Amti (Maharashtrian Dal)

Amti or Maharastrian Amti Dal is a Maharashtrian style dal preparation with a balanced flavor of both sweetness and tanginess. Sweetness from the jaggery and tanginess from tamarind or kokum and usage of special Maharashtrian masala – Goda Masala makes this Amti very delicious and flavorful.

Amti

Amti Dal with Bhaat (Rice) is comfort and homely food for many in Maharashtra and I too fall under the same category. A bowl of Rice mixed with Amti and ghee drizzled over it, slurrrp!! I can have it any time of the day.

Amti or the Maharashtrian style dal is not like the usual dal that we prepare. Addition of Goda Masala to the dal preparation imparts a nice and unique flavor to the dal. Goda Masala and Kala Masala are special masalas used in Maharashtrian cooking. Goda Masala is used in day to day cooking, specially while preparing dishes like Katachi Amti, Masala Bhaat and also in the dry curries or any gravy dish. Maharashtrian Amti is a recipe that I learnt from my friend and whenever I prepare this Amti, I use the homemade Goda Masala that she had passed to me some time back. The first time I used her masala, I was hitched to the aroma and taste of the masala. Later, while checking with her the ingredients of their masala, she said her mom-in-law uses Dagadh Phool or Star Anise, which gives a unique flavor to the Goda Masala. Though the proportion of each ingredient varies as per the family’s taste and preference, using Goda Masala definitely makes the dal delicious.

Ingredients

Tur dal – 100 gms
Tomato – 1 large finely chopped
Red chilli powder – ¾ tsp
Goda masala – 1 ½ tsps
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Thick tamarind extract – 1 tbsp or Kokum – 2 or 3
Salt to taste
Jaggery – 1 tsp heaped or taste
Grated coconut – 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves – 4-5 strands finely chopped
Water – 4 cups or as needed

To temper
Oil – 2 tsps
Mustard seeds – ¾ tsp
Hing or asafoetida – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – few

Preparation

Prep time – 15 mins
Cook time – 20 mins
Total time – 35 mins
Serves 3 -4

  1. Rinse the dal well and pressure cook until soft with ½ tsp of turmeric powder and 2 cups of water. Let the pressure release, mash it well and set it aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and let them crackle. Add asafoetida, red chilli powder, goda masala and curry leaves and give a quick stir. Take care not to burn the spice powders.
  3. Add the finely chopped tomatoes along with salt to taste and cook for 4-5 mins until the tomatoes turn slightly mushy.
  4. Add the cooked dal, tamarind extract along with a cup of water or as needed to get the desired thickness. If using kokum, skip tamarind and add kokum at this stage. Cook for 5 mins until everything combines well.
  5. Add the jaggery and let it boil for another 2-3 mins.
  6. Finally, add the grated coconut and finely chopped coriander. Mix well and switch off the flame.

Serve this flavorful Maharashtrian Amti with hot steamed rice and any dry vegetable preparation or pappad. A plate of steaming rice, yummy Amti with little ghee drizzled over it for sure would make a finger licking and a hearty meal any time.

Amti can also be served with Rotis.

Amti

Notes

  1. If Goda Masala is not available, you can try using garam masala. But the taste will definitely not be the same.
  2. I used tamarind extract as I did not have Kokum.
  3. Amti should be neither too watery nor too thick. Adjust water accordingly to get a pouring consistency after adding the cooked dal.
  4. If you have cooked dal handy, Amti can be prepared in a jiffy.
  5. If you want the Amti spicier, you can increase the red chilli powder used or add a green chilli or two while tempering.