Recipe: Chana Dal Amti (Maharashtrian Style)

After mostly cooking mixed-vegetable Toor Dals or Chana Dals [Split Bengal Gram] for regular meals, when I cooked Amti I was amazed at how such amalgamation of flavors of herbs and spices add so much punch to Chana Dal.

Amti is a Maharashtrian style sweet-salty-spicy-tangy Dal eaten with rice, more famous as an accompaniment to Puran Poli.  It appears that a special Maharashtrian style Goda Masala’ is used for cooking Amti, but in this Amti recipe that I’ve used (picked from Shobha Indani’s book) it’s a shorter version of the masala.  

So in case you don’t have all the ingredients required in actual Goda Masala (here’s a recipe on Sanjeev Kapoor’s page), then you may go ahead with the recipe below, still tastes great   :-)

Chana Dal Amti - Maharashtrian style Dal

How to Make Greek Yogurt at Home

Greek yogurt (aka yogurt cheese, strained yogurt, or labneh), simply put, is plain yogurt that has been strained in a cloth or some sort of filter to remove the whey, giving a consistency between that of yogurt & cheese, while preserving yogurt's distinctive taste [wiki]. 

If you think Greek Yogurt sells quite expensive outside, you can easily make Greek Yogurt at home using regular plain yogurt, it is not complicated at all.

how to make greek yogurt at home

How to Make Ghee / Clarified Butter at Home

Wiki explains it best:  clarified butter is milk fat rendered from butter to separate the milk solids and water from the butterfat.  Typically, it is produced by melting butter and allowing the different components to separate by density.  The water evaporates, some solids float to the surface and are skimmed off, and the remainder of the milk solids sink to the bottom and are left behind when the butter fat (which would then be on top) is poured off.

Clarified butter, aka Ghee in Hindi and several other names around the world, is used in many ways in India – in cooking, for serving, dipping into or brushing on food, for religious purposes, and also as skin softener for dry skin during cold winters.

how to make ghee at home
Here in the US, I get the 2lb bottle of Swad ghee for $8.99 – but in this post I am going to show you how to make ghee at home for under $2 but same quantity.  That’s right.  Totally worth it.

How to Make Paneer / Chhena (Ricotta Cheese) at Home

Paneer, aka Chhena in India, is an unaged, acid-set, non-melting farmer cheese or curd cheese made by curdling heated milk with a food acid [wiki].  Some call paneer as 'cottage cheese' whereas some call it 'ricotta cheese', but I think it is closer to ricotta cheese because making Paneer does not require rennet, cream, or buttermilk the way cottage cheese does.  It is still a highly debatable question.

how to make paneer at home

How to Grow Wheatgrass & Make Wheatgrass Juice at Home

Wheatgrass can either be grown at home or you can buy from health food store.  You can drink the juice at juice bars (such as Jamba Juice, too expensive for a shot of wheatgrass juice!) or there are bottled juices and wheatgrass in powdered forms to be mixed with water.  I grow wheatgrass at home regularly and being a vegetarian, I personally drink wheatgrass juice because of its high iron content in comparison to spinach, broccoli, etc.

how to grow wheatgrass at home
how to grow wheatgrass

Update (19 Feb 2013): FAQ on wheatgrass growing procedures and wheatgrass juicing at home, answering reader's questions. 

How to Make Green Chili, Ginger & Garlic Paste at Home

There are times in the kitchen when I am in a hurry to cook, but I would need to chop some ginger, garlic, or green chilies ... or require adding one of those pastes real quick.

Everything is available at grocery stores, but provided you have some time on hands, would you want to spend $6.99 for a bottle of garlic paste that you can make at home within $2?  

When I realized I could prepare and store garlic paste, green chili paste, and ginger paste very easily at home, I started making them in bulk without using any chemicals or artificial preservatives, also saving some bucks alongside.

How to Make Curd / Yogurt / Dahi at Home

Yogurt (US) / Yoghurt (UK)  / Curd (India) / Dahi (Hindi) is a dairy product produced by bacterial fermentation of milk, the bacteria called as 'yogurt cultures' [wiki].

Used in various cuisines around the world, from condiments to snacks, desserts to dips, and much more, even used for face masks & as natural hair conditioner - yogurt is one of the most versatile products to have in the kitchen.  And what's better than knowing the fact that you can easily make yogurt at home?!

spusht | fresh homemade yogurt | how to make curd at home
fresh homemade yogurt - how to make curd at home