Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Ton Of Protein # 3 - Lasnaachi Aamti (Garlic Dal)

In the picture : yellow - Toor dal, green - coriander leaves, white - garlic ('Lasoon' in Marathi, Knoblauch in German - do not forget to pronounce the 'k')
Garlic is something that you can't really take for granted in India, unlike in the rest of the world. There are many communities / religious groups, who do not eat garlic at all. And then there are those, who do not eat garlic on certain days, for example, when they are fasting or during Monsoon. (The rainy season is believed to lower the metabolism rate and apparently garlic makes it worse by causing flatulence. This period is called 'Chaaturmaas' in Maharashtra, literally meaning 'four months'.) Garlic is also a no-no at festival feasts and when there is a religious ceremony at home/in the family.
Which means that this Aamti/Maharashtrian Dal is prepared strictly on non-special days (which is roughly 340 days in a year). Having said that, I must mention that it is cooked practically on all 340 days at my maternal grandmother's place. My grandmother is no more, but my maternal uncles (mind you, I have five of them!) live in a kind of joint family. Meaning they have their separate houses (in Nashik, Maharashtra), but they are always found together. It is like they use their houses only for sleeping and having bath. :)
Coming back to the Aamti, they like eating it more with chapatis and less with rice. Whole chapatis are served, which are then crushed by individuals in their plates with the fingers (it is called 'kuskarleli poli' then) and mixed with the Dal till it becomes a semi-solid mass. This is how it looks before both are mixed.

Kuskarleli Poli (crushed chapati) with Lasnaachi Aamti in the centre

It is a rather common practice in Maharashtra (maybe elsewhere too?) to crush chapati and mix it with any dal, or with milk and some sugar. The latter version is eaten with gusto by the young ones. I think it is a very healthy practice without much ado, because the absorption of calcium from the milk is made easier for the body when it is accomanied by some kind of cereal. Our ancestors certainly knew more than we think they did.

Anyway, here is the recipe for Lasnaachi Aamti
Serves 3.


¼ cup Toor Dal
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
½ - 1 tsp red chilli powder (Now, this Dal is not for the chicken-hearted. It is supposed to look fairly red and taste rather hot or ‘zanzaneet’ as they call it in Marathi. That's why I have served it with water in the earlier picture. :))
approx. 2 cups of warm water (Adding warm water gives a better flavour to any Dal, I feel.)
salt to taste

1 tsp oil
¼ tsp mustard seeds
6-7 medium garlic cloves (Reduce the quantity to 3-4 cloves, if they are fat, like in the picture at the end of this post)

chopped coriander leaves for garnishing


1. Pressure-cook the Toor Dal until soft.

2. Peel the garlic cloves. Slice them in the width, so that you have thin disc-like pieces.

3. Heat oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add garlic discs immediately and sauté them till they turn golden brown.

4. Add cooked Toor Dal, turmeric powder, chilli powder and water.

5. Stir the mixture well and let it come to a rolling boil. Add salt. Continue boiling the Dal on high heat for about five minutes.

6. Turn the heat off, add some coriander leaves, stir and cover the pan.

7. Garnish with some more coriander leaves, before serving with rice or chapatis/phulkas.

Lasnaachi Aamti (All the garlic pieces have sunk to the bottom, and hence not visible here. The Aamti also does not look as red as it should, because the kind of chilli powder I have here imparts a lot of heat, but no colour to the dish.) :(

Preparing it for dinner is recommended, unless you don't mind going about with the 'dragon breath'.


afp763389 said...

:) a farewell to bulimia

Tanuja said...

wow garlic dhaal looks great, the aroma of the garlic itself is yummy, thanks for sharing the recipe vaishali.

Luv2cook said...


Sounds like a simple and easily dal to make. Loved your story too. One question - do you only make lasnaachi aamti with only toor dal or with other dals too? I mean traditionally?

priya said...

The recipes for amti looks quite simple and looks yummy. What does "zanzaneet" mean have never heard of it b4

Anonymous said...

thanks for blogging about God's gift to Maharashtra. This one is an an absolute superstar of a dal - simple, tasty and yet so homely.. whenever it is made at home, there is never anything leftover....

Vineela said...

Hi vaishali,
Dal looks yummy.I do make dal along with garlic and greenleaves but never tried with only garlic.
Good picture.

Menu Today said...

Hi Vaishali,
I tasted Aamti,now i learnt the procedure. Thanx.

Santhi said...

Never tried making dal with inly garlic....
will have to do it now..
And I NEVER make any kid of dal with out garlic

Vaishali said...

AFP, I didn't quite get that.

Tanuja, Vineela, Santhi, if you are a fan of garlic, then you'll certainly like this preparation. Satisfaction guaranteed!

L2C, this dal is made only with Toor Dal. Traditionally too. Other types of dals can also be cooked with garlic for making various Aamtis, but the procedure is quite different then.

Priya, 'zanzaneet' in Marathi means HOT. So hot that you feel a tingle on your tongue even a while after you finish eating. So hot that you feel like sticking your tongue out, so that the air helps it cool down a little. :) I hope this definition helps.

Anonymous, 'God's gift to Maharashra'?! Hahaha...I couldn't agree with you more.

MT, this is just one of the ways of making Aamti. There are many. Nupur of One Hot Stove has blogged about one of them in her 'A to Z of Marathi food' series.

Santhi again, you never make dal without garlic? That's interesting. Need to check out your blog for your kinda dals.

Sumitha said...

Hi,Guten Tag!
Nice to see a blogger quite close to where I live!

Ashwini said...

That sounds delicious. I love the kuskarleli poli part - thats so essentially Maharashtrian

Vaishali said...

Hi Sumitha, great to know that there is one more blog in the vicinity now. Did you know about Pusiva's Culinary Studio and What's for lunch honey? They too are in this part of the world. You'll find links to these blogs on my homepage on the right.

Ashwini, my husband never knew about this concept until we got married. He is still quite bad at kuskarofying the poli, but if I do it for him, he is ever so happy to gobble it up mixed it with Aamti.

Nandan said...

wow, nice color combination to start with and simple, easy-to-do recipe. I like the smell of lasaNachi phodNi (garlid tadka). With kuskaraleli poLi, it is almost an easier version of daal-dhokli.

BDSN said...

I lov the flavor of garlic in dhal...Wow u got such a nice picture of the dhal!!!Lovely!!!

Vaishali said...

Nandan, I, too, am a big fan of the garlic tadka. Mmmmm...

Thanks for the compliment, BDSN. *blush*

Neelu said...

This is my favourite aaji use to make policha chura and give it ot me with amti :) Its been long i had tried amti with husband is not a rice person so infact i end up cooing rice once a month or so :) So no amti either ....but i m going ot make it now :) U can add tomatoes tooo they taste great.

Vaishali said...

Neelu, tomatoes in Lasnaachi Aamti? Now, that's something I haven't done yet. Will certainly try it next time. Btw, I am sure whatever your Aaji gave you. Grandmothers can give everything with so much love, that even the simplest dish tastes like ambrosia. And hey, welcome to my blog! Keep coming.

Neelu said...

put tomatoes n garlic in phodni till they cook a lil bit, then add maslaas stir for a min n then put cooked dal

Indira said...

My mother prepares this same dal, Vaishali and here I thought this recipe is unique to my home and blogged about it in "Amma and authentic Andhra" category.

We also prepare it with toor dal and little bit of garlic, chilli powder and final touch of tadka.

I have no idea this recipe is also a common household recipe in MR. Interesting and I am glad you are doing this series, I am finding out/learning new things everyday.:)

Vaishali said...

Hey Indira,
I saw your comment only today, hence the delay in replying. I need to check out your version of 'Garlic Dal'. It is interesting to know that you prepare it in Andhra too. It gives a feeling that all of Indians are after all 'one'. I am so happy that you like my series. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Vaishali,
I have been reading your blog from the past 2/3 days and I could not contain myself from replying.
Reasons being the words:
Maharashtra(please please everyone else who reads it,try to understand, I am like some of you about 3000miles away from home)
Nashik( my hometown and your mamas,right?)
Amti(my all time favorite side dish, I guess my dad has never ever spent a day in his life without it....)
So Vaishali I enjoy reading your blogs, you certainely write well. Keep it up.
Take care,

Vaishali said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I am happy that you enjoy reading it.
You said you are from Nashik. Where did you stay there? And where are you now?
Btw, I, too, can't stay away from Aamti for too long. My husband, who is a non-Maharashtrian has got hooked on to it too.

Anonymous said...

Hey Thanks for replying. I am from the College Road Area in Nasik.
Right now I am in San Jose,U.S. with my husband and 3.5 year old daughter.
Btw my Ajji lives in Pune and none of my May mahina school vacations have gone without a month long visit there and ofcourse the hapus ambe...I miss it all the time.
So will keep reading your blog.
See you,

Vaishali said...

Isha, now that's too much of a coincidence. My Mamas stay on College Road too. Patil Colony Lane No. 4. Good to hear that you used to come to Pune as a child. When did you come there last? That city is changing rapidly, I must say.
Well, see you around at my blog then.

Rooma said...

Hi Vaishali...... I tried your garlic amti with rice last night..... It was simply awesome.... Even my husband who is not very fond of dals, finished it till the last drop. Thank you. :)

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