Maharashtrian amti dahl

Maharashtrian amti dahl

  • serves 4
  • Easy

olive’s Indian cooking expert, Maunika Gowardhan, shares her recipe for a classic sweet and sour vegan dahl from Maharashtra


Try Maunika Gowardhan’s dahl then check out our coconut dahl aloo gobi mattar, saag aloo and more vegetarian Indian recipes.

This comforting sweet and sour dahl is one that we devoured on numerous occasions growing up in India. The addition of jaggery and tamarind is common in dahls made in the west of India. I love to serve it topped with an extra dollop of ghee or butter, with some warm breads or rice.



  • toor dal or red lentils 250g, (see cook's notes)
  • ground turmeric 1 tsp
  • ghee or vegetable oil 2 tbsp
  • black mustard seeds 1 heaped tsp
  • fresh curry leaves 10
  • asafoetida a pinch
  • green bird’s-eye chillies 2, slit lengthwise
  • jaggery or light brown sugar 1 tbsp
  • tamarind paste 2 tsp
  • Maharashtrian goda masala 1 tsp, or garam masala ¼ tsp
  • mild chilli powder ½ tsp
  • coconut grated to make 1 tbsp
  • coriander chopped, to serve
  • chapatis or cooked basmati rice to serve


  • Step 1

    Put the lentils in a heavy-based pan with 1 litre water and the turmeric. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 45-50 minutes or until the lentils start to get mushy – stir well to ensure they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Turn off the heat, mash the lentils slightly to thicken, then cover and set aside.

  • Step 2

    Heat the ghee in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat then add the mustard seeds. As soon as they begin to splutter, add the curry leaves. Fry for a few seconds, then add the asafoetida and chillies. Tip in the cooked lentils, along with the jaggery, tamarind, goda masala and chilli powder, and season with salt. Mix well and fry for 1 minute. Add enough just-boiled water (about 100-200ml) to make the dahl soupy, then simmer for 5 minutes. Stir well, turn off the heat and garnish with the coconut and coriander. Serve warm with chapatis or rice.

*This recipe is gluten free according to industry standards

Check out our best dahl recipes here

Black Dal Recipe With Paneer-stuffed Naan

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 323
  • Fat 9.8g
  • Saturates 5.8g
  • Carbs 38.2g
  • Sugars 5.7g
  • Fibre 13.5g
  • Protein 13.8g
  • Salt 0.1g