Chana dal gravy (Harbare DaLi amti)

harbare dali amti

I think I’ve said it before, Marathi food is very close to my heart. When I moved to Belgaum for my degree, it took a little while to get adjusted to the slightly different taste. But I became a fan pretty soon. Before I could make any Konkani dishes, I learned to make some simple Marathi dishes.

I got this amti recipe from my aayi’s sister(pachi). I have been making this whenever I invite guests or when I want some simple but different meal. It brings back memories of my days in Belgaum and those weekend visits to Pachi’s home, craving for some delicious home cooked food. I have no clue if it is authentic dish or not, but it is something we enjoy a lot. So far, all my guests liked it very much. I think its the magic of the Goda masala that works every time. I like to eat it with hot rice and a dollop of ghee.

1/2 cup chana dal
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 tea spn coriander seeds
1 red chilli powder
1/2 tea spn goda masala
1/2 cup onion
2 tbl spn cashews
A pinch turmeric
1 tbl spn coriander leaves

Cook chana dal with enough water, cashews and turmeric till it is done.
Heat oil, fry coriander seeds and half the amount of onion. Now add coconut and fry for few minutes.
Add red chilli powder, goda masala and fry for few minutes.
Grind to a smooth paste.
Fry remaining onion in oil till they are translucent. Add cooked chana dal – cashews, ground paste, salt and cook.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or chapati.

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 25mins

PS: Sometimes I completely leave out coconut. I grind about 3 tbl spns of cooked dal with other spices. This makes the gravy thicker. Sometimes even when using coconut, I grind little bit of dal which makes the gravy thicker.

I also add little tamarind or 1/4 cup chopped tomato to give a little tangy touch.

27 thoughts on “Chana dal gravy (Harbare DaLi amti)”

  1. Hi Shilpa
    I was wondering if Goda masala is the same as Kolhapuri masala. I have yet to try both but will try and get hold of Goda masala after getting such good reviews from you.

  2. I am going to try this one soon. Some variation from Dalitoy for me.
    I do love the fragrance of Goda masala. Why is cashew used ? Flavor may be? Thanks for the recipe.

  3. shilpa, can u tell me how to boil the rice (VALALLE SHEET)?
    i always cook rice in cooker. but the rice come up sticky in cooker and my hubby likes separate grains of cooked rice.
    so i tried boiling the rice in big vessel. after water boiled, i added rice and after half cooked, i swiched off. it (rice) then cooked inside hot water. after that (say after 15 mins) i drained the water. but the rice had more of water content and was very tasteless. my cousin said she prepares rice this way to save time and gas. can u tell me how to boil the rice to get proper texture of rice, shilpa?
    any tips on cooking rice in cooker for getting separate grains of rice?
    thanx in advance.

    1. Try keeping it for little less time like 10mins and see if it helps. I don’t make vallele sheet very often as I cannot keep track of time in my busy schedule.
      we eat basmati rice/sona masoori rice daily. If basmati, i use 1:2 rice to water proportion and if sona masoori, i use 1:2.5 ratio. All this mainly depends on some trial and error till the correct consistency is achieved.

    2. Hey Sujata,

      My mom cooks valile sheet a little differently..
      Boil 5-6 cups water in a container, add 1 cup rice to it. Boil it till its done (check a grain to see if its done). Put off the gas and add 1 cup cold water to it (this will not make the rice sticky)
      Cover the container with a lid, leaving very little space open on one side and drain out all the water. Though all the starch contents get washed away, this is supposed to be the typical method for valile sheet.
      Also u find a typical cloth (thin with wider square holes) in India that is usually tied around the container and left it upside down for all the water to drain away..
      Hope this works for u.. i use the cooker though 🙂

  4. From one Sujata to another!!
    Preparing rice in a cooker: use the normal 1:2 rice/water proportion ( a very tiny bit less if the rice is new or you wish the rice to be a bit stiff). First mix in a little salt and either little oil/ghee in the water, let the water get really hot, then put in the washed (unsoaked) rice. Close the cooker lid but do not use the cooker weight….just as we steam idlis in the cooker. Heat for 12-15 mins and put the stove off.

  5. thank u shilpa and sujata for the rice cooking tips.
    sujata, i cook pulao exactly the way u said. i comes in correct texture. i.e. separate grains. but i never did the same for cooking daily eating rice as it takes oil for preparing.
    i use hawkins 6.5 ltr big pressure cooker. and i cook the rice in 3 separate container in it…one above the other. for sona masoori i use 1:2.5 rice-water ratio. i get 1 whistle on high flame then make the flame low, and i switch off the gas after 10 mins. this way rice cooks, but becomes sticky.

    1. Sujata, I have a cooker with no whistle. But in India, I used to have one with whistle. I always cook it till it is completely cooked (2-3 whistles on high) or here about 10mins. When you say sticky, do you mean it has become like a paste? If yes, then try using little less water.

  6. sticky means not a paste, shilpa…. rice grains stick to one another.
    they are not separate as my hubby loves. but the water i use is correct i.e. 1:2.5 rice:water ratio for sona masoori. if i use still less water, rice will be hard to eat.

    i get 1 whistle on high flame then make the flame low, and i switch off the gas after 10 mins. how about this way of cooking rice, shilpa? any mistake in this?

    1. I don’t see any mistake Sujata. One thing I feel is, (you will get bored of me saying this but still), a little bit trial & error is required here. If I were you, I would have increased the water a little bit and tried. (based on your comment that the rice is cooked but sticky). A lot depends on age of the rice too – new rice gets cooked with less water and very fast where as old rice needs more water and takes little more time. 1:2.5 is an approximation only. Also the consistency of cooked rice is a personal preference, one of my friend used 1:2 ratio for sona masoori, while she claimed that is perfect consistency for her family, we felt it was too hard for us. (may be Konkanis eat little softer rice).
      Meanwhile, refer this post and see if it helps you.
      Let me do this ..I will come up with a post for cooking rice. It may take some time as I am not feeling well currently, also have too much work load and even struggling to keep up with the blog.

  7. Hi again Sujata, The proportion of rice to water(1:2.5) is fine for old sona masoori rice. You could omit the salt or ghee/oil while cooking rice daily but follow the rest of the method as I said earlier. Transfer the rice by shaking it off into another bowl as soon as you put off the stove. This will ‘loosen’ the rice and retain it like that. (Dont use a spoon to transfer the rice, as the spoon may mash it).

  8. Thank you, Sujata once again. I will follow your tip and check it up.
    but what i feel is if we don’t use the “cooker weight” and cook rice as you said, it takes longer time… i feel it is time consuming.
    i do so whenever i make pulao… which is once in a while so it’s ok if it takes little more time. but for daily cooking rice, i feel it takes more of our time. i mean it is a slow work (nazuk kaam) if we avoid “cooker weight”.

  9. You are perfectly right in saying Konkanis eat softer rice. Even we cannot eat hard rice like what Kerala people cook.

    I will surely refer your linked post for cooking rice.
    Also whenever you get time, please come up with a post for cooking rice both for pressure cooking and boiling rice (VALALLE SHEET) …take your own time. Please take rest as you said you are not feeling well currently. Get well soon.

    Also please consider once again my way of cooking if you may want to suggest/guide me for my mistake:
    i use “hawkins 6.5 ltr” big pressure cooker. and i cook the rice in “3 separate container” in it…one above the other.
    i use sona masoori and 1:2.5 rice-water ratio. i get 1 whistle on high flame then make the flame low, and i switch off the gas after 10 mins. this way rice cooks, but becomes sticky i.e. not separate grains.
    Thank you once again, shilpa.

  10. namaste shilpa,since diwali is approaching can u show (with photographs)/tell us the exact way how to prepare kaju daughter likes it very please help.waiting for ur reply.”HAPPY DIWALI”to u & ur family & god bless u .

  11. Hi Shilpa,
    i am a big fan of your site.I am planning to loose excess weight.But i cannot deceive my taste buds:)….So please include some low calorie konkani food or any other indian food

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