Sharing some of our photos and an heirloom recipe for Godi Dal!
Our recent trip to lush, tropical Goa seems like a dream now that I am back in wintry, cold Boston. Being in Goa with family, at our ancestral 450 year old temples and eating the traditional vegetarian thali food at the priest’s home brought back a lot of happy childhood memories for me and I was happy to see how much our son relished the experience.
With its rich red soil and tropical weather, Goan food is well known for its spices and an abundant use of coconut and coconut milk. It is also known for its mouthwatering seafood dishes, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed….needless to say 🙂
Fish thali in Panjim, Goa!
A tour of the spice garden where they grow green and black cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, betel nut, cloves,turmeric, nutmeg, black pepper, peri peri peppers as well as betel nut, bananas, coconuts etc..was very enlightening.
We were delighted that the tour concluded with a buffet using fresh vegetables and spices from the garden. Most of the food was cooked and served in earthen pots and served on plates made from the betel nut leaves from the garden itself! To add to this eco-friendly atmosphere, the bowls and serving spoons were made out of coconut shells.
Of all the foods we enjoyed, our son seemed to like a particular dal, called Godi Aamti, which we ate at the priest’s home. Godi means sweet and this dal has a balance of sweet and sour in it. On further investigation, I found out that it was the minute details which made the dal taste so good. After getting back home, I tried my hand at it and was happy to get our son’s stamp of approval 🙂
So I am happy to share the recipe, in detail, with all of you.
- 1 cup tuvar dal (pigeon peas) cooked in water (about 2 ½ cups cooked dal)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- 5~6 fresh curry leaves
- 2 dry red chilies
- 1 small fresh green chili, split lengthwise
- 1/8 teaspoon asafetida
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¾ teaspoon red chili powder (or to taste)
- 2 cups water
- Pulp extracted from a lime sized ball of tamarind, soaked in water or 1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
- 1 ½ tablespoon jaggery
- Salt to taste
- 1 ½ teaspoon store bought goda masala
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
- 1 tablespoon dry shredded coconut, toasted until golden in color
- A fistful of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine
To make the Godi Aamti-
- Wash the tuvar dal well and pressure cook it until soft. Whisk the cooked dal with a wire whisk. Set aside.
- In a deep saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds start to splutter, add the chilies. Stir lower heat and add the asafetida, turmeric and red chili powders.
- Add the whisked dal and the 2 cups of water. Increase heat to medium and add the tamarind, jaggery, salt and goda masala. Mix well and let the mixture come to a boil.
- Powder the toasted cumin seeds and the toasted coconut together in a mortar and pestle or a dry grinder. Add to the dal.
- Turn down the heat to low and let the dal simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chopped cilantro leaves and continue simmering it for an additional 10 minutes. Check for seasoning. The dal should be sweet and sour- the tamarind and jaggery balance is important.
- Serve with freshly cooked white rice and a simple vegetable dish like the Healthy Green Bean Upkari.
Hope you enjoy this heirloom recipe for dal as much as we did!
Sharing a couple more of my favorite pictures of Goa with you all-