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The word Ambemohar means mango blossom in Marathi language which is spoken in the state of Maharashtra where the cultivar originates from. The rice has strong aroma reminiscent of mango blossoms. The rice has been cultivated in the region for a long time.
The variety is grown in the foothills of the Western ghats region of the state of Maharashtra in India. It is a low yielding rice (1.9 ton/ha). The grains are short (5.5 mm) and wide (2.2 mm) compared to the well known basmati rice.
Ambemohar rice is used to prepare a thick soup of rice and milk called ‘Bhatachi Pej’ locally, mainly for children, elderly people and patients. (Rice Kanji). The rice is also used in religious and wedding ceremonies. In Mulshi region of Pune district, it is used for making ‘Vapholya’ – A traditional food item prepared during Makar Sankranti festival. The rice has been used for making soft Idli and crispy dosa. It is also used for making puffed rice called Murmure in the Marathi language. The bran from the rice is used for oil extraction or for Mushroom cultivation.
It is now rare to find farmers who grow Ambemohar regularly. Since the production cost is high, the retail cost in turn has to be high. So, retailers in Maharashtra, pass off lookalikes as original Ambemohar to gain higher profit margins. This has further discouraged the production of Ambemohar, since the farmers can earn more profit themselves by growing lookalikes.
Being a short grain rice variant, it has to be washed with water 2-3 times if you don’t want your rice to be sticky. This will do away with the extra starch. Once washed, take about 2 cups of water to one cup of rice and cook it. Let it simmer for around 20 minutes. This variety does not take much time to cook so keep a watch when it is on heat. Finally, throw away the water to get the rice with a gentle perfume.
(verified owner) – August 24, 2022
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