Comfort Food · Curry · Indian · Konkani · Main Course · Mangalorean · South Indian · Vegetarian

Batani Ambat/ Konkani Style Green Peas in Coconut, Tamarind gravy


Happy V-day all. I do not expect anyone to read this post today ;)as all you guys would be enjoying the day with your loved ones.

I was wondering why is an occasion always celebrated with something sweet? Why can’t it be celebrated with something hot or steamed or savoury? Well, it sure can it’s just some trend that has continued. For V-day I thought let me cook something that Keshav loves. This dish is a simple Konkani curry that he really enjoys eating with rice (He is not a big fan of rice). Moreover I have something special cooking in the kitchen almost every other day so today I thought of preparing something which is simple.

Batani Ambat

I wanted to mention that finally I got to see some snow on the grass yesterday. Forgot to add it to my post yesterday. It was a beautiful sight, looking out of my french windows All these days whenever it did snow a little it melted away as soon as it reached the ground because it would have just rained before it started to snow :(. I’m happy for a friend of mine who had his in-laws visiting him and since it never snowed here he was planning to take them up north of Scotland to show them some snow. 🙂 Now of course he does not need to drive up north just to show them snow. 😉

This is another one of those comfort dishes for me. Whenever I miss home this is one of the dishes I prepare. It’s a traditional Konkani dish. Green Pea’s in Konkani is called as Batani and Ambat is just a name for the curry. Very coconuty and smells heavenly because of the fried onions which are added as the tempering. The tamarind added makes it a little sour, the fried onions add a little sweet to the curry and the red chilli’s of course make it hot. 🙂 All in all a lip smacking dish for me which leaves me with a happy tummy. If you love Thai food you may like this curry, but this does not require a long list of ingredients that Thai cooking does.

Most of the traditional Konkani dishes involves the process of making a paste out of coconut, oil roasted dried red chilli’s & tamarind.

The traditional method of preparing this dish involves fresh grated coconut, oil roasted dried red chilli’s and some tamarind all ground together into a smooth paste. But when you are in a hurry you could use coconut milk as a substitute for the grated coconut and red chilli powder for the dried red chilli’s & some tamarind juice. But of course nothing to beat the curry made using fresh ground paste. For the advantage of all I will describe both the methods below.

Traditional Method:
Ingredients: (Serves 4) Preparation Time: 30 mins
Green Peas – around 300 gms
Potato – 2 medium-sized, peeled & chopped into small cubes the size of salad croutons
Coconut – freshly grated, around 2 cups/ close 1.5 medium-sized coconuts grated
Dried Red chilli’s – 6-7 medium spicy variety, If required you could add some chilli powder later on
Onion – 1 large, finely chopped
Tamarind – 1 marble sized ball, don’t add seeds
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method:
Heat about 1 tsp of oil in a tempering vessel or a fry pan and set the heat to medium. Now fry the dried red chilli in the oil till it loses it bright red colour and turns into a light shade of brown or deep red. Do not let them turn black or dark brown. Take them off heat and cool them. Once it has cooled to room temperature add them along with the tamarind, grated coconut to a mixer jar and grind it to a smooth paste. You may need to add a little water (1-2 tbsp) to turn it into a smooth paste.

Now heat about a litre of water in a pot set to medium heat. Once the water comes to a boil add the chopped potatoes.Add some salt to taste. When the potatoes are half done add the paste of coconut, tamarind & chilli. Mix well. Lower the heat to low. Let this mixture bubble and come to a boil. This is to let the coconut cook. Check salt & adjust accordingly.

Tip:1. If the dried chilli’s you used did not make the dish as hot as you desired then add some red chilli powder & adjust accordingly.
2. If you want some nice colour to the dish you can throw in a few dried red chilli’s which add colour along with the ones added for spice. Or add some Kashmiri red chilli powder which adds colour later on.
3. If the red chilli’s you used ended up making the dish too hot then all you can do to reduce it is to add some extra coconut milk n increase the quantity of the curry. But this may require addition of some extra tamarind water, since your ending up making more curry.
4. If the curry is too thick add a little water to achieve the consistency you desire.

In the meanwhile, wash your fresh or frozen green pea’s and keep aside. Heat rest of the oil in a frying pan set to medium heat and fry the onions till golden brown. You need to add some salt to fasten this sautéing process. The fried onions are added as tempering to the curry.

When the curry is bubbling, add the washed green peas & let the peas cook.Since peas cook real quick, after about 2-3 minutes from adding them add the tempered onions to the curry. Turn off the heat.

Batani Ambat

Quick method:
Ingredients: (Serves 4) Preparation Time: 20 mins
Green Peas – around 300 gms
Potato – 2 medium-sized, peeled & chopped into small cubes the size of salad croutons
Coconut milk – about 500 ml, thick not watery
Onion – 1 large, finely chopped
Desiccated coconut – 1 cup about 100 gms
Red chilli powder – as desired, depends on the type of red chilli powder used
Tamarind – 1 marble sized ball, don’t add seeds, soak this tamarind in about 100 ml warm water for at least 5 minutes
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method:
Now heat about 200 ml of water in a pot set to medium heat. Once the water comes to a boil add the chopped potatoes.Add some salt to taste. When the potatoes are half done add the coconut milk, desiccated coconut & red chilli powder. Mix well. Lower the heat to low. Let this mixture bubble and come to a boil. This is to let the coconut milk to cook. Check salt & adjust accordingly.

Squeeze & separate the juice from the tamarind and keep aside the tamarind juice. When the
curry bubbles add the tamarind juice to it. If you add tamarind before the curry bubbles then the time taken for the curry to come to a boil increases.

Note: The curry prepared in this manner does not have the thick consistency that you achieve from using fresh grated coconut paste.

In the meanwhile, wash your fresh or frozen green pea’s and keep aside. Heat rest of the oil in a frying pan set to medium heat and fry the onions till golden brown. You need to add some salt to fasten this sautéing process. The fried onions are added as tempering to the curry.

When the curry is bubbling, add the washed green peas & let the peas cook.Since peas cook real quick, after about 2-3 minutes from adding them add the tempered onions to the curry. Turn off the heat.

Serving suggestions:
The best accompaniment for this dish is a bowl of hot steamed rice.

Batani Ambat

But you may also eat them with some hot chapati’s.

For other Konkani dishes – Dali Toy, Fried Cauliflower, Carrot Kismoori/ Konkani style tempered Crunchy Carrot Salad, Others.

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10 thoughts on “Batani Ambat/ Konkani Style Green Peas in Coconut, Tamarind gravy

  1. I just made this yesterday – it was delicious! I made it the easy way (with coconut milk) because I didn’t have any real coconut. I think mine didn’t have the rich reddish color like your because I did not temper with onions and oil? I also modified the proportions slightly and used limited potatoes since I’m a little carbs-conscious.Overall, it was pretty easy and quick! I ate it as a soup for lunch! I was a little confused when exactly to try if the spiciness was right – and adjust. I think you mention that about the salt, it would be good to add that here about red chilli powder too. I ended up adding more and more as I tasted the curry while it was cooking!

    I actually love all the konkani stuff your website has because I don’t think I ever got a chance to eat much konkani food in Manipal and this is a good way to try and make more dishes!

    Like

  2. I cooked this for dinner tonight. Its simple to cook and yummy to taste. I tried the traditional method though. Turned out a little sour but tasted good once I added potato as per your advice.
    Reminded me of my dance teacher’s ajji (grandmother). She used to make amazing manglorean dishes.
    Thanks to Keli Paan for such amazing recipes. 🙂

    Like

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