Alloli Balloli

Alloli Balloli is a tangy, sticky, sweet-sour mass made from tamarind. We would stick this onto spoons and suck on them for hours. Our family culinary legacy is incomplete without this simple rustic family recipe. It doesn’t fit into any courses and is more like what you’d eat like gum after meals, only tastier.  It’s  is something we’d always associate with holidays, summers and grandma.

I don’t know the exact etymology of the name Alloli Balloli. I just know that it lies in a mixture of Marathi and Kannada as although Maharashtrians, our family is very closely associated with Kannadiga culture. My dad, my maternal grand-dad any many other family members speak Kannada fluently. I think the word comes from belluli (garlic in Kannada).

Anyway, I felt nostalgic today when I saw the tamarind mum got me last week. It’s the tamarind from the tree in my granny’s backyard that she managed to send me after seeding and salting it. I had to make this today to be transported to my childhood’s memory lanes.

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I took some tamarind, salt, chili powder, a clove of garlic and some jaggery and pulsed it all together in the blender to form a sticky mass. I then made little balls out of it and sprinkled with sugar (This is not required). A lot of my family members also add 1/2 a leaf of lime to this for the added fragrance. I didn’t as I didn’t have any.

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I’m now going to stick 2-3 of these on a spoon and keep licking it till there is nothing left while reading some Marathi book…aah heaven!

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