This simple Usirikaya Rasam is a great way to include a lot of Amla or Indian Gooseberry in our daily diet. So get your daily dose of Vitamin C without any effort with this Andhra Amla Rasam (or Nellikai Rasam as it is called in Tamil Nadu).

Nellikai Saaru | Usirikai Charu
Nellikai Saaru | Usirikai Charu

I really really like Amla and find ways to eat it. All through the year I eat this tangy Indian Gooseberry in the form of Amla Candy. However, in winter, when fresh Amla is plentiful and all around, I use it to make:

Today, I am writing about Usirikaya Charu or Amla Rasam. There is something super comforting about having warm rasam for a meal in winters (and even otherwise), and so this rasam is made often in my home in winters.

Why should you include Amla or the Indian Gooseberry in your diet? Well, this WebMD article points out that 100 gms of Usirikaya has as much Vitamin C as 20 oranges!! It also has a generous amount of Vitamin A and Vitamin E, not to mention iron and fibre.

In India, Amla is widely used in remedies to reduce hair fall, lower cholesterol and sugar levels, and improve digestion. So use Food As Medicine, and include this wonder berry in your diet. 🙂

Usirikaya Charu
Usirikaya Charu

How to Make Usirikaya Charu | Andhra Amla Rasam

  1. Making the Usirikaya Paste
    1. Cut 100 gms Amla (about 4 large ones) into pieces. Discard the seeds. The size of the piece does not matter as we will grind the pieces to a coarse paste.

    2. Grind the amla pieces with 1/2 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp cumin together to a coarse paste. You will get about 1/2 cup of paste.

    3. Set aside.  
  2. Cooking the Tuvar Dal
    1. Pressure cook 2 tbsp Tuvar Dal till mashable. This is about 1/4 cup of cooked tuvar dal. I know it is difficult to cook small amount of dal. In my home, whenever I cook dal for sambar or other dishes, I refrigerate some of the cooked dal to use in rasam, when needed.

    2. Mash the dal well and set aside.
  3. Making the Usirikaya Charu
    1. In a heavy-bottomed vessel, heat 1 tsp ghee or oil.
    2. Add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds and let them splutter.
    3. Add 2 split dry red chillies, 1 slit green chilli, and a few curry leaves.
    4. Stir-fry for a minute.
    5. Add the amla paste and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, till the raw Amla taste disappears.
    6. Add the cooked dal, 1/4 tsp turmeric, and salt. Mix well.
    7. Add 2 cups of water and mix well.

    8. Bring the Charu to a boil.
    9. Take off the heat.
    10. Add 1 tbsp chopped coriander. 
    11. Cover and let the Amla Rasam rest for 5 minutes. 
  4. Serve hot Usirikaya Charu with some steamed rice and papad.
Nellikai Saaru
Nellikai Saaru

Recipe for Usirikaya Charu | Nellikai Saaru

Usirikaya Charu | Nellikai Rasam | Amla Rasam: A Vitamin C-rich Rasam

Aruna
Usirikaya Charu is a traditional Andhra rasam made with the Indian Gooseberry or Amla that is rich in Vitamins C, A and E. Called Nellikai Rasam in Tamil, this rasam is a great way to use Amla as a part of regular food.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Accompaniment, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Andhra Pradesh, Indian, South Indian, Tamil Nadu, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings 4 People
Calories 60 kcal
Equipment
  • Grinder
  • Heavy-bottomed Vessel (1 litre capacity)
  • Ladle
  • Knife
Ingredients
  
  • 100 gms Amla, Usirikaya, Nellikai (4 Large Ones)
  • 2 tbsp Uncooked Tuvar Dal, Kandi Pappu (or 1/4 Cup Cooked Dal)
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper Corns
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 Cups Water
  • Salt to Taste
For Tempering
  • 1 tsp Ghee or Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 Red Chillies
  • 1 Slit Green Chilli
  • A Few Curry Leaves
Instructions
 
Making the Usirikaya Paste
  • Cut 100 gms Amla (about 4 large ones) into pieces. Discard the seeds.
  • Grind the amla pieces with 1/2 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp cumin together to a coarse paste. Set aside.
Cooking the Tuvar Dal
  • Pressure cook 2 tbsp Tuvar Dal till mashable. This is about 1/4 cup of cooked tuvar dal.
  • Mash the dal well and set aside.
Making the Usirikaya Charu
  • In a heavy-bottomed vessel, heat 1 tsp ghee or oil.
  • Add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds and let them splutter.
  • Add 2 split dry red chillies, 1 slit green chilli, and a few curry leaves.
  • Stir-fry for a minute.
  • Add the amla paste and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, till the raw Amla taste disappears.
  • Add the cooked dal, 1/4 tsp turmeric, and salt. Mix well.
  • Add 2 cups of water and mix well.
  • Bring the Usirikaya Charu to a boil.
The Final Steps
  • Take off the heat.
  • Add 1 tbsp chopped coriander.
  • Cover and let the Amla Rasam rest for 5 minutes.
Enjoying the Charu
  • Serve hot Usirikaya Charu with some steamed rice and papad.
Nutrition Facts
Usirikaya Charu | Nellikai Rasam | Amla Rasam: A Vitamin C-rich Rasam
Amount Per Serving
Calories 60 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 3mg1%
Sodium 52mg2%
Potassium 56mg2%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 66IU1%
Vitamin C 151mg183%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword Cheruku Rasam Pongali, Kobbari Palu Charu, Nellikai Rasam, Nellikai Saaru, Usirikaya Charu
Tried this recipe?Do let me know how you liked it @aahaaram or tag #aahaaram!

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