Aamat, The Bamboo Shoot Soup Of Tribal Of Chhattisgarh
Image Credit: Delicious Aamat, Nonee Cooks@Facebook

Most of my childhood is spent in semi-urban areas. As my father was a state government employee, his postings to such places also opened us to Odisha’s rustic rural culture. Likewise, rich tribal belts such as Mayurbhanj and Koraput are equally exposed to the culinary dishes of tribes of those regions. As often the places were bordering district headquarters sharing state borders with nearby states, the food habits were eclectic, taking inspiration from one another. One such food item which might be news to many is bamboo shoots. In Koraput district, it is called karadi. My father often brought spicy, tangy, fiery pickles made with karadi. During my recent visit to Chattisgarh, I came across kareel. It is also called basta in Gondi. My curiosity nudged me to ask what the recipes were made with it? And the top name was Aamat. A little research led me to more information. Aamat is a sour stew or soup. Tart is a synonym of aamat in the local language. In addition to being healthy, this recipe is also relatively low in calories.

It takes minimal effort to adapt aamat to new flavour profiles. Patience and time are required during the lengthy preparation process. The locals recommend rice and pej, but they are not obligatory. The area's indigenous people highly value the nutritional value of wild-grown veggies. The common cold, the flu, a chest infection, and a cough can all be avoided by ingesting hot Aamat. It also works well to eliminate the unpleasant aftertaste associated with a fever.

Bastar tribespeople, like most other Indian tribal cultures, don't use much oil in their daily cooking. Aamat is typically scalded in water. However, younger people, influenced by urbanised culture, like to add an oil spice called tadka to their soup. This has typically happened after Chhattisgarh's urban development. 

Proportions of ingredients can be altered according to taste or depending on what is available in the region.

Aamat Recipe

The tribal soup, Aamat, Image Source: Nonee Cooks@Facebook


One can decide the proportions of ingredients as per personal preference. It is advisable to avoid sticky vegetables such as lady’s finger, Malabar spinach, yam and bitter gourd. Rice pej is a soup cooked with rice.

  • Bamboo shoots or kareel- ½ cup
  • Black chickpeas – ½ cup
  • Drumstick -½ cup
  • Brinjal - ½ cup
  • Potato -½ cup
  • Beans- ½ cup
  • Onions -½ cup
  • Tamarind pulp -2 tbsp
  • Rice- - 1 tbsp + besan - 1/2 tbsp
  • Ginger-garlic-green chilli paste
  • Rice
  • Ginger-garlic-green chilli paste
  • Turmeric (optional)
  • Salt


  • Soak black chickpeas in water overnight. Bamboo shoots need to be peeled and then chopped finely. Bring them to a boil in nearly four times the amount of water and leave them uncovered while they cook. Empty the water from the container. The bamboo must keep its crisp texture while avoiding becoming bitter. The procedure of boiling the shoots removes any potentially toxic compounds that may have been present. Drain the nodes once more after washing them in clean water. 
  • You need to soak the rice, dry it and grind it into a powder. Cut the vegetables.


  • Place an oversized pot on heat and pour water. Now blend in the bamboo shoot pieces, black chickpeas, salt to taste and turmeric powder. Let the water come to a boil.
  • Keep a tab, and once the black chickpeas is almost half boiled, mix in the vegetables. Keeping the heat at a simmer, slow-cook the vegetables.  
  • After a few minutes, season the broth with tamarind pulp and garlic-ginger-chilli paste. Keep stirring once in a while until the vegetables are thoroughly done.
  • Let it simmer for one minute over very high heat. Slowly stir in the rice powder until all the lumps have been broken up and the soup has reached the appropriate consistency.

 Serve it hot with steamed hot rice, or devour it as is. 

Enjoy this tangy and healthy aamat bamboo shoots soup by tribal of Bastar, Chhattisgarh.