Mattar Dal Amti/ Split Green Peas Cooked in Maharashtrian way

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While growing I was not curious or cared about the differences in the cuisines of the 28 Indian states. I was just happy with the tastes of the dishes from Kerala and Tamil Nadu that my mom cooked. Once I left India for my postdoctoral studies, I got a chance to taste lots of international cuisine. After marriage, with the support of my food enthusiastic hubby, my adventures of making and testing various dishes started. He says especially because of my blog I am cooking every day. I made this mattar dal amti  for a change.
Last week while shopping at the Indian store grocery shopping, I didn’t buy any snacks or pickle from there, and the store owner Paul was upset that we are were not buying much. Still my bill was around $100. I told him, as we have only two adults in the house, most of the items will get spoiled if I kept it for long time. My hubby was looking at me and laughing. Then while in the car, he told me why you didn’t tell him the truth that most snacks and pickles are already spoiled while opening. I told hubby, why you to upset somebody, that is why I put in that way.
Maharashtra is third largest state of India, which borders with Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Andhra pradesh and Karnataka. It has Mumbai which is the financial capital of India, and also famous for Bollywood.
Amti is a typical lentil /dal preparation of Maharashtra. As like any other states in India, its cuisine also varies from region to region with the use of locally grown products. Maharashtrian cuisines include rice( bhaat) , lentil/dal( Amti), dry curries( sooka bhaji) and roti(Ghadichi Poli or chapati ) ,Zunka (chickpea flour vegetable preparation) and bhakri (flat bread made with sorghum flour and millet flour), missal (sprouted bean curries), thalipeeth (multigrain pancake), kothimbar vadi (cilantro cake) appetizers like Kande pohe (rice flakes and onion preparation), Sabudana wada (sago fritters) which is important during fasting and Bakarwadi. Then there are sweets like puran poli (flat bread made with sweet chana dal stuffing), sheera( semonlina pudding) , Ukadiche Modak (Steamed dumplings with coconut-jaggery stuffing), Kadbu (Sweet puffs), Karanji , Rava laddu etc.
Maharashtra is also famous for the unique masala blends like Goda masala, amti masala, kolhapuri masala, pav bhaji masala etc. I am crazy about masala, so this time when we visited Mumbai, I brought some masala from there along with kokam ( indigenous fruit  of  tree Garcinia indica which used to give tanginess in curry), Dagad ka pool (Black Stone Flower, a lichen) charoli seeds (Buchanania lanzan).
Uniqueness of Maharashtrian cuisine is that most of the dishes have all the flavors you want sour, spicy, sweet and salty in a single dish. So when I decided to make amti, I wanted to use amti masala, which I prepared from scratch. I used recipe from “Lajjatdar Masale” by Mrs. Vaijayanti Kelkar via Nupur’s blog. For a change, I used green split peas, which has a slightly sweet taste on its own. Cooked split peas were tempered with cumin seeds, mustards seeds, curry leaves and asafetodia; and spiced the curry with amti masala which contain coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves and cinnamon. Souring agent I used is kokam. The recipe turned out to be great. I learned one more tasty preparation of ultimate comforting dish dal. Here goes the recipe
Print recipe from here

What you need

Amti Masala
Coriander seeds: 1 tablespoon
Cumin seeds: ½ tablespoon
Shahi jeera/black cumin seeds: ½ teaspoon
Cloves: 2 no
Cinnamon: ¼ inch piece

This will yield   1 1/2 tablespoon, you need 1 1/4 teaspoon for this recipe.

For Amti

Green split peas: ¾ cup
Salt: 1 teaspoon or to taste
Onion: ½ cup (chopped finely)
Amti masala: 1 1/4 teaspoon
Turmeric powder: ¼ teaspoon
Red chili powder: ½ teaspoon
Jaggery: 1 teaspoon
Kokam: 2 pieces ( If you don’t have kokam, substitute with tamarind/lemon juice)
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Mustard seeds: ½ teaspoon
Cumin seeds: ½ teaspoon
Asafetodia: 1/8 teaspoon
Green chili: 1 teaspoon (chopped, I used Serrano pepper)
Coriander leaves: 1 tablespoon of garnish
Water: 31/2 cups
Olive oil: 1 tablespoon

How I made

In a small skillet dry roast the ingredients for amti masala for 1 minute or until cumin starts to popping. Set aside and when they are cool enough to touch grind them into fine powder in a coffee grinder, this will yield about 1 ½ tablespoon.


In the mean time pressure cook the green split peas with 2 cups of water for about 4 whistles. It took about 20 minutes and set aside.


In a medium sauce pot heat olive oil and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves. When mustard seeds start popping add chopped onion and green chilies. Fry the onion for about 6 minutes or until it become translucent and change color.


To the onion mixtures add turmeric, asafetodia, salt and fry for another minute .To this add chili powder,  amti masala, kokum, and rest of water and cooked split peas. Bring to a boil and check the spices and salt and add jaggery and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Switch off the flame.


Enjoy with warm roti or rice.


Preparation time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 serving
Verdict: Yummy
Will you make it again: Yes I will

Sending this delicious  Amti to MLA#33 hosted by Dee originally started by Susan

Flavors of Maharashtra hosted by PJ orginaly started by Naina

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  1. says

    I really need to find that Kokam – this is the third recipe calling for it. LOVE you detailed pictorials, Swathi – really want to have a bowl of it right now – Not a good idea to blog hop before eating lunch! Mind is scrambling and can’t keep up with the gastric juices’ energy – seriously!

  2. says

    Yummy! This is good dal! This will be our next delicious meal. I have all the ingredients except for the curry leaves. It’s just not available in my neck of the woods. Anyway it will still be good I’m sure! Cheers!

  3. says

    ha ha adipoli onnu try cheyyam this recipe. adding cocum is new to me. taste akumennu kandale ariyam. pinne tazhe ulla idichakka enne pinneyum tempt cheyyippikkunnu evide ottu kittanumilla athu enthayalum next month nattil pokumbol onnu try cheyyanam

  4. says

    I have all of the ingredients in my cupboard, but have never combined them in this way before! Thank you for introducing me to new flavors and dishes!

  5. says

    Blogging has definitely forced me to expand my knowledge of world foods as well! This split pea dish looks and sounds delicious!