Sour and sour - Potato Curry

Looking at the many dishes that incorporate this flavor in our cuisine, I think it's safe to say that Konkani people are partial to tangy curries. We have kairas which is sweet and sour; sasam which is sweet, sour and spicy; uddamethi which is nutty and sour and what do you know, even a karaate randhai which is bitter and sour. Is there a combination we have missed do you think?!
Popular in Malwan is ambat batata, a potato curry that is sour and well....sour.

Of course none of these curries are overtly tangy; there is only a feathery touch of tamarind or mango. It is further balanced by jaggery to create a zen like harmony for your tastebuds :-)

I could sing some more praises but as Confucius has said "talk doesn't cook rice" (or for that matter, potato curries!). So here is the recipe.


AMBAT BATATA (Tangy Potato Curry)
(serves 2)
2 medium size potatoes
3/4 cup grated coconut
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 + 1/2 tsps fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
a pinch of asafoetida
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chilli powder
1-2 tsp tamarind paste (or a marble size ball of tamarind soaked in water)
salt & jaggery to taste

Peel potatoes, wash and quarter them (make wedges). Toast a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in a pan until aromatic. Grind along with coconut and cumin seeds into a smooth paste, adding water as required. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, remaining fenugreek seeds and asafoetida. Once the seeds begin to pop add the cut potatoes. Stir once. Add turmeric, red chilli powder, tamarind water and jaggery. Add just enough water to cook the potatoes and cover the pan.

When potatoes are done add the coconut paste. Mix well. Adjust seasoning. Bring to a boil on low heat. Serve hot with rotis.

Variation: use okra/ lady fingers for Ambat Bhendi

This recipe is from my eldest aunt who I call Aunt Teresa in jest because she is always helping someone or the other! Whenever we have a get together this curry or her equally delicious Malwani mutton is most often requested.



Blogger Krithika said...

Very nice recipe. BTW, I tried your masale bhaath today . It was delicious. Right amount of spice. My kids liked it too. Thanks

7:18 PM  
Blogger KA said...

New way to make curried potatoes! Thanks for the recipe Ashwini! Great pictures as usual..
This joins my must try list.

7:36 PM  
Blogger Tanuja said...

Nice yummy recipe thanks for sharing. Ur presentation is wonderful as always.

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice easy breezy recipe Ashwini, love these kind of curries for rotis. Thank you for sharing your aunt's delicious recipe with us.

I know "AMBAT" means tangy,can you tell me what "AMTI" means, is it tangy curries like "KUZHAMBUS" in tamil ??

12:28 AM  
Blogger Menu Today said...

Hi Ashwini,
Your potato curry looks awesome!!!
I will try this soon. Thanx for sharing.

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ashwini, I think I have heard this but haven't tasted it yet. Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

11:03 AM  
Blogger MeloMeals said...

MMMM.. looks lovely

12:43 PM  
Blogger archana said...

Must try this one out ! I loved that wooden( is it?) laddle. Nice pics

3:20 PM  
Blogger Sumitha said...

We get so many potatoes here in this part of the world!thanks for this recipe!

3:26 AM  
Blogger Latha said...

Hi Ashwini,

Lovely picture. I love your spoon in the picture. Very unique! :-) I am a sucker for unique and beuatiful looking kitcen items ;-)
My closest friend- Priya is a Konkani. We have been friends since kindergarden and I am almost like family in their home. As I was growing up I would rot at their home and grew up eating Ambhat, Ghashi, Batata Saung etc. etc. All these wonderful dishes are very dear to me.
I dont remember having eatign this dish. Her mom usually made Ambhat either with Masoor or Moong.
Will let u know when I try it.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Anupama said...

Ashwini, Anything to do with potatoes is always welcome, because that is one veggie which is always present at home and always come to your rescue when you have unexpected gueste or so.So thank you. I will try it out. Only one ques: Can i use dessicated coconut instead of fresh

10:46 AM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Krithika - thanks. I am glad you liked masale bhaath.
KA, Tanuja, MT - thanks. let me know when you try it
Priya - amti is a curry in general in Marathi not necessarily tangy curries.
Shilpa, Melody, Archana - thanks
Latha - how cute! So you know all our dishes :-) This dish is more common in the Maharashtra side of Konkan than Karnataka. Ambat Batata means Sour Potato in Marathi. Whereas ambat in Konkani means curry (thats made with beans, veges etc). Have I confused you thoroughly?!!
Glad you liked my spoon!
Anupama - yes, potatoes are good emergency veges arent they? Let me know if you try this dish...

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Nice recipe. Never heard of this, but sounds real good.

3:39 PM  
Blogger Kitchenmate said...

Looks absolutely yummy Ashwini :) I wish i could grab that spoon, looks cool. NIce pictures as usual!

11:57 PM  
Blogger indosungod said...

archana, love your spoon, tasty and easy curry - great side dish

10:16 AM  
Blogger Nabeela said...

I like the colorful ladle very much!

12:55 PM  
Blogger Vaishali said...

Another great recipe, Ashwini. And hey, thanks for mentioning my bitter gourd preparation. :)
Btw, I tried your Uddamethi last week and Onion Thambli today. Both were absolutely super-delicious. 'Blog Patrol' will write about them soon. :)
And are those table mats new? Very pretty indeed.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ashwini,
Nice recipe have to try some konkani foods. I am from south karnataka , we also use little tamarind for sourness and jaggery in most of our curries. Thanks for sharing.

5:41 PM  
Blogger BDSN said...

Hey Ashwini!!!
Nice recipe...I somehow want to try the same recipe with okra as u said..It does sound yummy!!

6:38 PM  
Blogger Mahek said...

ambat batata thats what my mother calls this dish.
i used to eat it a lot when i was a child and now after reading your recipe i am thinking why did i never make it?
but your recipes and photos are such an inspiration that i have to make it.
where did you get that spoon its great can you use it?

1:30 PM  
Blogger HAREKRISHNAJI said...

Ambat Batata, my favourite. My mother cooks this dish tasty.

How about writing on Olye Kujachi Usal? My wife's favorite.

2:56 AM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Thank you HK.
Unfortunately I do not get ole kaju here just the dry fruit...the kaju amti is a huge fave in our home.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made this curry today and it came out very well. thanks for all the konkani cuisine which is new to me and like to learn these recipes.


4:51 AM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Tejaswini glad you liked ambat batata. Thanks for writing to let me know

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ashwini,
I just love the sweet n sour recipes.I am a kannadiga frm blr staying in Fort Wayne (IN)for the past 1 year and I really missed my mom's gojjus and palyas..this recipe is so mouth watering(slurrp).I plan to make palak partha to serve this (Ambat Batata)to my husband on valentine's day..hee hee.
Rekha Rao

6:08 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Hi Rekha, oh yes Kannadiga and Konkani cuisine are so similar. I am a big fan of the sweet and sour stuff myself. Have a lovely Valentine's day - I am sure your husband will be a happy man at the end of the meal ;-)

9:14 PM  

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