released from the berries will make the syrup thin. Continue cooking till the syrup attains the one thread consistency. Add honey and cardamom powder. Cook for 2 minutes and remove from fire. Cool and store in dry glass jar.

Since the berries are also cooked, it gets soaked faster. You can eat the berries the next day itself. But as it ages, it gets more soft and tastes better with soaking. You drizzle the syrup on poories, rotis or bread too. The syrup tastes delicious with the juice of the gooseberries blended in.


  1. Really a healthy recipe and would like to have it.

  2. Never tried or heard this sweet gooseberries...soo beautiful!!

  3. We alwats had these at home from a shop. The saying truly holds!

  4. Hve seen gooseberries preserved in different ways but this is new to me. Interesting.

  5. I too have tasted this through a friend,but never knew the recipe,thanks a ton for posting this ,will sure try this out nex time.. I too posted a gooseberry recipe ;)

  6. I love this...I think this is called awle ka murraba in the north ,..nice post..
    Btw. nice header..

  7. Very nice post.I remember gulping down this honey soaked gooseberries one per day, when I was pregnant.Supposed to be a very very healthy Ayurvedic supplement for pregnant women

  8. I didn't know gooseberries were used this way. Do you eat it daily for good health or occasionally?

  9. nice way to eat gooseberries. lovely recipe :)

  10. I saw at Raks place pickle and now u come up with sweet. U guys make me nostalgic :( Wonderful!

  11. That looks good, Jayasree! I know what you mean with those lines. I love that effect of water after amlas.

  12. Thanks for the comments.

    Sowmya, thanks for noticing the change in header.

    Suma, you can eat it daily too. No harm since its loaded with vitamins.

  13. Its the amla season in this is the next recipe to be tried on my list. Timely post. :-)

  14. A nice and healthy one .Thanks for sharing!

  15. Never heard of this before..very interesting..:-)
    BTW first time here, and you have a lovely space :-)

  16. Nice way to use goosberry and also delicious and healthy. Also saw your version of kai murukku... they look mouthwatering. Really nothing can beat mom's patience in twisting the murukku's.. they look so perfect in shape and crispy :)

  17. Hi, thanks for posting your recipe. I was trying to soak purple gooseberries in honey and I was imagining they would taste mostly sweet. To my surprise, they started to ferment and the taste is now (after 3 weeks) close to chutney or pickles. All is left from the berries is the outer skin, the rest ran out of the jars. Is it supposed to be so?

  18. @Zdravka, thanks for your comment. I tried with Indian gooseberries which are green in color. I do not know about the purple one you are talking about. Mine didnot last for more than 10 days. And it didnot ferment then. But it held the shape. I guess the sourness from the berries made it to ferment. May be you could have tried refrigerating it.


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