I follow the blog monsoonspice and love all that Sia has to say there. Her writing is wonderful and the person reading it just does not wish to stop. I also like all her pictures - she is an amazing photographer. Her recipes are simple and tasty.
The other day she posted a dal recipe also called ambat in Konkani - the link for which is here. This is a staple in konkani households. Infact, I cook this dal atleast once a week and I make it with spinach, malabar spinach, dill, fresh fenugreek leaves, red amaranth leaves - I have even used raddish with its leaves in this dal. We love the use of coconut in our cooking - thats the konkani blood in me and my husband speaking.Her post made me realise that such staple and simple things which are everyday food we savor and eat can also be a part of the blog and they indeed should be there. I thank her for making me realise this.
My palak Amti/Ambat is very similar to how she cooked - except that I grind the onion along with the coconut and chillies. But, this is simple yummy food with steamed rice and poppadoms and the humble lime pickle. We savor this Amti/Ambat with fried fish too.
2 cups roughly chopped baby spinach
1 cup toor dal
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
1 medium onion
1/2 teaspoon tamarind paste
2 cloves garlic (optional)
1/2 cup grated coconut
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 to 3 dried red chillies (I used 2 byadgi and 1 kashmiri) - you can use more if you like
1 tablespoon coriander seeds (akha Dhania)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
4 to 5 curry leaves
1 tablespoon coconut oil (you can use olive oil, groundnut oil or canola oil too)
Wash the dal well, add 2 cups of water, the asafoetida and turmeric, spinach and a few drops of oil and pressure cook the dal untill 3 whistles. Release the pressure and mash the dal with the back of a spoon and let it stand.
Mix together grated coconut, roughly chopped onion, garlic, dried red cillies, tamarind paste and coriander seeds in a blender, add about 1/4 cup water and blend this mixture to a fine paste. If the mixture becomes too dry and difficult to blend, add 2 tablespoons water at a time and blend again.
In a kadai/saucepan, take the coocnut oil, when it gets hot, add the mustard seeds and let them splutter, now add the curry leaves and let them saute for about 10 second. Now add the dal and the blended spice mixture and mix well. Add salt to taste and let this mixture boil. Once it comes to a boil, lower the heat and let it simmer for about a 15 minutes to half hour.
Serve with boiled white rice and poppadoms. This goes well with hot and soft phulkas too.