People are eating all kinds of nonsense to deal with digestive problems. And that makes zero sense when amla candy is easy to make, natural, delicious, and has stood the test of time for thousands of years!
Indian Gooseberry, Amblaki, or Amla is an essential tridoshic (good for all three Ayurvedic designations) fruit that also happens to be one of the highest natural sources of vitamin C on the planet. The only problem? It is sour as heck, and therefore can be a bit unpalatable to kids. The solution? Just a little natural drying and some sugar turns these into nature’s Sour Patch Kids candy. Lovely to eat and a great remedy for the heaviest of sabjis like soya chaap, vegan butter chicken, or chaats like bhaji or vada, which are fried.
Liberate yourself from purchasing processed, factory-made digestive tablets, or manufactured Panatnjali amla candy and effortlessly make homemade chatpaka amla infused with your love and personal care for a fraction of the price!
🥰Why you are going to adore the ever-loving heck outta this recipe
🥸 Fool-proof method: With just a few natural ingredients, my step-by-step instructions make it a breeze, even for beginners.
🌿 Healthy for digestion: Discover the medicinal benefits of amla, disguised in a sweet and tangy treat. Kids will love it, and you’ll relish the fact that it’s good for their digestion too!
✅ Tested and approved worldwide: Just like all of the Indian recipes on my blog, this Amlaki Candy has been meticulously perfected and tested COUNTLESS TIMES by recipe testers in kitchens around the world.
🟢 Notable ingredients and substitutions
Indian Gooseberry goes by many names, including Nellikai (in South India), and Dhatri (in Ayurveda). But whatever name you use for it, it is jam-packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, adding tartness to the candy. It can also be used to make a killer amla pickle. If you can’t find it fresh (it comes and goes from the market, at least in the United States), you can use frozen amla, which generally already has the weird-looking seeds removed, and will require a shorter time steaming. But if you can find it fresh, the health benefits are greater.
Provides sweetness and texture to the candy, while also acting as a preservative, ensuring your Chatpata Amlaki lasts longer. I like to use evaporated cane juice, but regular sugar, or even powdered jaggery will work if you don’t mind it muting the pretty green color of the candy.
Powdered sugar coats the candy for a sweet and dry finish, creating an appealing texture and taste. If you want less sugar, you can substitute finely powdered desiccated coconut or leave it out completely.
*See the recipe card at the bottom of the page for exact quantities, nutritional info, and detailed cooking directions.
🌶️ Spicy Amla: For those who love a kick, add a pinch of red chili powder to the sugar coating for a spicy-sweet balance. The heat of the chili pairs surprisingly well with the tangy amla. You can add spices such as amchur or sumac to intensify the sourness.
📖 How to easily make sweet gooseberry candy
Make these perfectly on your first attempt by following these step-by-step instructions with important tips. Or you can follow along with the easy-to-print recipe card towards the bottom of this page.
Begin by gently steaming the gooseberries for 10-15 minutes in a steamer or cook them in a pressure cooker until you hear one whistle. Your goal is to see slightly shriveled skins, and the amla just beginning to crack open at some of the seams.
Once the steamed gooseberries have cooled down, carefully remove the seeds and separate them into sections. Taking your time with this step ensures a smoother candy texture.
🥶 If you are impatient, you can cool them quickly by shocking them in ice water for a few minutes, which also helps preserve their vibrant color.
In a mixing bowl, combine the gooseberry sections with sugar and black salt.
Spread the sugared amla sections onto a tray or a baking pan. Allow them to air-dry at room temperature for two days, remembering to turn them with a dry spoon once a day.
If you live in a humid environment, be vigilant about excess moisture on the tray and promptly drain it off to prevent stickiness.
You can enjoy these just like this, or follow the last final step.
As an optional final touch, you can toss the completely dried amla sections in powdered sugar. This adds an extra layer of sweetness and helps absorb any remaining moisture, ensuring the perfect texture for your Chatpata Amlaki.
Chatpata Amlaki (Indian Gooseberry Amla Candy) isn’t just a yummy candy to have on its own.
Consider enjoying some amla candy as a natural post-meal ritual to aid digestion. Whether you’ve had a hearty meal of arhar dal or chana dal over biryani, or chana masala over turmeric rice, this candy can be your digestive companion. Its beneficial properties make it a wholesome way to conclude heavier meals like jackfruit curry or vegan fried chicken (don't worry, it's made out of seitan) glazed in gochujang bbq sauce over fragrant basmati pilau.
Perfectly Steamed Amla: Overcooking can make them mushy and end up making the final candies withered. Aim for a tender texture, typically achieved in 10-15 minutes of steaming or one whistle in a pressure cooker. This will make the amla easy to de-seed without making it fall apart.
Patient Air-Drying: Allow the sugared amla to air-dry for two days at room temperature. If you live in a humid environment it might a bit longer. Patience here ensures the flavors meld properly, and the candy achieves the desired consistency.
Optional Sugar Coating: You may be cool with just mildly sweet amla candy. However, if you choose to add a powdered sugar coating, make sure the amla sections are fully dried before doing so. This absorbs any remaining moisture, preserving the candy’s texture. You can store it in an airtight container without worrying about it becoming a giant mess.
Fresh amla is preferred for the best texture, flavor, and medicinal properties, but you can use frozen amla if fresh is unavailable. It will not need to be steamed as long, and will usually not require de-seeding.
Yes, it’s naturally gluten-free, making it suitable for those with gluten sensitivities.
Properly stored in an airtight container, Chatpata Amlaki can last for several weeks.
Store your Chatpata Amlaki in an airtight glass or metal container at room temperature, as taking the candy in and out of refrigeration will cause condensation that with make the fruit sticky. Consume within several weeks for the best taste and texture.
✌️My faves to serve amla candy after:
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Chatpata Amlaki (Indian Gooseberry amla candy)
- Start by gently steaming the gooseberries in a steamer for 10-15 minutes, or if you’re using a pressure cooker, cook them until you hear a single whistle. You are looking for the amla to just be cracking open slightly at the seams.
- Once the steamed gooseberries have cooled down, take your time to de-seed them and separate them into sections. If you want to speed up the process, you can cool them rapidly by shocking them for a minute in ice water and then drying them well.
- In a bowl, combine the dry gooseberry sections with sugar and black salt.
- Spread the sugared amla sections onto a plate or a baking pan. Let them sit at room temperature for 2 days, turning them with a dry spoon once a day.
- As an optional final touch, toss the dried amla sections in powdered sugar. This adds an extra layer of sweetness and helps absorb any remaining moisture, keeping your Chatpata Amlaki perfectly textured and preventing them from sticking to one another.