Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Moongdal Aamti with Kokum & Goda Masala

I have two authentic ingredients from coastal Maharashtra - kokum and goda masala.

Native to western coastal region of India, Kokum is a dried fruit of dark purple color and prized for its piquant taste, often used as substitute for tamarind. Goda (Kala) masala is a special spice mixture, has well over 15 Indian spices in it including some unique spices like dagad phool, naag keshar, badal phool etc. Adding even a pinch of it gives dals and curries an unforgettable taste. When I wanted to cook something Maharashtrian using both these ingredients, my good friend Veena Parrikar kindly sent me an authentic Maharashtrian lentil recipe called aamti with moong dal where both goda masala and kokum are used for seasoning.

I am one of those people who think that everything tastes delicious, as long as it has lentils in it and this recipe is no exception. It was easy to prepare and has an exceptional taste. We had it like thick soup without rice, along with mixed berry smoothie - light lunch on a hot summer day.

Kokum, Goda Masala, Whole Moong Dal


Whole moong dal - 2 cups (soaked in water overnight)
Goda masala - 1 teaspoon
Kokum - 5 pieces of 2 inch length
(Soaked in half cup of warm water for about 15 minutes and juice squeezed)
Garlic - 4 cloves, finely chopped
Dry grated coconut - 1 tablespoon
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon, powder coarsely
Red chilli powder & turmeric - ½ teaspoon each
Salt and jaggery - To taste
For popu/tadka:
Oil - 2 teaspoons
Mustard seeds, hing - ¼ teaspoon of each and few curry leaves
Chopped coriander leaves - A handful

Take soaked moong dal in a big pot. Add about 2 glasses of water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook covered until they are soft and falling apart. This is the prep part.

Just before mealtime, heat oil in a vessel. Do the popu/tadka - add and toast garlic pieces in oil first and then add mustard seeds, hing and curry leaves. Add the cooked moong dal along with the water it was cooked in.

Stir in the seasoning - goda masala, kokum water, coconut powder, crushed cumin, red chilli powder and turmeric. Also add salt and jaggery to taste. Stir in some water if you feel the mixture is too thick.

Bring the whole mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes covered. Add water as necessary (the aamti should not be too thick or too thin). Just before turning off the heat, stir in fresh coriander leaves and remove from heat.

Kad-Dhaanyaachi Aamti (Moongdal Aamti) and Berry Smoothie ~ Our Afternoon Meal

Recipe Source: Veena Parrikar
(Adapted from Smt. Jayashree Deshpande’s Hamkhaas Paaksiddhi’s)
Goda Masala Recipe - Page Link
Kokum is available at Indian grocery shops here in US.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Moong Dal (whole) (Wednesday August 9, 2006 at 2:57 pm- permalink)

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18 comments for Moongdal Aamti with Kokum & Goda Masala »

  1. I have a question. Why cant u write a book . the knowledge and the presentation would really make it worth writing a book. I wonder everyday like waht would indira come up with next and everytime u urprise me with new details and i wonder whether how come i dont get such kind of ideas……….. well some people are bestowed with exceptional capabilities of which one is blogging. Keep it up and inspire us everyday.

    Comment by madhuri — August 9, 2006 @ 3:12 pm

  2. Ofcourse I can. But I need a publisher and an editor. :)
    Thanks Madhuri for your nice words. You are too kind.

    Comment by Indira — August 9, 2006 @ 3:45 pm

  3. The kokum in your picture looks very different from what we use traditionally,maybe becuase it is a sliced version and not just the peels..also it looks very very dry….I mistook the berry smoothie to be kokum kadhi for a moment !!!..yumm…btw i am sure you will like another traditional goan recipe Moogambat which was blogged about here

    Comment by Supriya — August 9, 2006 @ 3:51 pm

  4. Hi Indira,

    Thanks for sharing this recipe.I will definetly try this soon.I think u have a great family members who like eating everything in a healthy way …..why I am saying this is my H. doesn’t like sesame sedds in some recipes and more of some vegetables too. where can I find goda masala and kokum?Thank you.

    Comment by laxmi — August 9, 2006 @ 4:06 pm

  5. Dal looks delicious. What a healthy lunch, Indira !

    Comment by krithika — August 9, 2006 @ 5:27 pm

  6. we usually make the amti,but i like the Berry Smoothie .what’s the recipe?

    Comment by madhuli — August 9, 2006 @ 11:07 pm

  7. Hi Indira,

    your dish is wonderful.I have’nt tried yet but i will do for sure.Some recipes of yours like with sorakaya with curd,urad dal laddu adn many others in the list which i have tried.Iam also trying to give recipes one after the other.You can visit my webpage and most welcome to give some suggestions.Your website is in my favourites.I am very much inspired by yours.Thank you indira.

    Comment by meena — August 10, 2006 @ 2:05 am

  8. Indira,
    I wonder whether it is ‘kokum’ in your picture. It looks more like dried jackfruit slices to me. ‘Kokum’ or ‘aamsul’ as I know it looks purple-black. Like in the picture in this post by Nupur of One Hot Stove.
    Although I must say, I am not from the coastal region. So, chances are, that I am wrong.

    Comment by Vaishali — August 10, 2006 @ 5:45 am

  9. Yummy!Indira, I endorse it! I made this today and it is very delicious. Here, Gujaratis use kokum as a substitute to tamarind. So, I have it with me. My neighbor next door, Sangeeta Patil is a Maharashtrian. She was very much pleased to give me some goda masala. In fact, she considered it as an honor for her state! Of course, I did not forget to share Aamti with them and it was a delight for them too.
    I used to work in pharmaceutical company, where we manufactured and exported tons and tons of kokum (Garcinia indica) extract. It is the top selling natural remedy for obesity. Studies show that hydroxycitric acid (HCA) derived from Kokum, promotes weight loss when combined with a high carbohydrate diet like lentils. So, this is the perfect recipe for weight watchers! The high antioxidant activity of kokum adds
    one more positive attribute to its known medicinal properties. What a healthy meal this!
    I have a suggestion here for your consideration, Indira. Why don’t you post recipes for weight watchers, at least once a week? Now a days, everybody is prone to over weight because of the changed life style habits. I noticed your mentioning about low Glycemic index in one of your recipes. Having this awareness, I think you are the right person to do it.

    Comment by Anuradha — August 10, 2006 @ 8:21 am

  10. Hi
    I am a regular reader of your blog but have not probably written to you before.
    I just love the way you write and present your recipes it makes it Interesting and we readers feel like trying out the recipes I have got a list of recipe which I would like to try from your blog will write to you every time I try something from your blog .Many of the words which you use are similar to what I use in my day to day cooking ie alsande we too call them alsande and we have to purchase them from goa. I get my half yearly supply from goa.
    We use a lot of kokum too I have made a post on kokum sherbet you can read it on
    you take really great pictures too and that’s the first thing that attracts a person to a blog.
    Now I am reading your blog backwards i.e. since you have started blogging its really well made.

    Comment by MAHEK — August 10, 2006 @ 9:27 am

  11. Hi indira,
    I love to experiment in cooking and try out new recipes..your blog is just amazing with all the new and sometimes for me very different recipes which i havent heard abt before!I am going to get the ings for aamti next time i go to bombay…i am a gujarati and we have a different variety of staples which i experiment with! And i do love to cook! Will definately keep on coming back for more…keep up the good work!
    urvashi(new york)

    Comment by urvashi — August 10, 2006 @ 11:41 am

  12. Hi Indira,
    I love to cook and recently discovered your blog, like a treasure trove. I’ve tried a few of your unusual recipes and loved them.
    I just had to comment today, the moong dal aamti looks just like my mom’s. We call it “moogachi usal” at home. Actually anything with lentils is a “usal” for us.

    Comment by sonali — August 10, 2006 @ 12:16 pm

  13. I second the previous poster’s suggestion that you write a well illustrated book. You have the talent and great photography. Just add some more of those great recipes and you can fill up a book which may turn out to be very popular. I am saying this because, there is another blog to which I am addicted to: . Being a vegetarian, I am hooked to Jennifer’s blog for her lunch recipes. She has decided to convert her blog into a recipe book for which a lot of people (including me) are lining up.
    Good luck if you ever choose go the publishing route.
    -anon in SF bayarea

    Comment by anon in bayarea — August 10, 2006 @ 2:10 pm

  14. Supriya: I bought this kokum from local Indian grocery shop. I think they sliced it thin and dried it to death:) for long shelf for the export market.
    Love Nupur’s blog. My first stop was ‘one hot stove’ but couldn’t find kokum-goda masala combination recipes there. Then only I made a request to Veena.

    Laxmi - Thanks. We too don’t like to cook/eat few things.:)
    I have added links below the recipe for the sources for these ingredients. Check them out.

    Krithika: thanks, it was a filling meal.:)

    Madhuli: Frozen fresh mixed berries - 4cups, one cup of yogurt and honey. blend them smooth and serve. Easy and super tasty, give it a try.

    You are welcome, Meena.
    Good recipes, liked your blog. Keep it up and best wisehs.

    Vaishali: :) , I know. It is ‘kokum’ but dried to death-export version. :)

    Anuradha: Fresh goda masala from a neighbour. Aamti must be heavenly.:)
    I didn’t know that about ‘kokum’ before. I’ll include this information next time when I blog about a kokum recipe. Thanks for sharing.
    That is a great suggestion. But I don’t like to talk about food in those terms. It sucks the beauty of cooking and eating, for me. These are all personal, I think. My style is subtle and I like recipes that are decent and most of my blogged recipes are this type only.
    Thanks and but I don’t think I am the right kind of person for that type of blogging.:)

    Hi Mahek: Thanks!
    My new favorite thing is ‘kokum’.:) I have bookmarked your recipe of kokum sherbet to try. Thanks for the link.

    Hi Urvashi: Thanks and looking forward to reading your input on my blogged recipes.

    And it’s “Pappu” for us in Telugu.:) Thanks Sonali.

    I know Vegan Lunchbox site. Missed this latest news.
    Good for Jennifer, I like her and she blogs some really good, practical recipes.
    Thanks Anon!

    Comment by Indira — August 10, 2006 @ 2:58 pm

  15. Ahem..Ahem… Hope you remember the promise of the first copy of the book? :-)

    Indira replies:
    Dear InjiPennu: I won’t forget, I promise! If that ever happens. :)

    Comment by InjiPennu — August 10, 2006 @ 3:12 pm

  16. Why don’t you consider self-publishing? Check out - there are other similar sites. Why wait when you have a captive market! Your cookbook can only be very popular!!

    As for kokum, it’s sold in two forms: the dried fruit and the slightly damp but dried peel of the fruit. While it was really amusing to read, it isn’t “dried to death for export”. :-D We usually cook with the latter which is very difficult to find in the US. In India, my aunt from Goa would bring our annual supply with her when she visited. The kokum in the local stores there was just not the right quality for either flavor or color, especially when you have had the real thing! We use kokum in everything: from dals, to fish curries to kadhis. We used to bring back bottles of kokum syrup from Goa, which is an amazing cooler in summer.

    Comment by Manisha — August 10, 2006 @ 4:54 pm

  17. my mouth couldn’t help but watering while looking at all those dishes! i wanted to share this site with u:

    Comment by d — September 27, 2006 @ 4:32 pm

  18. Dear Indira,

    this moongdal aamti with kokum and goda masala is truly delicious. First off, having none of this important ingredient, I made plenty of goda masala. Now, being familiar with the taste, I want to make other recipes containing goda masala. But, alas, I cannot find other recipes on the internet. Perhaps you can direct me to some, as I do not like to see this mixture go to waste in my fridge. Yesterday, I made an attempt on my own. Do not laugh. I made a rice pilaf. I washed the rice, put ghee in the pan, fried onion and rice, added goda masala (1 tsp. per 100 gr. rice), salt to taste, and some frozen peas, and finished it off like any other pilaf. Delicious! I served it with an untried recipe from Fish Kozhambu. A Tamil Dish. It calls for 8 fish slices. So I tried a fish I had never eaten before: red sea robin. I got a kilo, skin and heads removed. After removing the bone, there was about two-thirds left of the amount. The entire meal was fairly quickly prepared and on the table. The sea robin has a nice consistency, so it doesn’t fall apart if you stir it a little. As for the meal: the fish was succulent, the gravy spicy and tasty, the pilaf mild and delicious. My daughter and I yummed it right up.
    Still, I would like to get my hands on some bona fide recipes that include goda masala. If you can help me out, please let me know.

    Indira replies:
    Hello Robert, Indian food is very much open to experimentation. It is afterall homemade, means there is no single recipe to follow. Open to experimentation and adding our own touch, Indian food is pretty adaptable to any taste. You seem to be a creative cook and nice to hear that your meal turned out great.
    About Goda Masala, it’s mainly used in Maharashtrian recipes. There are lot of Maharashtrain food bloggers, you can do a search for goda masala recipes through Google custom search engine. Click on Mahanandi’s food blog list on the sidebar. Do a search for goda masala recipes using “Search Food Blogs - India” box. Also please check Mumbai Masala website, you might find some recipes there.
    For all types of curries, and also for dals - you can add a pinch to tablespoon of goda masala. Also to salads for dressing. Any bland stuff that needs a spicy touch - you can add goda masala to it.
    Hope this helps.

    Comment by Robert Heijnen — January 6, 2007 @ 3:16 am

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