Nellikai (Amla/Gooseberry) Aracha Kalakki

This post is for Green Boochi, who asked me to post the recipe for Nellikai Aracha Kalakki, on my last post. 🙂

Nellikai aracha kalakki is a common dish in the kitchens of Palakkad Iyers, and it was so in the home where my mother-in-law grew up. She once made it for me and I was instantly hooked. I would say the taste of the aracha kalakki requires some getting used to, and is not for everyone, but I liked it at once. I recently learnt from her how to make it and was able to replicate the same taste in my kitchen. Ha!

The recipe is extremely simple, and takes just about 15 minutes to put together. It is filled with the goodness of the Vitamin C that the gooseberry has in abundance. It makes for a great side dish with upma, sevai, pongal and the likes, and the OH likes to eat it mixed with plain, white rice.

Ingredients (for two people):

1. 4 medium-sized gooseberries, raw

2. About 4 tablespoons of fresh, grated coconut

3. Salt to taste

4. 3 green chillies (or according to taste)

5. 1 teaspoon oil

6. A few fresh curry leaves

7. Mustard seeds, for tempering

8. About a cup of curd, sourness as per taste


1. Add water in the bottom of a pressure cooker. Place the gooseberries into a bowl, whole, without water, and place the bowl into the pressure cooker. Boil the gooseberries. I give them about four whistles, usually. Once the steam is released, remove the gooseberries and let them cool down completely.

2. When the gooseberries have cooled down, break them into sections using your hands, or use a knife to do so. You will be able to do so very easily. Throw away the seeds.

3. In a small mixer jar, put in the gooseberry segments, grated coconut and chopped green chillies. Add a little water, and grind to a coarse paste.

4. Remove the gooseberry paste in a bowl. Add salt and curd to taste.

5. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds, and let them splutter. Turn off the gas, and add the curry leaves. Let them sizzle for a second or so. Then, add this mixture to the gooseberry and curd paste. Mix well. This can be served at room temperature or slightly chilled.

That is it! Simple, right?

Have you had nellikai arachakalakki? Is this the way you make it at home?


10 thoughts on “Nellikai (Amla/Gooseberry) Aracha Kalakki

  1. Interesting recipe. Will surely be trying it soon. Just a little confused about the instructions, probably a silly doubt because I am an amateur cook. You said boil without adding water….and let the steam out. Do you put the gooseberry in a dry pressure cooker, and where does the pressure and steam come from in that case?


    1. @Pointless Prose

      Hey there! Welcome to my blog! 🙂

      I totally understand your question – I would have asked the same myself when I was an amateur cook. No worries. Have edited the post for you, and made things more clear. Hope it is clear to you now.

      Never, ever use a pressure cooker without adding water at the bottom of it – it’s too dangerous.


  2. This is just simply called ‘nellikkai pachadi’ in Iyengar households. This is compulsorily made on the Dwadisi day (that is, the day after Ekadesi fast) along with sundaikkai (Turkey berry!) podi and Agathi keerai (a kind of greens!). All these are considered to heal the stomach after a day of fasting. Also, the goose berry is stocked by drying it in the sun and using it in the pachadi in the exact same way as the fresh ones. The dried nellikai is called nelli mulli!

    (P.S. – Sorry for the long gyan. I love this pachadi and couldn’t resist commenting!)


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