So, how would you define Aamti?
“Please don’t call it a curry”, Malavika said, on one of our video chats. On one phone call days later, Richa advised “Don’t say that it’s a dish without lentils, the one we commonly eat at home has a toor dal base.”
Then on yet another group chat, Aparna recalled “There’s a special Aamti for every occasion, you know?” “and different ones for every region, every household, infact,” Shivani added.
“Aamti is nostalgia, for each one of us'” Manasi longingly concluded.
For weeks we discussed what Aamti is and is not. It is a thin slurry that can be made of a whole range of ingredients. There are versions that are made every day, whenever a vegetarian meal is served in a Maharashtrian household. There are also laboriously made family heirlooms, their tastes, barely making it to memories. One Aamti bore memories of weddings and long train journeys, one owed itself to festivals. There were some, reminiscent of maternal homes and others of abiding rituals.
But, one common principle that could possibly define the essence of this dish, or most Maharshtrian dishes in fact, is frugality. Not of the process, not at all – on the contrary, many dishes from the region are time-intensive and painstaking – but of the ingredients. Whatever is available, is cleverly put to good use.
For a cuisine that doesn’t follow scrupulously specific recipes, it is incredibly intricate, making it impracticable to replicate. With Aamti, even more so. Precisely why these five women decided to do exactly that.
Golyaanchi Aamti | Shivani Kulkarni
I simply cannot resist the temptation to eat seafood delicacies whenever there’s an opportunity. We (Gowd Saraswat Bhrahmins) call fish as “Vegetables of the Sea”.
Mondays and Thursdays are mandatorily reserved for eating vegetarian meals. Also, during Shraavan or Paavsaala (Monsoon Season), most of the seafood available is not fresh. These are the times when the Saraswat Sugran (a female expert cook) cooks vegetarian dishes. While it is difficult not to crave seafood during these unavoidable times, the Saraswat women have this innate ability to replicate the taste of fish curry in vegetarian dishes.
Saraswat Cuisine encompasses a large variety of coconut based vegetarian and non-vegetarian gravies. One such dish which infuses the Maharashtrian and Goan cuisine elements and comes from my Grand Aunt’s Konkan Saraswat recipe storehouse, is Golyaanchi Aamti. It is a family favorite.
Golyaanchi Aamti comprises a coconut gravy with Goles (balls) made of Besan (chickpea flour). The Goles are eaten with Chapaati (Indian whole wheat flour bread) and the accompaniment to Aamti is Bhaat (rice) – an all-time preferred combination of the Saraswats.
My family calls this a 2-in-1 dish, because the Goles are considered as equivalent to eating fish and the Aamti is made with a masala of ground coconut and spices that originally forms the base of any fish curry. One vegetarian meal magically fulfills the desire of eating fried fish and fish curry at the same time. Golyaanchi Aamti is such a comprehensive dish that we don’t need a Sabzi or Dal to accompany it.
Here is the ingredient introduction, tips & nuances for cooking this Aamti.
Vaatap (Ground Coconut & Spices Masala)
First, we get the Vaatap done. Vaatap is the essential base and soul of the Saraswat Curries. The Vaatap for Golyaanchi Aamti consists of freshly grated coconut, which is the primary ingredient, blended with coriander seeds and black peppercorns. The addition of red chilli powder makes the dish hot and gives it an attractive red colour. Turmeric powder and tamarind pulp act as tartarizers. Onion and raw rice is added in order to give thickness to the Aamti. The Vaatap should be ground into a smooth paste.
Goles (Besan Balls)
Next, we make the Goles. Besan (chickpea flour), onion, coriander leaves, salt, Ova (carom seeds) and a tablespoon of the ground Vaatap form the ingredients for the dough to make Goles. Ova has originally never been used in Saraswat cooking, but since Besan is used in the dish, Ova will aid in better digestion. A small tip shared by my Grandaunt!
The dough shouldn’t be too dry or watery. It should be thick enough to roll into balls. Oil is applied on the palms so that the dough doesn’t stick. The goles are then rolled into balls.
After the Vaatap and the Goles are ready, the final, easiest and quickest part of this dish is making the Aamti. The nuances, minute details of cooking this dish are what makes this dish delicious.
At the start, finely chopped onions are allowed to cook in hot oil till they soften. Water is added after that and the cooking pot is covered with a lid till the water boils. Boiling the water is essential before adding Goles so that they retain the shape and don’t break. They are gently dropped and again allowed to cook covered for 3-4 minutes. No tossing or turning is required and the Goles automatically rise up after getting cooked.
After that, the ground Vaatap is added and allowed to cook for a minute or two. Before the final minute of cooking time, sugar and salt are added. When cooking any Saraswat curries, salt is always added at the end and not in the early stage of cooking as it tends to break the curries.
The Golyaanchi Aamti is ready to eat with Chapaati and Rice.
Since, the Goles are comparable to eating Fried Fish, we take a little amount from one whole ‘Gola’ with Chapaati and eat it very slowly.
A well made Golyaanchi Aamti turns even a hardcore “Matysapremi” or fish loving Saraswat Bhrahmin to gracefully embrace a vegetarian dish.
Bhagar Aamti | Manasi Khedlekar
My mother was never particularly religious, and didn’t expect us to take on the mantle of worshipping the various gods lined up in our small temple area. However, the generation of women from her time would observe days of fasting without really challenging the status quo. Over the years, she gave us several reasons for keeping her fasts, ranging from ‘it resets the system’, ‘taking a break from eating benefits our stomach’, ‘for tradition’. Science has now confirmed what our ancestors always knew in their infinite wisdom, and intermittent fasting has become the trendiest new buzzword in the ever evolving diet culture.
All we knew then is that fasting day meant we got to gorge on delicacies that weren’t usually a part of our plate. Sabudana (sago) khichadi, with its translucent pearls would be on the breakfast menu, and my brother and I would down it with yogurt set overnight. Lunch would be a plate of Bhagar and Aamti, barnyard millet and a curry made of peanuts. Potato subzi, lacking its vibrant hue as turmeric is not allowed in fasting food, accompanied the lunch. Koshimbir, a Maharashtrian salad, was also included to balance out the meal. Occasionally there would be shredded sweet potatoes sautéed with green chilies, or on the occasion of Mahashivratri, a crab apple mash. Food consumed during fasts has to be high in protein, fat and carb as it is often the only meal of the day. Fasting food avoids the use of the usual spice mixes found in the kitchen and is fairly austere, meant to facilitate an environment that fosters purity in body, thought and action. It has also evolved to the use of minimal ingredients so the cook can put it together with pantry ingredients.
The Peanut Aamti, or Danyachi Aamti is a masterful recipe in that regard. It is genius in its simplicity, and adds a hefty dose of protein to a carb heavy millet dish. Raw peanuts are roasted, then skinned. Experienced cooks make short work of skinning the peanuts by rubbing the roasted legumes between palms and blowing on them gently to separate the skin. Unsuspecting kids have to be careful to avoid getting caught in the clouds of flying peanut skins.
The peanuts are then pounded into a powder and mixed with water to make a slurry. The local dried fruit of Kokum or Amsul acts as a souring agent. It is tangy, cured in salt and adds a lovely flavor to the curry. It’s also said to counteract the Pitta (acidity) causing property of peanuts. Cinnamon, cloves, a knob of jaggery are used to flavor the Aamti giving it the characteristic blend of savory and sweet that’s a hallmark of so many Maharashtrian recipes. Finally, a tempering of ghee, with cumin seeds, curry leaves, green chilies and asafoetida is poured over it. The peanuts give a much needed balance to the carb heavy millet and keep tummies full for a full day of fasting.
We don’t observe fasting days in my house, as each weekday is a frenzied dance of packing lunches, rushing to school work and tackling the relentless tasks of adulthood but everytime we sit down to piping hot bhagar and Aamti, time slows down to take me to sultry Pune afternoons of gorging ourselves on the special menu and counting days till the next fast that my mother would observe.
Ingredients for the Danyachi Aamti
- 1 cup of ground roasted, skinned peanuts
- 2 cups of water
- 3 green chillies
- 4 pieces of Amsul
- 3 cloves
- 1 small stick of cinnamon
- 1 tbsp jaggery
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
Grind peanuts to make a powder, add water to it and pour it in a pan. Add the Amsul, jaggery, cinnamon, chilies, cloves and salt and let it come to a boil. Heat the ghee in another pan, splutter cumin seeds and add another green chilli if you like, then pour the tempering over the peanut slurry.
Bhagar/ Barnyard millet
Ingredients for the Bhagar
- 1 cup bhagar
- 2 green chillies
- 1/2 cup of ground peanuts
- 1 tsp cumin seeds 1 tbsp ghee
Wash bhagar and drain the water. Heat ghee in a pan, splutter cumin seeds and add the green chilies and washed bhagar. Add about 1 and a 1/2 cup of water. Add salt and let it come to a boil. Cover with a lid and cook for about 10 mins. The grains will turn mushy and the texture is similar to well cooked rice. Garnish with fresh coriander.
Modakachi Aamti | Malavika Gadiyar
In a casual conversation with a friend, I mentioned to her that over the years, my cooking has gone beyond referring to recipes. The daily intake of nutrition aside, I now know what will be an ideal pairing of food for every day meals. And although I am born in a Maharashtrian vegetarian family I have been fortunate to have indulged in food from various cultures of India and other countries. All this exposure has helped me cook a variety of foods.
But due to lifestyle changes, food habits in the households have changed.
Many times these days when we plan a meal, we look up a recipe and either order or pick up the ingredients that we are short of at home and then go ahead and make the meal.
But there are also times when I am able to serve up a meal with just some pre-prepped ingredients or condiments available in the house and do away with the routine of roti sabzi.
Where does all this come from? It’s not only years and years of actual cooking experience, and running a household, but it’s also about the memory of having eaten something, somewhere years ago. Or watching the elders in the home make a meal, from what is within reach or stocked up at home. Things are forgotten, but the essence remains.
I have a memory from my childhood of having a unique Aamti, as it is called in Marathi. Aamti is the lentil side dish in a Maharashtrian daily meal. It has its own variants from each region of the state. Some Aamtis do not use lentils, but are called Aamti because of their soupy, brothy texture that can be combined with rice or hand breads like Polya or Bhaakri. The unique Aamti that I had is called Modakachi Aamti. Modak is a steamed, rice flour dumpling stuffed with a sweet coconut – jaggery filling, served alongside toop (clarified butter) and made for the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi as an offering to Lord Ganesh. But this Aamti had modaks made by combining chickpea flour and whole wheat flour stuffed with a savoury filling. Modaks are shaped in an unusual way and shaping them is an art. It should be such that they hold the filling while getting cooked in the broth and get served intact on the plate.
As a child, when my Aaji or my Aai made it, I used to be mesmerised by the look of the tiny dumplings cooked and settled in the Aamti broth. The taste was equally enticing – tangy and slightly hot.
The Aamti remained my Aaji’s memoir; I did not even attempt it. It wasn’t until about a few years ago I came across the recipe once again, while watching an Instagram live session of Preeti Deo of Myukkitchen, creating a similar version. This recipe is from the Khandesh or marathwaada region of Maharashra. This part of the state is dry and arid in summers, and seasonal vegetables are not available year round. It is a possibility that this may be a reason this recipe got developed in the first place. Modakachi Aamti is also made in other regions of Maharashtra with variations in its ingredients.
There is another aspect as I see it, that sets the Modakachi Aamti apart. In the absence of lentils and vegetables at home, it can easily replace both, as a part of your meal. For this, I would of course give credit to the women who kept their pantries filled with pickles, dry chutneys and other condiments. But if you look at the meals of the modern age, where we try to get wholesome food in the easiest way, this recipe fits in perfectly as a one pot meal. It can be served along with steamed rice or warm chappatis, or just had as it is.
Two components of this Aamti; Metkut, and Tilachi chutney (a dry sesame chutney) can be used as individual food items, paired with other foods as well as combined to create this Aamti. The Aamti and the filling of Tilachi chutney in the Modak is my version of the recipe, with references taken from Paatpani, a book exploring marathwada cuisine, By Preeti Deo. The original uses only a mixture of dry or fresh coconut with some spices and fresh coriander. It is this uniqueness that has stayed with me, since childhood, apart from the flavour. Here goes the step wise recipe of the Tilachi Chutney, Modak, Metkut and the Aamti.
Tilachi (Sesame Seeds) Chutney
Ingredients for the Tilachi (Sesame Seeds) Chutney
- Sesame Seeds – 1/2 cup
- Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tablespoon
- Red Chilly Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt to taste
Process for making Tilachi Chutney
Dry roast the sesame seeds and the cumin seeds separately. Coarse grind the roasted seeds with red chilly powder and salt. Store in an air-tight container.
This chutney can be used along with daal-rice or roti meal. Mixed with little ghee or oil, it tastes even better. It can also be used as a sprinkling on a salad too.
Ingredients for the Modak Dough
- Chickpea Flour (Besan) – 1 cup
- Whole wheat Flour (Atta) – 2 tablespoon
- Dhania-Jeera powder – ½ teaspoon (Roasted Cumin-Coriander Seed Powder)
- Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Turmeric Powder – 1/4 teaspoon
- Oil – 1 tablespoon
- Salt to taste
- (makes about 12 small modaks)
Ingredients for the Modak Stuffing
- Dry Coconut, grated and gently roasted – 1/2 cup
- Fresh Coriander, Finely Chopped – 2 tablespoon
- Tilachi Chutney (Dry Sesame Chutney) – 1/2 cup
Process of making the Modak dough
Make the dough for the modaks by mixing all ingredients together into a stiff dough using a little water. Leave it aside to rest.
Mix the grated and roasted dry coconut, tilachi chutney and chopped coriander and keep aside.
Divide the dough into 12 medium size balls and roll them into thin disks. Pinch on the sides, fill in the mixture and bring it together to get the modak shape. Keep them aside, covered so that they don’t dry up.
Ingredients for making Metkut
- Chana dal – 1 cup
- Urad Dal – 1⁄2 cup
- Rice – 1⁄4 cup
- Wheat – 2 tablespoon
- Mustard seeds -2 tablespoon
- Cumin Seeds – 1 tablespoon
- Coriander seeds – 1 teaspoon
- Black Pepper – 1 teaspoon
- Dried Red chilies – 1 or 2
- Asafoetida – 1⁄2 teaspoon
- Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
Process for making Metkut
Roast all the above ingredients separately on a medium flame, till they release a slight aroma. You will have to stir it continuously in order to avoid over roasting or burning. Cool and grind it to a fine powder. You may sieve it to ensure a very fine powder. Add the mentioned spices and mix well. Store this in an airtight container. It will stay upto a month.
This powder can be used as an accompaniment on hot rice along with toop (clarified butter). Add it to yogurt with salt and chopped coriander or chopped raw onion or both to make a side/dip.
It can be added to puffed rice or beaten rice (kurmura/pohe ), peanuts, lime juice etc. to make a quick snack.
It’s a protein !!!!
Ingredients for the Aamti
- Metkut – 4 tablespoons (Refer Recipe)
- Turmeric Powder – 1/4 teaspoon
- Tamarind Extract – 2 tablespoons
- Jaggery – 2 tablespoons
- Red Chilly Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt to taste
- Oil – 2 tablespoons
- Mustard Seeds – 1 teaspoon
- A pinch of asafoetida
- Fresh coriander, for Garnish
Process for making Aamti
Mix the tamarind extract, along with all the ingredients and add about 2 cups of water or more to make a slurry. Put it in a cooking pan and let it all boil on a slow flame. Keep stirring. The metkut will start cooking and turn the slurry into a thick broth, hence keep stirring , otherwise the metkut may settle down at the bottom of the pan and thicken. Check for seasoning. It should taste tangy. Heat oil in a tiny pan, add the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the asafoetida and get it off the heat and add to the aamti.
Add the modaks to the boiling aamti 10 minutes before serving. Simmer the aamti, the modaks will get cooked and fluff a bit in size. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot with soft cooked rice or rotis or have it on its own as a meal with ghee.
Katachi Aamti | Aparna Apte Karandikar
On my first Holi festival post marriage, I decided to surprise my husband by preparing Puranpoli. At my maternal home, we always eat Puranpoli with ghee (clarified butter) or milk. I simply assumed that the same custom would be followed at my in-laws home.
There I was, preparing Puranpoli when my husband dropped in to check if I needed any help. I had prepared ghee the previous day and bought extra milk, so I told him that we are good to go. He then asked me if I had also prepared Katachi Aamti (कटाची आमटी).
That’s how I came to know about this rustic flavorful dish. Needless to say, this dish has been taught to me by my husband.
Puranpoli is prepared in Maharashtrian homes during Holi festival. “होळी रे होळी, पुरणाची पोळी” is a popular slogan in Maharashtra which literally means it’s Holi and time to prepare Puranpoli. It is a flatbread made of whole-wheat flour with a sweet filling called Puran prepared using Chickpea Lentils (Chana Dal), jaggery / sugar and spices, nutmeg and cardamom powder. The rationale behind preparing Puranpoli during this time is that all the ingredients are freshly available. Chana Dal and wheat are Rabi crops, harvested in the month of February whereas sugarcane, used for preparing jaggery and sugar are Kharif crops, harvested at the start of winter around November. The hallmark of Maharashtrian cuisine is defined by fresh, seasonal and local produce.
Much before zero food wastage and sustainability became buzz words globally, both were an integral part of cooking in Indian cuisine. How is this related to Katachi Aamti, you ask? Well, Kat (कट) in Marathi is basically the strained stock of cooked chana dal before the dal is cooked to prepare puran (sweet filling). Instead of throwing the stock, it is used to prepare Katachi Aamti.
At our home, instead of roasting dry coconut pieces in a vessel, we directly fire them on a clay stove with wood and dried cow dung cakes called as Chool (चूल) in Marathi. This renders a smoky flavor and beautiful dark color to the Katachi Aamti. I avoid adding a lot of red chilly powder but instead prefer spicy flavor from the freshly pounded dry coconut masala, popularly called as Thaska (ठसका) in Marathi.
Depending on the community, onion and garlic are used in the recipe. I personally prefer preparing it without using either.
With Katachi Aamti, the sour, spicy, sweet flavors should be balanced to perfection and complement the Puranpoli. The consistency should neither be thick nor watery.
Some people, like me, prefer to eat it with rice after keeping it overnight. In my view, this Aamti tastes best the next day. I like having it poured over poha, sprouted moong and farsan.
Such is the versatility of this rustic dish.
Let’s look at the recipe.
Preparation of Kat :
- Soak 2 cups of chana dal overnight.
- Pressure cook with extra water.
- Strain the chana dal and keep the stock aside.
This is Kat, the main ingredient for Aamti.
Preparation of Puran:
- Mix 2 cups of cooked chana dal with 1 cup each of Jaggery and Sugar and cook it till mixture becomes hard enough for a spoon to hold itself in the puran without support.
- Add 1 tbsp. Nutmeg and cardamom powder each.
- Churn through a puran making machine to get a fine puran paste.
Preparation of dry coconut masala :
- Make thick slices of quarter of a dry coconut and burn them on the gas flame. Roast 6 cloves in similar manner.
- Dry roast 1/2 inch cinnamon, 1 tbsp cumin and 6-7 black peppercorns in a kadhai (small deep vessel).
- Using a mortar and pestle, make a coarse mix of the above ingredients along with 1 tsp crushed nutmeg. A grinder could also be used, but the mixture needs to be coarse in texture.
Rest of the ingredients:
- 2 tbsp. Goda Masala (This is a typical spice mix in Maharashtrian cuisine)
- 2 tbsp thick tamarind paste
- 1/4 cup jaggery
- 1 tbsp spicy red chilly powder
- 1 tsp nutmeg powder
- Big lemon sized ball of puran
- 10 – 15 curry leaves
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp asafoetida
- 1 tbsp ghee
- Chopped fresh coriander
- Salt to taste
Steps to prepare Katachi Aamti :
- I use the same puran making pan for the Aamti as it makes the pan cleaning process easier.
- Mix together Kat (dal stock), dry coconut masala, goda masala, red chilly powder, tamarind pulp and jaggery.
- Keep on medium heat.
- Add puran, breaking it in pieces and stir well to ensure no lumps.
- Bring Aamti to a boil.
- Now add salt to taste.
- Make a fresh phodani (tempering in Marathi) of ghee, mustard seeds, hing and curry leaves and add it to the Aamti.
- Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Garnish with freshly chopped coriander.
Katachi Aamti is typically served with Puranpoli, ghee and gahu kurdai (A sundried wheat starch delicacy).
Yessar Aamti | Richa Chitgopekar
“I have got yessar” she said. The name sounded interesting to me, but I couldn’t make out what it was. The word was not a derivative of any other word from my Marathi culinary vocabulary. Then I suddenly found myself in the midst of an entire group of elderly women, my mother-in-law and her sisters, talking about yessar. They spoke about weddings and their fading customs, about how the gifts and return gifts are turning materialistic and losing their essence. All that I could gather from the conversation was that yessar was part of a customary return gift in Marathwada weddings.
In the Marathwada region of Maharashtra, there is a custom of giving ‘yessar pithi and metkoot’ as a return gift, generally by the bride’s family to the groom’s family. The yessar pithi is different grains roasted together and coarsely ground. This yessar could be stored for months and would be very useful to make a quick meal. Much of the Marathwada everyday food is without onion or tomato or coconut gravy, so yessar acts as a thickener. Metkoot is a spicy powder, made using chickpea flour and rice as base and has lots of other spices. Metkoot can be used with rice or mixed with curd to make a side dish.
When the ‘Varaat/ Baraat’ (groom’s family travelling to the bride’s hometown for the wedding) would return home after a heavy wedding meal, a yessar aamti served with soothing khichdi was the standard menu. Since this is the time when the bride would be missing her maternal home, this yessar would be there with the new bride, making her comfortable in her new home. On the day after the wedding, the bride’s family would visit their relatives and give yessar and metkut. This was an act of socialising, to cope up with the absence of dear daughter.
Preeti Deo, the author of ‘Paat Paani’ a book on Marathwada cuisine, very artistically draws a similarity with an international cuisine. She says “everytime I cook yessar aamti, I recall an interesting reference about a ‘dry travelling powder’ for sauce or pocket sauce in a book ‘The Country Housewife and Lady’s Director’ by Richard Bradley. ……..I find it similar to the traditional dry mixes in our kitchen- metkut, dry chutneys and a Marathwadi pantry essential, yessar pithi. These are easy ways to give our everyday meal an extra dimension and add variation when we are short of side dishes.”
On a lazy Sunday my mother-in-law said ‘’I will make Yessar Golyachi Aamti (yessar dumplings curry) today!’ She took out the packet and it was my first glimpse of yessar or yessar pithi, which looked like a powder of some grain, and had a smoky aroma. As she grated a cucumber, she told me about her own twist to the more common yessar gole. Instead of water, she likes to use cucumber for the dumplings to bind, which gives it a distinct taste. To the grated cucumber she added a portion of yessar pithi from the pack and an equal portion of freshly ground bharda (coarse chickpea lentils). The very common Indian spices went in – turmeric, red chilli, coriander powder and cumin powder and then lots of freshly chopped coriander. All of it was mixed well and kept aside so that the water from cucumber could soak the grain mix well.
After about an hour, she took her traditional ‘patila/ boghana’ a pot traditionally used in Marathi kitchens to make dals and aamtis (traditional Marathi thin curries with souring agents). The shape of the pot ensures that the curries are easier to boil and serve. She then did what she calls her default first step in making everyday food, the ‘phodni’ or tempering; crackling of mustard and cumin seeds in oil, then adding asafoetida and turmeric. Over the years she has mastered the exact strength of the flame and time that will result in the perfect phodni. She added water to her tempering and let it come to a boil. In went some tamarind extract and some kala masala or goda masala (a typical spice mix from Marathi cuisine). To slightly thicken the tempered water, she added about 1-2 spoons of yessar pithi. She simmered it for a while, checking the aamti for its spice and tanginess. She has perfected this over years and the checking was for reaffirmation, not correction.
The ‘yessar aamti’ was ready to be eaten with khichdi or rice. Since it was Sunday, we did a more elaborate version by adding the gole/ vade/ dumplings too. Lemon size balls of our cucumber dough, flattened between palms, went into the boiling aamti. The gole,or vade were cooked for a while in the boiling aamti.
Typically, while serving the vade / gole are taken out of the aamti on a side, crushed a bit and a jivant phodni (tempering which has life, that is, it should be hot and should make a hissing noise when poured) is generously poured over the crushed gole. This is eaten with bhakri / millet flatbread or roti. The aamti is on the side, to drink as an accompaniment or to be had with rice a little later. The sides can be a koshimbir, (a Marathi style salad), phodlela kanda (a small onion broken into two by force of a fist), thecha (pounded green or red chillies and garlic) or papad.
During lunch, we learned more about yessar preparations in different families. The yessar aamti can be made with ginger and garlic or without it. Depending on the community one belongs to, or the season, a spicier version with ginger and garlic is made for winters and a milder version without, is for summers.
Over the years the wedding return gifts have changed. They have become instant and so has yessar,, which could be made by roasting some wheat flour and chickpea flour. We continue to enjoy these traditional delicacies with a dose of tradition, trivia and gossips.
Translations and detailed descriptions are provided to give a better understanding of the story to people from different cultural backgrounds across the globe.