Updated: Jul 30, 2020
The spiced, tangy, thin gravy that is usually served with Puran Poli.
Katachi Amti is made using the water in which the chana dal (Bengal gram) is boiled, for making the puran of puran poli. This chana dal water is then cooked with a tempering of mainly grated coconut (dried or fresh), traditional Maharashtrian goda masala, along with tamarind and jaggery for a spicy, tangy, sweet thin gravy that perfectly complements the sweet, ghee-laden Puran Poli.
While every home would have their own recipe, some variations to the recipe of Katachi Amti include using onions in the tempering for thickening and flavour. Tomatoes can be used as a replacement to tamarind for their tang. You could leave out the coconut, though I like to add it for the distinct flavour.
Some recipes of Katachi Amti call for boiling a couple of tablespoons more of chana dal and add it to the Amti for thickening. I prefer to drop a small amount (1 tbsp) of the puran mix in to my recipe of Katachi Amti to thicken it a little and ofcourse add flavour from the sweet spices that go in to the recipe of puran.
Katachi Amti goes really well with steamed rice as well and you could make it with or without Puran Poli. When you boil chana dal for making kebabs, kachori, salads… simply retain the water and make Katachi Amti.
Puran Poli with Katachi Amti: the traditional Maharashtrian fare are prepared on festive occasions; Holi, Gudi Padva, Diwali, Ganesh festival… in most Maharashtrian homes.
Time taken: 15-20 minutes
Ingredients to make Katachi Amti
2 cups chana dal water
1 cup water
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp mustard seeds / rai
10-12 curry leaves
2 garlic cloves, bruised with the back of a knife
2 tbsp grated coconut (preferably dried coconut)
¼ tsp asafoetida / hing
¼ tsp turmeric powder / haldi
1 tbsp goda masala
1 tbsp tamarind pulp / imli pulp
1 tbsp jaggery / gur
1 tbsp puran
Salt to taste
Method of making Katachi Amti
Heat the cooking oil in a thick bottom pan / kadhai on medium high heat. Add mustard seeds, bruised garlic cloves and curry leaves.
Once these splutter and the garlic cloves are a light brown, reduce the heat and add the grated coconut - fry it till it turns a light brown. The coconut will cook a little more in the next steps and so I proceed with adding the other ingredients at this stage. If you like, dry roast the coconut separately to a darker shade of brown and keep it aside while you prepare the tempering. In case you’re using fresh coconut, the cooking time will increase by a minute or so.
Add asafoetida and turmeric powders. To this tempering, add the tamarind pulp, jaggery and cook it for a minute or so. Now add the goda masala and mix it well.
Add the chana dal water along with the additional 1 cup of water and increase the heat to medium high again. If you have dry roasted the grated coconut separately, add it now. Drop in the ball of puran at this stage along with salt.
Once the Katachi Amti comes to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes to let the flavours blend. Taste and adjust flavours. Katachi Amti should be spicy, tangy, sweet all at the same time.
Note: if you’re using tomatoes instead of tamarind pulp, add them in after the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Once the tomatoes are mushy, add coconut and continue thereon.
Serve Katachi Amti hot with the traditional Maharashtrian flatbread Puran Poli and steamed rice.
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