A staple of Indian cuisine, the amla, or Indian gooseberry, is high in vitamin C and renowned throughout India for its health benefits. Amlas can be purchased fresh, dried or powdered, but one of the most popular uses is in murabba, a jam-like spread that preserves the fruit for year-round use. Recipes for amla murabba range from sweet to savoury to hot and spicy, but most produce a lightly sweetened, warmly spiced spread that uses sugar, cardamom and cinnamon to balance the sweet-tart flavour of the fruit.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Dried amlas
- Medium bowl
- Grater or food processor
- Large heavy saucepan
- 1 ¼ cups sugar
- Large spoon
- 1 tsp cardamom seeds
- 2-inch piece of cinnamon stick
- Glass jars with lids
Place approximately 1/2 to 3/4 cup dried amlas in a medium bowl and cover them with hot water. Let stand about 30 minutes to reconstitute the fruit. Drain the water and pat the amlas dry.
Remove and discard pits. Grate enough amlas to equal 1 cup of fruit. You may also pulse the amlas in a food processor rather than grate them.
Combine the sugar with 2 tbsp of water in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
Add the grated or processed amlas and the spices. Reduce the heat to low and simmer approximately 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bits of fruit turn clear and the mixture becomes thick and spreadable.
Remove the cinnamon stick and cool the murabba completely. Transfer to glass jars and store in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Tips and warnings
- Use amla murabba as you would use jam or jelly.
- Dried amlas can be found in Indian groceries and in many health food stores, or they can be ordered online.
- To use fresh amlas to make murabba, the fruit should first be boiled for approximately 10 minutes to reduce bitterness. Grate the cooled fruit and proceed as directed.
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