May 10, 2009

Ambat bhaji - another tanjore marathi twist

ambat-bhaji2

It's been a while since I did anything in my "corner" on Ahaar. And I know I haven't responded to the many kind comments we received for the very first post about thanjavur marathi food. But now that the semester is over, I hope to post more often and perhaps even dig up some interesting tidbits about thanjavur marathi cuisine.

To get things started again, here's a recipe for Pala Ambat Bhaji (Pala: greens; ambat: sour; bhaji: vegetable dish). The ambat comes from the use of tamarind and ambat bhaji is usually made with different kinds of greens or cabbage. And to liven things up, we fry a few mor milagai (see this) to go with the ambat bhaji.

Ambat bhaji makes for a nice variation from sambar and kootu. Here's the recipe.

Ingredients:
1/2 pack frozen chopped spinach
1 cup Toor dal
1/2 tspoon Tumeric powder
1/4 tspoon Methi seeds
pinch of Asafoetida
2 dry Red chillies
1 tspoon Cumin seeds (not required, but I like to)
Salt to taste
1 tbspoon Oil
3/4 - 1 tspoon Tamarind paste (depending on how tangy you want it)

Method:
Boil toor dal. In a pan, heat oil and temper with some cumin seeds, red chillies, and methi seeds (be careful to not heat the methi seeds too much or they turn bitter).

Add chopped spinach to this and cook with a little water till the raw smell of the greens is gone. To this, add tamarind juice and let this cook for about 5 minutes. Then add the boiled toor dal, salt, and let it cook for about 10-12 minutes on low-med heat.

ambat-bhaji1

Serve warm with rice.

31 comments:

  1. Adding tamarind to palak is new to me .. indeed a nice twist Mandira. :-) A pretty quick recipe.

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  2. mmm..sour palak sabji..i will love this!

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  3. You mean Tanjavore? I have tried this once from a friend there! :)

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  4. Adding tamarind is also first for me too, looks yumm. I can imagine the delicous tnagy flovour in this dish.

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  5. Interesting recipe. khatta palak.. sounds good to me.

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  6. There is something about certain or a lot of Indian authentic food that is comforting and healthy at the same time. This is one such dish. I would dig into this anytime.

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  7. Methi. cumin seeds with Spinach must have made this dish very flavorful... Tamarind to spinach I should try this...

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  8. yumm! love spinach and dal combo

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  9. this looks delicious,..

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  10. Mandira,
    This is why i like about these "my corner recipes"..they bring out the best things :))..i just love this ambat bhaji ..a new recipe to know from a regional cuisine of tanjore i guess....a similar recipe in UP there.. toor /arhar dal with palak saag but without tamarind ..green is always good..
    hugs and smiles

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  11. I have a pack of spinach in my fridge and was blog hopping to see what I could make out of it...thanks for posting the recipe Mandira. I will try this!!

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  12. ambat bhaji . reminds me of home ..hmmm

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  13. i've eaten this or something similar at a thanjavur maharashtrian's place and it was awesome. thanks for the recipe.

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  14. Comfort food at its best! Lovely blog, btw. Loved your posts on home gardening. My chili and fenugreek window plants are showing promise, I hope they turn out as healthy as yours!

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  15. This is such a versatile dish. We make something similar called Keerai Masial though we don't add tamarind. I'm sure tangier spinach is far interesting!

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  16. Adding tamarind to spinach is really very new..looks yumm!

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  17. Thanks so much for all your comments! It really is like a masial, as A_and_N point out, and the tamarind is a nice twist. And it's probably a variation on Aamti, a Maharashtrian staple. It'd be interesting to know which way the influence went.

    Konkani Foodie - do let us know how it turns out.

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  18. I do add palak to all kinds of dal but never added the tamarind paste.
    Looks like a winner

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  19. I will try about any dish with greens... This is a keeper, looks good and I have to try very soon :)

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  20. Hi all of you,
    Ambat bhaji, Sappaka pitle and goddu pitle are really great! We have been making these in our house regularly. How about methiche maatoda or kelich phoolach maatoda? Ashwin, why not upload these too. Also, it is more appropriate if our dialect is called Dakshini Marathi rather than Tanjavur Marathi. For details look up Dakshini Marathi in google search.

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  21. In this you can add fenugreek leaves-methi- and beetroot leaves along with spinach.
    It makes still more emmy !!This has been tried and tested in Boston When we were there

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  22. Taking this discussion to another plane- outside the scope of 'Ahaar', with your permission, Ashwin and Mandira.... Do any Tanjore/Dakshini Marathi speaking folks have a good resource of old Marathi songs and lullabies? I am trying to compile a list of the likes of 'jhool hatti' before it lost in the winds forever. A small attempt to save the language.... any help will be greatly appreciated and will go a long way in preserving the culture. Thank You, Ashwin & Mandira.

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  23. I have tasted this food over a restaurant in California and I had a hard time remembering how it's called - this blog is just perfect, now I can make one for my friends! Thanks for the post!

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  24. Thanks everyone. It's these little twists that make every recipe unique. :)

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  25. WOW! Your blog is definitely the source of everything healthy and delicious food.

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  26. tamarind? WoW! a very ingenious dish.

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  27. Would love to try cooking this..tamarind is a very good ingredient.

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  28. Anonymous10:38 PM

    as many seem to believe, tamarind doesnt necessarily mean sour. ambat bhaji isnt really sour or khatta. i like it very much.

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  29. This is in response to "Marathi"'s question on tanjore marathi lullabies ... ya, i remember "jhool hatti" ...
    how about : 1)jo jo re baala jo jo, 2)allelle aai!!! chinnari ponnari gaadula chetti ... have you heard these ???

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  30. Thanks Mandira ... i love ambat bhaji ... do you know how to prepare sappak pitla (with groundnuts and karela ... or maatoda with methi/gavaar ?? ...

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  31. Anonymous5:16 PM

    This recipe looks weird, I really wouldn't like to taste it. Actually I prefer to spend my time visiting
    Viagra Online

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