I have always been one to identify my situation with songs, one who loved to express her current state of mind with a song; singing aloud when i was by myself because the poetry of the songs sounded so apt and beautiful, even if not originally mine. And when i had company, understanding friends would put up with my bad singing, i could never sing a song in its original tune. And as much as i profess to like songs, i can't really appreciate music. Its the lyrics that get me. When i was first introduced to old Hindi movie songs by my Rajasthani friend (who had a great voice and sang beautifully) i couldn't have enough of them. I would make her sing for me and ask the meaning of difficult words and I so loved the lyrics of those songs, that i can now sing along a lot of those old songs. And all this ranting is because i happened to listen to one such song a little while ago - main zindagi ka sath nibhata chala gaya. I was just starting a new blog post and wondering what to write about, paused to check my email when i found a friend sent me a link to this song on the Internet.
|Pricking the gooseberries|
This one is a happy-go-lucky type of song that says i will play along with whatever life brings my way, whether its happiness or sadness and i will treat them all the same. But i think its a song that one can appreciate when one is happy. When you are sad, your reaction is likely to be - 'yeah, easy for you to say'. So i guess i am happy, and i think gooseberries cooked in sugar syrup have something to do with this happy state of mind. I wouldn't have had access to this dish or known this was called Amla Murabba if i didn't have my Hindi speaking friends. So i am thankful to them; because i have fallen in love with these soft sweet gooseberries since i had my first taste some five years ago, as i had fallen in love with old Hindi songs around the same time.
Cooking this is a long process, but by no means a difficult one. So when you have a lazy afternoon to yourself, put this on the stove and get yourself a book and make yourself comfortable in the kitchen. I finished two Sudoku puzzles in the time my gooseberries got cooked and had a happy smile by the end of it.
|Gooseberries boiling in water and drained|
It is at least thrice as expensive to buy Amla Murabba from a store (i know because that's how i have been gorging on them these last few years) than for you to make it at home and i have read that you can store it for a year at room temperature in a sterilized jar. Though I am sure to finish them off in a week at max. I should remember to make a larger batch next time!
Based on a recipe from Tarla Dalal's Website
18-20 amla (500 grams gooseberries)
2 cups sugar
|Gooseberries cooking in sugar syrup and afterwards|
Wash the gooseberries and prick each one periodically (six places) with a fork. Boil 3 cups of water in a medium sized saucepan. When the water is boiling, add the gooseberries and boil for 3 minutes on high heat. Turn off the heat and leave the gooseberries in the hot water for 10 minutes. Drain the water and keep the gooseberries aside. Now in a medium saucepan add two cups of water to two cups of sugar. On medium heat, stir until the sugar dissolves and comes to a gentle boil.
Add the cooked gooseberries and turn the heat down to simmer for about 30-40 minutes (i left it on for 40 minutes) until the gooseberries become soft. You have to be in the kitchen during this time and stir once every 5 minutes or so to make sure the syrup does not overflow the pan. Turn off the heat and let it cool. Leave the gooseberries to soak in the sugar syrup for at least 48 hours, in a place where ants can't get to them! After 48 hours, remove the gooseberries to a sterilised jar and heat the sugar syrup until it thickens to the consistency of honey, about 20 minutes on low flame. Cool the sugar syrup and pour into the jar containing gooseberries. Amla Murabba is now ready to eat. While they last, they are my favourite after dinner desserts.
Sending this to Vardhini's Sinful Delights event.
Also sending this to the event "Lets cook for Christmas red and green"
Linking this to Sobha's Just 4 fun event at Good Food.