May 27, 2019 Ambakalyo


Ambakalyo is Parsi Original. We used to have it at a Gahanbar / Ghambar which is a feast given in honor of a beloved who has passed away. Held as a charity event, all the residents are invited free of charge in old towns like Ahmedabad, Navsari, Surat, Bharuch in India.

Served with Vaal ni Dar, Papeta nu Gosht, it makes a tasty sweet and sour pop in your mouth.

This is a very old recipe I made to savor with my family. I found it in a very old gujarati book (Vividh Vani) that I have and I have it published in my english cookbook as well.
Here it is for the world to enjoy.

Sweet and Sour Mango – to enrich a spicy meal


2 to 3 lb. small green mangoes (choose slightly soft and ripended ones)

18 oz. jaggery or brown sugar roughtly cut into small pieces (Use little more if mangoes are very sour)

2 inch piece cinnamon stick.

Small Onions or Shallots (optional)


Peel and cut each mango into 6 slices. Discard seeds.

Put mango slices in a pan, then cover and cook for S minutes on a medium heat without adding any water, to slightly soften mangoes. In another pan boil 1/4 cup water and add jaggery.

Cook till jaggery is melted Add mango slices and cinnamom stick to jaggery and cook, covered on medium heat for 15 mintues.

Uncover and cook 10 to 15 minutes more till liquid is a medium thick syrup.

Cool before serving

Note: Vividh Vani Cookbook recommends you peel and clean the onions/shallots. Next fry the Onions or Shallots in pure ghee till golden brown. (See pages from cookbook below)

Ambakalyo will last only for a week.


Since 1999 to date we celebrate 20 years of, now with over 637,000 hits. Not to mention the social media of facebook, twitter. Rita has authored “Parsi Cuisine The Manna of the 21st Century” and ten individual series cookbooks with matched digital e-cookbooks; She was recently invited to Gleason Library and the Boston Athenaeum, Boston, MA to demonstrate and talk about Parsi Food. Rita's Parsi Cuisine Cookbooks are a labor of love. The cookbooks began in an effort to maintain and preserve our recipes and traditions for the next generation, many of whom have been raised in USA, UK, Australia, France, Germany,Canada and other countries outside of India. Printed Paperback of the Ancient cooking book “Vividh Vani” by Meherbai Jamshedji Wadia: Through software and amazon services, We have managed to print the “Vividh Vani” in high quality paper . You can now own a brand-new copy of the Vividh Vani in strong paper bound books. These printed volumes are exactly the same antique and original books of Meherbai Jamshedji Wadia. They include photos and letters of the Wadia family. They are a legacy item for the parsi kom that can be preserved another 1000 years and more!  * This site offers free downloads of old traditional parsi cookbook volumes of the "Vividh Vani". Translation to English effort is on-going, you will find some translated recipes here. You can follow her on Twitter @ParsiCuisine and on Facebook at

3 thoughts on “Ambakalyo

  1. Dolly Dastoor,

    Thanks for shedding light on the “Gahambars” in North America. It is goodness to revive the custom!
    FEZANA is doing a good deed indeed.

    You maybe interested in searching and reading articles on Gahambar here. (spelt in many ways – Gahanbar, Ghambar, and Gahambar)

    Also since you like to research – an article and video from Daniel Sheffield, Princeton University – Bhonu Prakash: Zoroastrians & Food in Historical Perspective.


    Best, regards,

  2. Thank you for this delicious recipe for Ambakalyo, I too have the Vividh Vani Cook book.
    The gahambar is a festival celebrating the change of seasons, with a very simple meal , the idea being that all are equal and eat the same food. (Masala Dal Chawal and vegetable stew) These gahambars in India are sponsored by some families in memory of their dear departed. Some families set up a fund for sponsoring the food, there are no fees charged .
    In Iran the Gahambars are usually like “pot luck” each family brings whatever they want to share with others.

    In North America we are reviving the custom of gahambars. as they are meant to be, seasonal celebrations.

    Dolly Dastoor
    Montreal , Canada

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