Amla are small, round berries with light-green skin. The skin is almost translucent, with 6 to 8 faint yellow striations, making the Amla appear to be segmented. The skin is tough, yet thin with a flesh that is crisp and juicy with a taste both sour and bitter. The flesh of an Amla is also somewhat astringent. In the center of the berry lies a hexagonal-shaped stone with 6 small seeds.
Amla fruit has exceptional antioxidant content; the berries are juiced for their extracts and dried into powders for capsules. The Indian gooseberries contain 20 times the amount of vitamin C as an orange. Amla can be eaten fresh, though the bitter taste is better offset with a sprinkle of salt. To rid the berries of their bitter flavor, soak them in salt water before preparing. Traditionally used in India for pickles and chutneys, the Indian gooseberry has both sweet and savory applications. Amla murabba is a sweet preserve served with Indian flatbread.