Ambakalya

As stated in my article of 20th August 2015 “Unearthing of the lost” here is a detailed inscription, on another dish served the same day called Amba Qaliya.

full main course tastings menu
Amba Qaliya, as served to us at the festival

What is it– This is mutton cooked in raw mango without any oil or ghee. It is just raw mango which has been made a puree, with water and is consistently added to the meat, over slow simmer. Time is an extremely important factor while cooking this dish, if you are too slow the meat would dry up and might remain under-cooked or if you add too much the taste of gravy would dilute.

Gahambars-Festivals
A general Parsi Gahambar spread

 Origin– This dish has been picked up from a renowned Zorastrian/Parsi dish called Ambakalya, which is the festive dish of Gahambar the commemoration for change of seasons and is roughly celebrated 6 times in the homeland, Iran. It even signifies the 6 elements of creation i.e. sky, water, earth, plants, cattle and man as per them.

Ambakalya is a dish prepared during this time, but it’s different from the Mughlai version served to us. The Parsi one has raw-mango(yet slightly soft) and jaggery in 2:1 ratio and there is no meat in it. The mango’s and jaggery are cooked separately and added together, once the mango is soft and jaggery has completely dissolved in water. Just before finishing, grounded cinnamon is thrown in to enhance the flavor and aroma.

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Ambakalya

 Indian Significance– Jahangir, the eldest son of Akbar was very fond of mutton as well as mango’s, he thought of combining two of his favorite food ingredients and make something new, this was his summer choice for a great meal.

(The Indian significance part of story was contributed by Mr. Osama Jalali, the curator for the festival)

Indian_-_Single_Leaf_of_a_Portrait_of_the_Emperor_Jahangir_-_Walters_W705_-_Detail
Portrait of Jahangir. the king behind Amba Qaliya

Present scenario– At present the Mughlai version is not available commercially but the Parsi one, used to be done until a few years back at 2 prominent establishments in Fort, Bombay namely Britannia and Jimmy boy.

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Some random Parsi/ Zoroashtrians

If you happen to hear even remotely about any of these dishes or any other similar ones, It’s definitely worth a try considering not only the taste but the sheer amount of technicality involved in cooking just one single piece of it. Do let us know if you even lay your hands on it.

(All the pictures barring the first one is from the internet. please write to us if any of it belongs to you)

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