Ambemohar is a rice variant grown on the hills of Western Maharashtra in India. The short cooked grains have a tendency to break easily and stick together. It is popular in Maharashtra due to its flavor and strong aroma reminiscent of mango blossoms, which is noticeable when the rice is cooked. It is also similar to the Surti kolam variety from Gujarat, which is preferred there due to its prepared softness and easy chewability.
Ambemohar is low yielding compared to other varieties of rice, primarily because it is susceptible to diseases. So, the Mahatma Phule Agricultural University's Rice Research Centre near Lonavala crossed it with a high-yielding rice variety to develop Indrayani rice, named after the river flowing through this area. Today, Indrayani has replaced Ambemohar in almost all paddy fields in the area.
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. Jeera Sambhar rice from Andhra Pradesh and Jawaful from Madhya Pradesh are the most popular lookalikes sold by retailers.
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