Ever Tried Aamboli? The Maharashtrian Equivalent Of Dosa
Image Credit: iStock, Aamboli

There is a controversial theory that says that Sambar may have been invented in the kitchens of Thanjavur Marathas. The Thanjavur Maratha kingdom, ruled by the Bhonsle dynasty was a principality of Tamil Nadu between the 17th and 19th centuries. The legend goes that while making aamti, a cook of Thanjavur Maratha ruler Shahuji experimented with toor dal instead of the usual moong dal, tamarind extract was used in place of kokum and the resultant dish was named after the royal guest of the day, Sambhaji, the second Chatrapati of the Marathas. In tribute of Sambhaji, the dish came to be known as ‘Sambhar’.  However, according to food historian KT Achaya, the word Sambar stems from the Tamil word ‘champāram’ and people of South India are indeed very passionate about their love for Sambar and everything they pair with it. Take dosa, for instance, a crepe-like dish, that finds a mention in Manosollassa, a 12th-century Sanskrit manual compiled by King Someshwara III of present-day Karnataka. But guess what, we found a Maharashtrian equivalent of Dosa too! While there is not much history or legends related to Amboli, the Maharashtrian dosa, is still worthy of your attention.  

There is no dearth of crepe-like dishes in India, from dosas to chilas, to thalipeeth to pithes, almost every corner of India has some form of crepe that is savoured for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The Aamboli is a Maharashtrian rice pancake or crepe, which is made with fermented batter. In her book, ‘My Romance With Food’ by Maharashtrian homechef Roopa Nabar talks about the Aamboli, “made with fermented batter and enjoyed for meals from breakfast to dinner and everything in between. Using a cast iron pan or bidacha tawa will give you the perfect Aamboli - slightly crispy at the bottom but with a soft, almost lacy texture on top.” 

Source: iStock

Here’s the recipe of Aamboli from her book, 'My Romance With Food'. 


  • 1½ cups Kolam rice, wash and soak for 5-6 hours
  •  ½ cup split skinless black gram (dhuli urad dal)  
  • 2 tablespoons split Bengal gram (chana dal)  
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
  • ½ cup flattened rice (poha)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for applying and drizzling
  • Chutney or meat curry to serve


1. Wash and soak the skinless black gram, split Bengal gram and fenugreek seeds together for two to three hours. Just before grinding, wash and soak flattened rice for half an hour.

2. Grind together all the above-mentioned ingredients along with soaked kolam rice and three-fourth cup of water to a smooth and thick paste.  

3. Set aside to ferment overnight or for six to eight hours. Add the salt and mix well. Heat a cast-iron griddle.  

4. Grease with a little oil. Pour batter and spread it to form a thick pancake. Cover and cook on low heat for three minutes.  

5. Flip it and drizzle some oil and cook on low heat for a minute. Serve with chutney or meat curry.