Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Daalichi Amti (Malwan Style)

The smell of this 'Daalichi Amti' gets me instantly home sick!
Aai used to make this a lot of times to go with fried fish. Best combination EVER!
And then all of a sudden, new recipes came in the picture. 'Daalichi Amti' took a back seat and everyone forgot about it.
Then a few days back I got a request from my friend to help her with some Daal recipes! My mind started travelling back in time, as I wanted her to experience the traditional daal recipes, rather than try some of my not-so-awesome experiments. So I called my mom and we were discussing which maharashtrian daals would be blog worthy! Yea, I just said that..
We picked a few traditional ones, Ambat Varan (tangy daal) Kudal-deshkar style, Brahmin style and CKP style. Then we jotted down, some quick moong daal recipes and then she said, I should start with Malwani Daal! I was confused. What was she talking about? She told me the recipe and me not being a seasoned cook, had no recollection of the flavors she was talking about. She gave me many instances of having tried it as a child with fried fish and my mind was completely blank. Finally I took the recipe and decided to try it and post it on my blog if I enjoy it as much as she claimed I would. It was when I was half way through, the aroma in the kitchen made me nostalgic! It got back every memory and instance of enjoying this daal and I called Aai immediately and told her that I finally understood why she was so excited about this!

So here is the 'Malwani Daalichi Amti' recipe that has been passed on through generations in my family.
Hope you enjoy it!

Level: Easy
Serves: 4 to 6 people

1 cup toor daal
5 - 6 drumsticks
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 pinches asafoetida
4 - 5 kokum
2 - 3 green chillies
8 - 10 fresh curry leaves
3/4 tsp mustard seeds
3/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 marble size piece of jaggery
Coriander to decorate
Salt to taste

To be ground:
2 tblsp fresh coconut
3 tblsp chopped onions
8 - 10 black peppercorns

Step 1 - Pressure cook the toor daal, turmeric powder, asafoetida, onions, 1/2 tsp salt and drumsticks for 2 whistles or till the daal is cooked well.

Step 2 - Grind the fresh coconut, onions and black peppercorns to a fine paste. Try to grind it without water, but if you do not have a high quality grinder, which I don't, you might have to add in a little water to make the ingredients move.

Step 3 - Take a large pot. Add the pressure cooked daal and the ground mixture. Add some water to make this mixture a little liquidy. Bring it to a boil on medium heat.

Step 4 - Once the daal begins to boil, add in the kokum and jaggery. Adjust salt and water to your desired consistency and let the daal boil for a good 8 - 10 mins on medium-low heat.

Step 5 - Take a small pan. Heat 1 tblsp oil. Add the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the cumin seeds. Stir till they slightly change color. Add the curry leaves and asafoetida. Saute for a few seconds. Pour this into your boiling daal. Decorate with coriander leaves.

Serve hot with some steamed rice and fried fish!
If you know me, don't forget to invite me when you try this recipe at home!

Drumsticks give this daal the typical Malwani flavor. If you skip adding this, you will end up with a tasty daal, but not with Malwani Daalichi Amti.

Fresh drumsticks are ideal, but I have made this daal with frozen drumsticks too, when I could not find any fresh drumsticks around. Slight difference in flavor, but it works.

"Malwani cuisine" is the standard cuisine of the Konkan region of Maharashtra and Goa and some northern parts of West Karnataka. Altough Malwani cuisine is predominantly non-vegetarian, there are many vegetarian delicacies. Altought it is an independant cuisine, it overlaps Maharashtra cuisine and Goan cuisine.
Malwan is a town in the Sindhudurg district on the west coast of India.
Malwan being a coastal area in Konkan, has it's own distinct way of cooking food. It uses coconut liberally in various forms such as grated, dry grated, fried, coconut paste and coconut milk.
To know some more, head here.


  1. Delicious!!! Im so craving this now

  2. nice variation, looks delicious.

  3. This is an awesome recipe. I tried it, with a slight twist...as I didn't have all the ingredients. The outcome was really good.

    I didn't have kokam or coconut, so I used tamrind paste and flax as substitute for these ingredients. Also for the tadka, I also added sukhi lal mirchi.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe.