Maharashtrian Dal

Ambat Varan is a  spicy, sweet and tangy dal from the Maharashtrian cuisine.

Dal is one dish from the Indian cuisine which most Indians connect with. It is an indispensable dish in most Indian thalis. Each state of India has its own way of preparing dal and each household has its own version. For eg. Drumstick Dal of South India, Dal Banjari of Rajasthan, Dal Makhni of Punjab and so on. One such preparation is Ambat Varan from the Maharahstrian cuisine.  This tangy, sweet and spicy dal goes well with steamed rice, papad and pickle.


½ cup split pigeon peas (tuvar dal)
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
¼ tsp asafoetida (hing)
2 tbsp fresh grated coconut (nariyal)
2 tbsp fresh coriander (dhaniya)
1 tomato, finely chopped (tamatar)
1 tbsp red chilly powder (laal mirch)
¼ tsp garam masala
A small piece of jaggery (gud)
3 to 4 pieces of kokum (garcinia indica)
Salt as per taste

For tempering

1 tbsp oil (tel)
3 cloves garlic, chopped (lehsun)
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai / sarson)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 dry red chilly (laal mirch)


  • Wash and soak tuvar dal for 45 minutes
  • Pressure cook the dal with turmeric powder, salt, asafoetida and 1 ½ cups water for 3 whistles. 
  • In the meantime blend coconut and fresh coriander to a fine paste. 
  • Heat a pan. Add the cooked dal, coconut-coriander paste, chopped tomatoes, jaggery, kokum, red chilly powder, garam masala and mix well.
  • In case the dal is too thick, you can add water to obtain the desired consistency.  
  • Cover the pan and cook till the tomatoes are cooked well. 
  • Keep this aside.
  • For the tempering, heat a small pan.
  • Add 1 tbsp oil.
  • Add chopped garlic, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and dry red chilly. 
  • When the spices start sizzling, pour the tempering into the dal. 
  • Serve hot with steamed rice.


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