Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Katachi Amti / Chana Dal Saar.

Katachi Amti / Chana Dal Saar …. A traditional Maharashtrian Recipe prepared from draining the water of cooked Chana Dal for Puran Poli ….. Specially prepared during Holi, Katachi Amti is a Spicy and Tangy Dal that can be relished as it is or with rice ….. Yummy …. 

Katachi Amti as I mentioned above is a thin and spicy dal prepared out of the cooked and strained chana dal used for making of puran poli. This is a traditional Maharashtrian dish that is prepared during festivals specially during holi. There are many methods of preparing this dal. Some with addition of garlic, onion etc. Each home has its own variation and this recipe I got from my friend Sanchita. After coming to Thane, A city in the outskirts of Mumbai and changing my vicinity twice, I came to stay for good in my present home which had lots of Maharashtrians as my neighbors. My friendship span with Sanchita is for few years and since she was young I hardly spoke to her about food. Now she is married and stays in another city and I do meet her around Diwali festival. Puran Poli as I said is prepared by almost every Indian in their own method. We Konkani Saraswats have our own way. But each and every method churns out a yummy dish. Many a times we keep cooking the chana dal till the water is almost absorbed while making puran for the puran poli. The straining of the chana dal and the cooked water being used in preparation of Amti known as Katachi Amti a spicy tangy dal was new to me. My hubby however, being brought up in Mumbai (I am from Mangalore) had relished this from Jenibai and used to always tell me to prepare Jenibai’s Amti. All he knew was its done with chana dal. Sanchita came to my rescue and offered me Katachi Amti prepared in their home during Holi. And Eureka …. Hubby said … this is it … this is Jenibai’s Amti. Rest is history. So the credit for this recipe goes to Sanchita … My friend. God Bless her and her family Always. Do prepare this Amti, its easy and simply delicious. 

To prepare this amti you can either collect the drained cooked chana dal water while prepareing puran poli / ubbati or you can pressure cook ½ a cup of chana dal and use the same whichever is suitable to you. Here I have used the strained pressure cooked dal water and of 1 cup cooked dal and the left over dal while grinding to paste. Mixed it well with about 3-4 cups of water. This is a thin spicy dal so you need to add in that much of water. Soak one large lemon sized tamarind in lukewarm water and make it into a paste. Strain the juice. Add this to the the dal along with 100 gms of jaggery / gud and bring to a boil. 

In a pan add in 3-4 tblsp of oil, when hot add in 1 heaped tsp of jeera and 1 tsp of mustard seeds, when they splutter add in 1 tblsp of asafoetida / hing powder, ½ tsp turmeric / haldi powder, 2-3 tblsp kashmiri red chilly powder and 8-10 curry leaves fry a little bit and add to the simmering dal. In a dry pan roast a little bit ½ tsp of pepper, 7-8 cloves, 2 inch piece of cinnamon cut into pieces. Remove and crush them to coarse powder and add to the simmering dal. Add in ¼ cup of freshly grated coconut, salt to taste and mix well. If you find the dal a little bit thick add in some water if necessary. Add in ½ cup of finely chopped fresh coriander leaves. Bring the dal to a full boil and simmer for a good 20 minutes. Katachi Dal is ready to be served. Serve this steaming hot along with Ubbati / Puran Poli and Rice. As I said it is served usually during festive periods.

** Note : 1/2 to 1 tsp of Goda Masala can be added in if desired while preparing the Amti. Goda Masala is a spice powder specially prepared in Maharashtrian homes which is usually added to all the curries. It is easily available in the market too. You can replace the same with Garam Masala too if Goda Masala is not available. I have not added any extra garam masala other than mentioned in the recipe. As I said there are many methods in preparing this Amti and it differs from home to home. Will soon be posting new methods too. Watch this space.

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