The Puneri meal is actually a pretty nutritious thing. There’s chapati (although I prefer calling it poli, which is a more Marathi word), there’s koshimbir (the angrezi word being salad), there’s bhaji (sabzi) and most importantly, there’s amti.
Now, each of these items deserves a blog post of it’s own – for example, I could wax lyrical about a fresh hot fluffy chapati, smeared with ghee – but today, we shall focus on the amti.
Amti is what is called dal in the rest of the countrty, and there is many a fan of this simple, protein-enriched dish. It is a simple dish, consisting mainly of dal itself, and some spices. It can be had with chapatis, although it tastes best with piping hot rice.
The simplest version is, of course, plain varan. This is simply dal, with hardly any spices, had with hot rice, a dash of lemon, some salt and loads of ghee – toop, in Marathi. Simplicity itself, but the taste is simply divine. Expecially at weddings – sitting at the ‘pangat’ is an experience in itself, but we’ll leave that for another day.
Moving on from the varan, there are quite a few varieties of amtis – technically, varan is not really an amti. There’s the ambat godachi amti, which is slightly tangy, and sometimes made using onions, there’s tomatochi amti, which is made with tomatoes and has a sweet-ish flavour. Then there’s the exotic versions – there’s the lasanachi amti (garlic dal), kairichi amti (raw mango dal) and many others that I don’t even know of, I’m sure.
The point being, a true blue Puneri meal is not really complete without an amti of one kind or the other. Try it out if you haven’t yet – trust me, it’s awesome. And if you have had it, stop drooling.