Nellikka Uppilittathu | Gooseberry Pickle

SobhaKesavan S

Nellikka Uppilittathu is an age old traditional styled dish cooked in brine solution with necessary herbs and spices. You can adjust the concentration of brine solution in required levels. In Kerala Cuisine, ‘Uppilittathu’ is the word used for soaking anything in brine or salt solution for preservation purpose. Apart from preserving needs, uppilittathu is a delicacy in itself. The tender gooseberries are very delicious with rice or kanji. You can savor them as and when needed. You can refrigerate for months together and enjoy the gooseberries. Nellika or Gooseberry is always good for health however you cook it. It is indeed proved medically that you should consume at least one gooseberry daily. Kids usually do not favor gooseberries, but in pickled form they will find it more interesting. You can also substitute bird eye chilly or ‘kanthari’ as we call it in Kerala, for more authenticity and flavor.

It is learnt that Nellikka or Gooseberries is high in fiber and low in calories. It is filled with antioxidants, it also controls blood sugar and may help to have anti-cancer effect. Eating 1 – 2 nellikkas daily may help to improve eye sight, boost immune system etc. When I travel through various places in India, I have seen vendors selling Nellikkas immersed in salt water with some other healthy ingredients and it was very nice to eat these nellikkas. So, I also started to store Nellikka in Salt water at home and myself and my husband are eating at-least one Nellikka each in the morning and evening. I am, therefore, happy to share the preparation method of Nellikka Uppilittathu and hope that it will be helpful for all. You can store Gooseberry Pickle in air tight jars. For longer purpose store in refrigerator. You can explore a well detailed recipe here that can be easily prepared at home.

Nellikka (Gooseberry) Uppilittathu:

Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Cuisine Kerala


  • 500 g Nellikka (Gooseberries)
  • Salt As reqd
  • 4 - 5 Nos. Green chillies (Sliced/cut)
  • As required Vinegar this helps to make the Nellikka more tasty and preserve long time


  • Clean, wash and remove the water from the Nellikka (Gooseberries) by using a clean cloth.
  • Then cut/scratch four sides of the Nellikka (Gooseberries) slightly (as shown in the photo).
  • Take 2 - 3 cups of water in a cooking vessel. Add required quantity of Salt and sliced/cut Green Chilli pieces and some vinegar into this water and boil it well and then put off the stove.
  • Add the Nellikka (Gooseberries) into this water.
  • Cover the cooking vessel with a lid/plate and keep it aside for some time.
  • After some time, remove the lid/plate and if necessary add some more salt and vinegar. Stir the mix well and allow to cool it well.
  • Nellikka Uppilittathu is ready. After 2 - 3 days, you can savor the Nellikka pickle one by one, morning and evening.
  • If this Nellikka is stored in an air tight glass jar/bottle, it can be preserved for a long time.


You can visit this link Gooseberry Pickle. You can also visit this link Gooseberry Mint Lemonade.
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