Amla Murabba ( Rajasthani Recipe)


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This is an invaluable winter preserve. Amlas (Indian gooseberries) are abundantly available during the winter months. You will find amla trees in several parts of Rajasthan and a large quantity of this fruit is used to make preserves. Whole amlas simmered in a cardamom and saffron flavoured syrup is one of my personal favourites. There are several traditional recipes for making this murabba. Some soak the amlas in alum (phitkari) overnight whilst others sun-dry amlas. I find it easiest to cook the amlas in boiling water to get rid of all the bitter juices. The entire process takes about 2 to 3 days. First, the amlas are simmered in a thin sugar syrup and left aside for 2 days during which the amlas slowly and gradually soak in the syrup. On the third day, amlas are removed and the syrup is boiled again to a thick honey like consistency. Thereafter the amlas and the flavouring are added. The thick syrup helps in the preservation of the murabba and also complements the sharp and acidic amla taste. I am sure you will enjoy this recipe as much I have enjoyed making it for you.

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Preparation Time: 
Maturing time:  2 days
Cooking Time: 
Makes 2.5 cups
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Ingredients

kg 20 (500 grams) amlas ( Indian gooseberries)
2 1/2 cups (500 grams) sugar
1/4 tsp cardamom (elaichi) powder
a few saffron (kesar) strands

Method
  1. Wash the amlas thoroughly. Prick them with a fork at regular intervals.
  2. Boil plenty of water in a pan, add the amlas and boil for 10 minutes over a high flame. Drain and keep aside.
  3. Dissolve the sugar in 3 cups of water and bring the syrup to a boil. Add the amlas and cook over a slow flame for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the amlas are soft.
  4. Allow the mixture to cool completely. Keep covered in a cool dry place for at least 48 hours so that the amlas soak in the syrup.
  5. Drain the amlas from the syrup, boil the syrup with cardamom powder and saffron till it reduces to a 2 to 3 string consistency. Add the amlas and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool completely.
  7. Bottle in a sterilised glass jar. Store for upto 6 months dry in a cool place.
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