Navratri is one of the most fun and colorful festivals celebrated n India. The Garba, the outfits and the food always unites adults and children in celebrating Navratri. A few communities hailing from Northern and Western states fast during Navratri and abstain from eating any onion or garlic. On the other hand Eastern States of Bengal and Assam celebrate Navratri with fish delicacies. Maharashtrians and Goan Hindu communities do not eat any meat or fish during Navratri and avoid onion and garlic especially on Dusherra.
Today’s recipe is a traditional Hindu Goan Aamti recipe using Chana Dal. This is made on religious occasions at home, such as Pooja or Diwali and Dusherra as there is no use of onion, garlic or ginger. Chana Dal Aamti is a perfect accompaniment to steamed rice. My Grandmum Aai has passed this recipe to my Mum and she has duly passed this on to me. Heirloom recipes have a special place in my heart. Making these recipes and seeing my son enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed eating them in my growing up years is the most gratifying experience for me as a Mother.
So here is Mumbai 2 Melbourne’s recipe for Chana Dal Aamti.
Ingredients needed are:
♥ Chana dal -2 cups
♥ Cloves-6 in number
♥ Hing stone – quatre inch or 1 teaspoon hing powder
♥ Coriander seeds 1 tablespoon
♥ Cinnamon stick – 1 inch
♥ Peppercorn whole – 8-10 in number
♥ Red chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
♥ Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
♥ Tamarind ball – size of a small lime
♥ Fresh grated coconut – 1 cup
♥ Coconut milk – 1 cup
♥ Rice flour – 1 tablespoon
Method of Preparation
♥ Soak Chana Dal in cold water for 3 to 4 hours. Drain the water and add the soaked Chana Dal to a pressure cooker. Add enough water to cover the Dal and cook for 2 whistles. The key to this Aamti is ensuring Chana Dal does not get overcooked or mushy. Soak the tamarind in warm water and keep aside.
♥Take 1 teaspoon oil in a wok, add the asafoetida stone and coriander seeds and roast till fragrant. Next add the cloves, cinnamon and peppercorns and mix well till fragrant. Switch of the flame and then add turmeric and chilli powder. If you are using Asafoetida powder then, ensure you add it after the whole spices are roasted towards the end after you switch off the flame. Keep the spices aside to cool.
♥ In the same wok, add the grated coconut and roast till the coconut brown, ensuring it does not burn. Now add the roasted spices and the coconut to a grinder an add a few tablespoons of water and grind it finely. This is the Masala Spice Blend ready.
♥ Now add the cooked Chana Dal to the wok and add the Masala Spice Blend, salt and tamarind pulp. Let it get to a boil and add 1 cup of water. Next take the coconut milk and mix the rice flour to it and add this to the Aamti. Let it get to a boil and switch of the flame. Optional is to add thin slices of coconut or cashew pieces to this Aamti. I did not have either in my pantry at the time so I have not added any. Adding Coconut slices adds crunch and more texture to the Chana Dal Aamti.
Serve Chana Dal Aamti with steamed rice and salad. Note here that there is no tempering to this Aamti and there is minimal use of oil. This is heart healthy and great for your waistline as well. Coconut has cholesterol lowering properties and naturally existing good fats that keeps skin and hair healthy. More reasons to add Chana Dal Aamti to your Menu at home !!
Original Recipe – Sumati Desai ( Aai)
Photography and Styling – Sharvari Paivaidya Mehan
I hope you enjoyed today’s recipe post. Definitely leave me your feedback in the comments below.