Saturday, February 2, 2008

Brahmni Amti (Spicy Stir-fried Lentils)


During my primary school years my mother used to threaten me with taking me to lunch to a dreadful place by the name of Suvarnarekha Dining Hall on Prabhat Road. And rightfully so. People from the Deccan Area might be well accustomed to this sorry excuse for a restaurant. Owned by the Yenpure family, it was housed in one of those buildings where a permanent heap of construction material lies blocking the footpath. Suvarnarekha is one of the restaurants that serves only the thali. The menu for the day is a mystery till the plate of food is in front of you. So if you don’t like what you see on your plate, you’re S.O.L. The food was acceptable at best when I first visited the place in the 80s, but the quality has gone down as the price of a thali has gone up. I remember the ambience being the canteen-like and was only complimented with the hostile wait-staff that usually served you like they were doing you a favour. I am quite sure that it hasn’t changed and the mediocre food remains quite popular with the senior Brahmni gentry and students in the Deccan area. The one thing Suvarnarekha did serve that was top-notch was the brahmni amti. To this day, it ranks only second to the one my aai makes.

Ingredients
1/2 cup Toor Dal (split Pigeon Peas)
2 teaspoon Maharashtrian goda masala (Kala masala)
2 tsp Oil
1/2 tsp Red Chili Powder
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Jaggrey (melted)
1/2 tsp Coconut Flakes
1 tsp chopped Cilantro
Salt

Method
Cook dal in a pressure cooker as you would for Varan
Once cooked, churn it to make it into a homogenous liquid
Add jaggery, stir and place aside
In a pot heat the oil
Once hot add the mustard seeds till they splatter
Add chili, turmeric, asafoetida, and cilantro and stir
Add Dal, salt and stir.
Allow it to boil
Top each serving with half spoon of ghee and serve with rice

9 comments:

Asha said...

Looks fabulous, great comfort food!I am sure Vitobha will be very happy!:))

TheCooker said...

That place is still dreadful. What is even more dreadful is that the place is as popular as ever, though not so much with the Brahmni junta.

nilanjan said...

This is a great blog.

I don't agree with your comments on Suvarna Rekha. SR was a great place to get a clean, Marathi/Kanada kind of meal. It probably appealed more to non-Maharashtrians (like me). There were other Thali places - many low end, and others a bit high end. I have many fond memories of eating at SR.

- N

Anonymous said...

I too don't agree about your comment on S.R. The place is good enough for homely maharashtrian unlimited food with a very reasonable price. Compare to shreyash and durvankur and other hotels I feel S.R. gives good food with v less price.

Anand

Anonymous said...

I think you missed chinch/amsul
(tamarind)in your recipe

Adhi Potoba said...

Chinch/Amsul makes it Ambat Varan which is a CKP recipe and tastes completely different from Amti.

delhibelle said...

I want to try this out..when do we add the coconut?

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Anonymous said...

I completely disagree with you, the thali is good and the service is good. the service occasionaly can be a bit lazy but that one off case. Th owner who sits there is extremely comforting and takes care of evrybody like his family. The food is good balanced and their salads are awesome.With cost of 30 buck (with coupon)or 50 bucks (without coupon), suvarna rakha thali serves very good delightlful bramhan, slighlty sweet food.