Thursday, November 29, 2007

Daalichi Amti

Amma - My maternal grandmom, who was from South Canara married my grandpa, who was a Maharashtrian Vegetarian. Both grew up with entirely different cuisines of their own. I can't imagine the chaotic confusion that could have happened, after all we are talking about two generations back here. But Annapoorna, that Amma was, she mastered this new cuisine using Goda Masala. In spite of being a strict vegetarian himself, grandpa too encouraged Amma to enjoy her own seafood dominated cuisine. Amma's kitchen had a perfect equilibrium of Maharashtrian "Swayampak" and Konkani "Randap". Lucky us, that we got to devour best of both worlds!

For Maharashtrian Amti, Goda Masala is a must. If you want to make it yourself, read Anita's post here. You can use Goda masala in many Maharashtrian curries and subzis. If you are from Mumbai, here are some of the shops that sell pretty decent Goda Masala. Of course, you can never beat anything homemade, but the goda masala available in any of these shops, comes pretty close.
Sathe's Vijay Stores, Vileparle (East)
Godbole Stores, Dadar (West)
Vanita Samaj, Dadar
Sarvodaya Stores, Dadar

Here's how we make Dalichi Amti -

Daalichi Amti (Serves 4)
1 cup Toor daal
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 1/2 tsp Goda Masala - it's a must!
1 tsp jaggery
2 green chilies, halved

1 tsp tamarind pulp or 2-3 kokums
Salt to taste

1 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 curry leaves with stems

1 tbsp freshly grated coconut
1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped

1. Pressure cook toor daal with turmeric powder, asafoetida adding 1 1/2 cups water.
2. Mash the cooked daal with daal masher adding 1/2 cup water.
3. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add fenugreek seeds - if using, mustard seeds, a pinch of asafoetida, green chilies and curry leaves along with stems.
4. Now add goda masala, and stir fry for few seconds, making sure that masala does not burn.
5. Now add mashed daal, salt, jaggery, tamarind pulp/kokum. Add more water to get desired consistency. It should not be too thick or too thin.
6. Bring to boil. Let it simmer for about 11 minutes.
7. Add coconut and cilantro. Cover with the lid. Switch off the gas.

Note -
1. You can also add drumsticks/shevgyachya shenga/saragawa to this daal. You can pressure cook them with toor daal.
2. Unfortunately, there is no substitute for Goda masala. The whole essence of this Amti is Goda Masala. This is my humble opinion anyway! :-)
3. Goda masala can be used to make amti, rassa-bhaji (gravy vegetables), masale bhat and usal. Generally kokum and jaggery need to be added to the curries to get the fine balance between spicy, sour and sweetish tastes.


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