Another day in #30daysofdaal and today I am bringing you another coveted family recipe. The ‘AamTi’ is essentially Maharashtrian, and hails from the region in India where I live.
Quick translation – chincha is tamarind, guL or guD is jaggery or brown sugar, AamTi is the preparation or dish itself. The word literally means ‘aambat’ or sour. The taste of this dish is sweet and sour, and of course there is spice added.
Every family has their own way of making this. And there are slight variations depending on the sub sects and geographical regions in the state. The proportion of the ingredients may vary, and may be the sequence of doing things will vary. That is why this dish tastes different in every household. Plus there is that unknown element related to every cook, or every mother or grandmother, that elevates an everyday concoction into something that is invaluable and cannot be bought.
We have a few different ways of making AamTi at home, and I will try to blog about a few other ways before we are done this month. But this particular tamarind-jaggery version is my favorite. In a Marathi Brahmin household, the aamTi is comfort food at its best. It is the thing we come home to after exhausting our wanderlust.
While growing up, I was fortunate to live in a very tightly knit neighborhood. We ate at a neighbor’s place for the slightest reason, or no reason at all. Any thing that may cause the kitchen to be nonfunctional, like a sick family member, paint work, remodeling etc. was sure to land an invite from someone. I cherished these, or rather, relished these, because it meant something different to eat. Ordering out at the slightest whim wasn’t in vogue then.
The basic meal served in all the households was the same, but the preparation was different. And the same AamTi Bhaat or daal-rice tasted magical when you ate it as a guest.
My family has many different influences, so our family recipe of aamTi has sort of evolved considering everyone’s preferences. Some things that are a must are curry leaves, fresh coriander or cilantro and of course tamarind and jaggery. You could use brown sugar in a bind. Green chilli peppers can also be added but I rarely use those.
Another item that makes this dish shine is the goda masala. Whether you make it at home, or buy it, every goda masala is different. So different brands will give a different taste. Amazon.com still doesn’t stock goda masala. I recommend using coriander-cumin mix instead of garam masala as a substitute.
Tamarind is crucial here. You can either soak dry tamarind pulp and extract the juice or use a readymade tamarind paste.
The trick here is to combine everything, bring the daal mixture to a boil and simmer it for some time. There is the omnipresent tadka or phoDNi which adds the necessary tempering or seasoning.
This AamTi is part of a typical Maharashtrian or Marathi meal, served with roti, vegetables and hot rice. And yes, serve with a dollop of ghee.
Chincha GuLachi AamTi – Tamarind Daal Recipe
- 2 cups toor daal cooked
- 1 -2 cups water
- 1 Tbsp tamarind extract
- 1 Tbsp+ jaggery
- ½ tsp goda masala
- 6 curry leaves
- 1 Tbsp cilantro chopped
- Salt to taste
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- Pinch of Asafoetida
- 1 tsp turmeric ground
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- Combine cooked toor daal, water, tamarind, jaggery, goda masala, curry leaves, cilantro and salt in a stock pot.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for at least 10 minutes and until desired consistency.
- Taste to check flavor and add more jaggery or sugar if it is too sour.
- Heat oil in a small tadka wok.
- Add oil and once it is hot, add mustard seeds and let them pop.
- Add the Asafoetida, turmeric, cayenne and switch off heat.
- Pour this mixture over the one simmering in the stock pot.
- Mix well and simmer for some more time.
- Serve hot with rice or roti.
Hope you try this delicious family recipe of mine and let me know how it turns out. Check out other daal recipes in #30daysofdaal.