Friday, 22 March 2013

Nellikkai Jam - Gooseberry Jam

                                With a tree in the backyard and abundant gooseberries to pick as and when needed during the season, we would play around with gooseberries in our mouth and swollen cheeks, slowly chewing the fruit, drawing its sweet and sour juices, until there was nothing but the hairy, green seed and run to drink water that would taste sweet like sugar. An experience that would last only till the fruits were harvested and I would save the best pick from the harvest, collecting all the large fruits for later consumption. Although gooseberries comes with all the recommended nutrients and goodness, it is difficult to eat them raw every single day. Making jam, pickle and preserving them in jaggery or honey are the best ways to make sure that we get the nutrients from these fruits through the year. Considering the sugar content in the gooseberry jam, I guess a teaspoon a day is good enough for an individual's daily requirement. I am no nutritionist, but I draw my limit there. We take this leghium ( that's what my mother calls it and with just a tsp a day, I think it sounds apt ! ) almost every day with our breakfast along with idly or dosai. The harvest is over and I am happy I have my stock of gooseberries, sweetened and preserved in my little jars, that will last till the next season. 

Gooseberry     1 k
Sugar            900 gms
Cinnamon      2 pieces
Cloves           8
Star anise       2
Ginger           2 inch piece ( about the length of a little finger )
Water           1 1/2 cup

Rinse the gooseberries well and steam cook them along with the ginger ( peeled)  for about 25minutes.
Remove the seeds from the gooseberries and blend the flesh along with the ginger to a fine paste( add a little water if necessary to get a fine paste)
Transfer to a pan and stir on low heat.
Meanwhile, combine sugar and the water in another pan, stir on medium heat until the sugar dissolves and boils to a syrup. 
Strain the sugar syrup directly into the pan with gooseberry paste and stir to mix.
Add the spices and stir on high heat until it thickens to a jam consistency.
Let it cool completely.

Transfer the jam to canning jars and seal tightly. 
Place the jars in a large pot filled with water( the jars should be immersed in water ) and bring the water to a boil.
Let the jars remain in the boiling water on medium heat for about 10-15minutes.
Turn off the heat and leave it to cool.

Remove the jars from the water. The jam is ready to be consumed.
The jam needs no refrigeration and can be stored at room temperature, but avoid using wet spoons or water from entering into the jar, which will spoil the jam and its shelf life.
This is the standard canning procedure that I follow and it works for me really well all the time and the canned products last long without refrigeration. 

The jam can be eaten with dosai, idly, roti or any bread.
If you do not want to waste the seeds, dry them well and as mentioned earlier, use in your shikakai mix.

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Hiya all,
Finally on this day of october the 1st, 2012, I have decided to include the comment form, after a long gap of two years. But, I am going to be a bit selfish here and keep all those nice and lovely things that is said for me and only me to cherish and will be sharing any queries that requires clarifications and your experience about the food if you have tried my recipes. So, drop in a word if you have anything to say and thanks a lot for stopping by.
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