Nostalgic for Amala (Gooseberry) and Lapsi (Nepali Hog Plum)

Nostalgic for Amala (Gooseberry) and Lapsi (Nepali Hog Plum)

Situation 1:

Me: Momma I don’t feel good. I feel nauseated. (in a weak tone)

Mom: Just a minute. (She comes back with a few pieces of her small, dried, light brown colored amala candy.) Eat one now and keep these with you.

Situation 2 (when I was in my 20’s):

Me: Oh! There is a very warm sun and the season for amala and lapsi has started. We should make amala and lapsi pain/ candies.

Mom: Yea, I have already bought some amala and lapsi.

Me: Nice. Lets make some paun.

(I am out on the rooftop all set to make our homemade pauns.)

Dad: ‘Vaidya Paun Udhyog’ (Vaidya Candy Factory), teases my father.

My mother is full of talents and these two are just a tiny bit of her talent. Most of the time before winter starts and after winter is around the corner bidding us goodbye, I enjoy following my mother’s footstep. Steam amala and lapsi separately. Peel lapsi’s cover and mash amala and lapsi separately. Take out all the seeds. Then add some spices according to our taste. Once it’s ready I make small balls of amala and I flatten lapsi on a tray. If the sun is quite strong they dry out within three days maximum. In case of lapsi, however, it doesn’t completely dry out as we have sugar in it. Both tastes so luscious that I try to avoid talking about it. Once I visualize it, it is hard to stop my mouth from watering.

Everyone in my family loves the original taste that is preserved in our homemade recipe. And my mother has already made for me this year. Since I left in October before we could make any I left for the Netherlands. Unfortunate of me to miss having it here. There is a packet back home saved for me waiting for me. I don’t know when but until then I am trying to contend myself with what is available here. Only if I had amala and lapsi I could make those salty, sweet and tangy candies here. I tried with the plum I found in turkish markets in Kruisstraat. It was close enough and I was glad to at least have those plums.

I found that other Nepali women here share the same story with me. I met a few in a friend’s wedding reception and we agreed saying “I miss lapsi a lot.” It is not only about the taste though. They are good for health as well.

 

Spices for amala (Gooseberry) candy:

  1. Salt
  2. And/or without sugar
  3. Black salt
  4. Aesofotida
  5. Red chilly powder

Spices for lapsi (Nepali hog plum):

  1. Salt
  2. Sugar
  3. Black salt
  4. Aesofotida
  5. Red chilly powder

 

 

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