Sugar Free Indian Gooseberry Drink

gooseberry juice sugarfree nellikka juice

Since American history dates back less than 300 years, it’s good to look to other cultures to find food items that have worked for several generations. In this case it’s Indian gooseberry, aka aamla, that is used as a base. The scientific research is starting to back up what drinkers of the tea have been saying for a long time. Studies on rats show that this can help lower blood sugar levels. A huge boost to the body, and the lemon also gives a nice astringent effect as well.

I have wanted to write about this particular drink since couple of months. (Delayed because I was away from blogging and took my pictures only today J).

The Amla or Indian Gooseberry (Scientific Name: Phyllanthus emblica) is one of the most researched about plant due to its highly commendable medicinal properties.

This fruit and its plant (tree actually) are scientifically proven to be effective in cancer treatment, reducing diabetics, cholesterol and even age-related diseases like arthritis. So, it isn’t surprising that Amla has been used in the age-old practise of Ayurveda for healing the body. The amla is popularly used for hair oil and also used in various herbal toothpastes.

Amla has the most unique taste ever. It’s sour when you bite, bitter when chewing and leaves a very sweet taste in mouth after you swallow it…the sweetness lingers for quite sometime…In Malayalam, its called Nellikka.

nellikka indian gooseberry

 Talking of this fruit always takes me back to childhood….those days, when my life used to revolve around my granddad- one of the most cherished men in my life….He passed away when I was 6 or 7……I still miss him, wish for his presence and the difference that would have made in our lives….I miss him on every occasion….when I got married, when my little girl was born…..always…I still travel back in time to be with him…I still remember his face like it was all yesterday……I know 6 is not an age when you realize what death means…..but I have clear memories of the day… was the first time I encountered someone leaving me because he was dead….lets, just let it go there…..lets, not talk about it because his loss for me is beyond words…..

Granddad was an absolute fanatic for gardening… we have so many varieties of fruits and flowers during his time. There was a huge Amla tree in our backyard. When the fruits ripen and fall to the ground, we, children would pick ’em up, washit under the garden pipes and bite-in crinkling our faces because of the sourness. One bite and we would start drinking water (again form the pipes…hehehe) because a bite of Amla and the post-sweetness in your mouth makes the water taste very sweet…. as kids, we loved doing this. Surely, I share this memory with a lot of Keralites because almost every home would have an Amla tree.

gooseberry juice nellikka juice

Coming to the present, being away from your homeland is a minus but being in a country where you get almost everything that you have back home is a plus plus J I am one of the lucky few with this perk! We get plenty of Amla here, imported from India of course! I love eating them raw but hubby never touches them…this is why I tried making juice from it. And the man was clean bowledJ….since then its been a stapled part of the fridge.

A few words of wisdom…. irrespective of all the goodness….this juice is to be consumed in a diluted form- around 210ml of water for one medium size fruit. It’s best drunk on an empty stomach in the morning for its detoxifying and cleansing properties. Recommended serving is one glass per day. If you consume a whole bottle, like my brother did the other day, you end up in the toilet J. You can extract the concentrate and refrigerate. Make the juice with 1 tbsp for approx. a glass of water.

Please note that the Juice tastes best when served cold.

Even though the juice tastes super refreshing and is sugar free… fully benefit from the goodness of this fruit, I would always recommend eating them raw! Like my mom says “Good for the gums!”

gooseberry juice sugarfree nellikka juice

Ingredients: (for 8 glasses of juice)

  • Amla (Gooseberry/Nellikka) – 7 or 8 medium to large size
  • Lemon zest- ½ tspn
  • Lemon- ½ sliced into thin slices
  • Mint leaves- 2 sprigs
  • Cold water- 7 cups
  • salt- 1 tbsp(or to taste)


  1. Discard the seeds of Amla.
  2. Dump in the flesh of Amla, lemon zest, salt and water into you mixer aka juicer.
  3. Strain the juice.
  4. Crush the mint leaves between you palm and add it with lemon pieces to the juice.
  5. Serve chilled and get healthy 

Credits: Cardamon Hills