Ambemohar is a fragrant rice variant grown in the foothills of the Western ghats region of the state of Maharashtra in India.

History and etymology

The word Ambemohar means mango blossom in the Marathi language, which is spoken in the state of Maharashtra where the cultivar originates. The rice has a strong aroma reminiscent of mango blossoms,[1] and has been cultivated in the region for a long time. A century ago about 54,000 tons of the variety was produced in the Mulshi region of the Pune district.[2]

Production and cultivation

The variety is grown in the foothills of the Western ghats region of the state of Maharashtra in India.[3] 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. Both varieties have similar degree of fragrance.[4] The variety is therefore included in the class of Aromatic rice such as Basmati.[5] The short cooked grains have a tendency to break easily and stick together.[citation needed]

Related varieties

Ambemohar is low-yielding compared to other varieties of rice, primarily because it is susceptible to diseases. The hybrid called Indrayani with ambemohar parentage was released in 1987.[6] It was developed by Rice Research Centre near Lonavala.[7] Indrayani has also been modified to form new varieties of rice such as Phule Maval and Phule Samrudhi.[8]


Location of Mulshi Taluka in Pune district

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 Kurmure in the Marathi language. The bran from the rice is used for oil extraction or for Mushroom cultivation.[9]

Geographical indication

Mulshi Taluka sub-division of Pune district in the eastern foothills of the Sahyadri range has been granted the Geographical Indication for Ambemohar.[10]


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.[11]

See also


  1. ^ Samuel S. Gnanamanickam (14 July 2009). Biological Control of Rice Diseases. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 7. ISBN 978-90-481-2465-7.
  2. ^ Chowdhury, A.R., 2013. Subalternity, State-Formation and Movements against Hydropower Projects in India, 1920-2004 (Doctoral dissertation).[1]
  3. ^ Singh, A.K., 2014. Probable Agricultural Biodiversity Heritage Sites in India: XX. The Konkan Region. Asian Agri-History, 18(3)|[2]
  4. ^ Aromatic Rices. Int. Rice Res. Inst. 2000. pp. 8–. ISBN 978-81-204-1420-4.
  5. ^ Aromatic Rices. Int. Rice Res. Inst. 2000. pp. 8–. ISBN 978-81-204-1420-4.
  6. ^ Aromatic Rices. Int. Rice Res. Inst. 2000. pp. 8–. ISBN 978-81-204-1420-4.
  7. ^ Mahatma Phule Agricultural University's
  8. ^ Shailesh D. KUMBHAR; Pawan L. KULWAL (2015). "Genetic Diversity and Population Structure in Landraces and Improved Rice Varieties from India". Rice Science. 22 (3): 99–107. doi:10.1016/j.rsci.2015.05.013. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  9. ^ Government of India (2016). "Government of India Geographical Indications" (PDF). Government of India Geographical Indications. 88 (July 28).
  10. ^ Geographical Indications Registry. "Ambemohar Rice". Geographical Indications Registry. Government of India. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  11. ^ Bhosale, Jayashree (Jan 31, 2012). "Consumers pay premium price for the look alike of the regional rice varieties". Economic Times. Retrieved October 8, 2018.