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
What you’ll need for amti recipe:
For masala powder:
For dal:
1 Tbsp grated dry coconut (nariyal)
½ cup split bengal gram lentil (chana dal)
2 cloves (laung)
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
3 cardamoms (elaichi)
1 tsp red chilly powder (lal mirch powder)
1 bay leaf (tejpatta)
2 Tbsp thick tamarind pulp (imli)
1” piece cinnamon (dalchini)
2 Tbsp oil
2 tsp coriander powder (dhania powder)
4-5 curry leaves (karipatta)
1 tsp cumin seeds powder (jeera powder)
Salt (namak) as per taste
1 pinch nutmeg powder (jaiphal powder)
Jaggery (gud) as per taste

For tempering:
For serving
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
½ Tbsp lemon juice (nimbu ka ras)
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro (hara dhania)
1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
½ Tbsp desiccated/powdered coconut

Serves: 4 – 6

Let’s Begin!

Prepare Masala Powder:
1.  Dry roast coconut in pan over low flame till it starts changing color.  Add all the remaining ingredients & continue to dry roast for few seconds, not letting anything burn.  The masala gets brownish in color.  Allow the masala to cool, then grind it coarsely.

Prepare the Dal:
2.  Wash & drain the chana dal & add turmeric powder along with 2 cups of water in a pressure cooker.  Allow 3-4 whistles (depending on how long you soaked the dal in water after washing) until dal becomes soft.  To this add red chilly powder + tamarind pulp + jaggery + salt & blend well.  {Click here to learn more on how to cook lentils in pressure cooker.}

Prepare the Amti:
3.  Heat oil in deep pan & add the tempering: first mustard seeds, let pop, then cumin seeds, let sizzle, then asafoetida.  Then add curry leaves + above dal mixture + sufficient hot water* to get the desired consistency.  Amti should not be too watery or too thick.  Then simmer for 3-4 mins.

Prepare to Serve:
4.  Add lemon juice, chopped cilantro, and sprinkle coconut before serving Chana Dal Amti.  Done!

Maharashtrian Chana Dal Amti - accompaniment to Puran Poli or Rice

* If you are making Puran Poli along with this dal amti, then you can use the drained water from the chana dal that is pressure cooked for puran poli and then add more hot water as needed.

– You can also make extra masala powder & store in refrigerator for a few weeks for later use.
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  1. omg.. i havent had amti in like.. 11 years since i moved here from Nagpur. thanks for sharing the recipe!

    and thanks for dropping by my blog.. just in case if u were wondering, the exact number is 8 million calves per year are excess calves. that is our dairy requirement. and the calves are killed.. hope this information helps.

  2. I don't see how ½ cup split bengal gram lentil will feed 4-6 people !

    1. Here's how: some types of dals use lesser amount of lentils and more of other ground spices, pastes, or gravies along with water to reach the consistency and quantity sufficing the number of people stated.

  3. Your recipe looks soo nice nd all instruction are define properly or photos looks soo great. :)


  4. shall I tell you a big miss in this recipe? I read three times and yet could not find when to add masala powder.
    Yet, I chose to take a guess and it turned out delicious


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