Last month it was my mil's birthday & we lost her exactly 6 months before her birthday. I wanted to make all her favourites for her birthday. Everything I cooked that she loved. But then I decided to make these two dishes that represented her style of cooking. She was the ambat & phodi queen. She made ambat out of EVERY possible veggie & made one type of phodi everyday. Ambat are coconut curries with toor dal as the base made with onions & a type of veggie. Phodis are pan fried veggies. What you see on the plate are - pumpkin phodis, tendle - ivy gourd ambat & buttermilk. Mil's favourite type of lunch.
Many delicious ambats are made - palak ambat, Basella - vali ambat, cabbage ambat, potatoes & onions - batat piyav ambat, tendle ambat. You can make ambat out of every veggie & every ambat will taste different & will be delicious in it's own way.
Ivy gourd - tendle ambat was my mil's favourite. It's sweet & spicy & tangy. Sweetness from onions used, spice from dried red chillies, tanginess from ivy gourds & tamarind used. Seasoning the curry adds lots of flavour to the delicious gravy. You'll find it's recipe below.
1. Soak toor dal to fasten it's cooking. The more they soak the faster they cook.
2. If you haven't soaked them give them a good wash & pressure cook them.
3. Pressure cook until they're soft & mushy.
4. Meanwhile chop onions. Mil kept them 1/2 inch in size. I chop them finely.
5. Wash & chop ivy gourds. Mil chopped them vertically first then chopped them horizontally once or twice to get 4 or 6 pieces depending on their size.
6. Fry dried red chillies using few drops of oil or dry roast them to make coconut masala.
7. Grind them along with tamarind & grated coconut into a fine paste using as much water as needed.
8. Transfer ivy gourds & onions into a cooking vessel. Cook them using enough water & salt until they're almost cooked.
9. Add in cooked toor dal & coconut masala. Add water if needed to bring the curry to a medium thick consistency.
10. Bring it to boil & simmer until rawness of the masala goes off.
11. Check & adjust salt. Remove the curry off heat.
12. Season the curry by heating oil in a tempering pan, add in mustard seeds. When they start popping add in dried red chilli pieces & curry leaves. Let them splutter & add the tempering to the curry.
13. Mix well & serve hot with steaming hot rice.