Amla, the Indian Gooseberry will surprise you with a complex combination of flavors. This simple-looking fruit tastes sour, bitter, and sweet at the same time.
What does Amla taste like? Many of us know the answer very well. In case if you don’t, get ready for a sweet surprise.
When you bite into this berry, the sour-bitter juice fills up your taste buds. After chewing for some time, sweetness begins to fill inside your mouth. Feeling interested, right? Then let us go deep into the flavor and taste of Amla.
What Does Amla Taste Like
Amla has a bitter-sour taste with an underlying sweetness. The bitter sourness can overpower your taste buds and make you shudder. This feeling makes people turn away from this berry. The sweetness appears like magic when the sour-bitter taste resides. It intensifies if you drink water right after consuming Amlas.
Amla has an earthy flavor with a chewy and fibrous texture. This flavor pairs with the sour taste bombarding your mouth when you eat it. You cannot consume more than two-three berries at a time. Many people love Amlas for the fun flavors it creates in the mouth.
Why does Indian gooseberry taste sour? It has an abundant presence of vitamin C and citric acid. It also contains polyphenolic compounds, tannins, and salts. Together they create the bitter-sour taste. As this berry contains high amounts of these compounds, we get that shuddering sensation.
Amla also contains carbohydrates. Salivary amylase in our saliva converts them into maltose, a sweet sugar. So why does the bitter-sour taste comes out first? The compounds creating the overwhelming sour-bitterness mask and desensitize our sweet taste buds. The sweetness becomes evident later when more saliva comes into action. Water washes away the desensitizing compounds. It enables us to feel a lasting sweet taste when having water afterward.
You can improve the taste of Amla by preserving it in salt, honey, or sugar. The complex flavors make it ideal for imparting a tangy feel to your drinks.
How to Use Amla
Every bite of an Amla gives you a sharp, lasting sensation of flavors. So how should we use them in our diets? How can we alter its bitter-sour taste to make it more consumable? We have listed some ways for you.
Fermenting raw or boiled Amlas in salt solution softens its texture and taste. It has a tangy, salty flavor. This method helps you to preserve these berries for a long time.
Preserving Amlas in honey makes a tasty treat for your children. It reduces the bitter-sour taste and enhances its sweetness. The texture becomes firmer and chewier with this method.
You can candy Amlas using sugar and drying it under sunlight. This sweet candy has a dry exterior with a soft interior.
You can prepare delicious amla murabba by cooking the berries in sugar syrup. Seasoning with saffron, cardamom, pepper, and salt increases the flavor.
Amla pickle offers the easiest way to consume it with rice or rotis. Pickling with salt and spices makes it flavorful and savory. You can use different pickling methods to twist the taste to your liking.
Where to Use Amla
You can use Amlas to make chutneys. Using it raw and using preserved varieties give different flavors. Pairing amla with shredded coconut brings out a great savory taste. This coconut-amla chutney has a subtly sweet and sour taste.
Using Amla powder here and there in your dishes increases the flavor. It has an earthy, bitter taste. You can consume the powder as a juice or mix it in your dosa batter and roti. Amla powder pairs well with different juices and drinks.
Health Benefits of Amla
Amla offers the second richest source of immunity-boosting Vitamin C after Barbados cherry. It improves the health of our skin, eyes, heart and has anti-aging properties. Antioxidants present in Amlas improve heart and brain functions. It also contains vitamin E, flavonols, and polyphenols good for the heart and brain. The fiber-rich flesh of Amlas helps to improve digestion.
Too much of anything can become poisonous. Please keep this in mind while using it. Overuse of this berry may trigger hyperacidity, constipation, cold, and heart ailments.
Amla, the Indian Gooseberry has a bitter-sour and sweet taste. The sour-bitter taste masks the sweetness such that we only sense it slowly. The chewy, fibrous texture of Amlas has an earthy flavor. You can improve its taste by preserving it in salt or honey. Delicacies like amla candy and amla-murabba offer a sweet treat.
Chutneys made with raw or preserved Amlas offer a tasty way to use them. Amla in powdered or raw forms improves the taste of your juices and drinks. You can also use them in your roti flour and dosa batter. Amla can boost your immunity and protect your heart, brain, eyes, and skin. Overuse causes adverse effects on your health.