August 28, 2014

Tanjore Marathi specialty Ambode

This time when we were in India, a friend was coming to visit for lunch and we decided on  ambode and kadhi for the lunch menu.

Now, this is a dear friend from Ann Arbor and the kids were very excited to see a familiar friendly face, but were also confused and asked "Why are you in India?"

Once they settled down, the boys had a lot of fun showing off their new toys, chota bheem t-shirts and had Bourbon chocolate biscuits together.

We said bye to the friend with some sadness knowing we won't see him back in Ann Arbor when we are back. 

Coming back to the lunch menu, ambode is a mixed dal vada which can be made two ways - usually without onions. You can add onions then it becomes more like masala vada. You can also add curry leaves, or methi leaves to add a different taste.

It makes its presence during festivals when ambode and kadhi is a popular combination followed by payasam.

I was able to click a step by step picture and this come directly from my MIL's kitchen in Bangalore.

1/2 cup chana dal
1 tbspoon toor/arhar dal
1 red chilli
1" ginger - grated
1/4 tspoon coriander seeds
1/4 tspoon cumin seeds

handful cilantro chopped finely
salt to taste
1 cup oil to fry the vadas

Tanjore marathi ambode
Soak the dals for 3-4 hours.

Before grinding, drain the water and take about 1 tbspoon chana dal out.

Tanjore marathi ambode

Do a coarse grind with the rest of the dal with minimal water with the red chilli, coriander and cumin seeds and little bit of the cilantro. It's easier to grind the spices and then add the dal for a coarse grind.

Add the cilantro ( and onions if you're adding) and spoonful of chana dal set aside earlier and mix it well.

Tanjore marathi ambode
Take a small round ball of the mix and flatten it to a patty shape.

Tanjore marathi ambode
Heat the oil in a wok/kadai. Once the oil it hot (test it with a tiny little batter), add the vada and fry for 2-3 minutes till they turn brown.

Tanjore marathi ambode
Take them out. They are crunchy and soft. Serve them warm.

We had ours with tomato bhath, rice and kadhi followed by payasam.


  1. I have always called these chana dal vada ... did not know they are called ambode. Khub bhalo lage.
    Btw ... ager post e I wanted to know ki jhinge ta ki raw rekhecho na ki ektu cook korecho? Please janio.

    1. Jhinge ta ekdum kacha, khali lebur juice e 30 min soak kora with some salt. but it has to be chopped finely.

    2. Sharmila11:31 PM

      Thank you Mandira.

  2. Looks super delicious.. yummy!!

  3. These look so good. Wish i could grab few.

    1. You are welcome anytime Finla!

  4. Great work, i like your post very much..


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