Methi Che Ambat Goad Varan (Maharashtrian Fenugreek Leaves Dal)

Maharashtrian Methi Che Ambat Goad Varan is sweet and sour, vegetarian, GF, high protein dal recipe with methi greens or fenugreek enjoyed with rice, ghee

Methi Che Ambat Goad Varan (Maharashtrian Fenugreek Leaves Dal)

Hello Everyone! Today, I am sharing a recipe about the Most cooked Protein or Dish in an Indian Kitchen, The Dal. A Maharashtrian recipe called Methi Che Ambat Goad Varan which translates as “Sweet and Sour Dal with Fenugreek or Methi leaves”.

While there are umpteen varieties of dal across different regions, this dal recipe is from the land I am born and brought up in – Maharashtra. The Ambat Goad Varan has been a personal favourite after the South Indian Paruppu sadam to me. The Methi Che Ambat Goad Varan is gluten free and vegan in nature (minus the ghee tempering). Loaded with protein and the goodness of methi greens, this is an extremely filling lunch or dinner option for the entire family.

Ambat God Varan Recipe, Dal recipe from Maharashtra

Ambat in Marathi means ‘Sour’ and Goad is ‘Sweet’. So, the dal is a mixture of both elements, sweet and sour. The sweetness is rendered by jaggery or sugar, depending on the season. While the Ambat or sour element is covered by Kokam or Tamarind. The Dal used in the recipe is Toovar Dal, Tur dal or Arhar Dal. which is every household staple dal, extremely delicious amongst all the other dal varieties and used extensively in Indian cooking.

The Methi Che Ambat Goad Varan needs very little time and effort, making it a perfect meal on a weekday or on weekends. I have been blogging about a lot of comfort foods lately as Narayan is on a travel spree and having to eat a lot of untimely meals, different time zones makes your body kind of surrender to simple meals more than anything else.

The Ambat Goad Varan needs Steamed Rice (short grain preferably) a good dollop of sajuk tup or ghee. A side of vegetables like a simple potato stir fry and some papad, achaar or pickle simply adds on to the comfort element. A short siesta post this meal would be the grand finale to a lovely meal and a must, for a sound body and mind!

Sweet Sour Dal recipe from Maharashtrian cuisine with goda masala, tamarind paste and jaggery

Sounds comforting enough? Want to try this lipsmacking Dal recipe that I adore? Check out the recipe, step by step pics and make a nice piping bowl of dal for the entire family.

Taking this recipe for the A to Z challenge this month wherein we choose to cook with key ingredients Alphabetically. This month it was time for Alphabet β€˜F’ and I chose my key ingredient β€˜Fenugreek’ to cook this comfort food dal recipe called Methi Che Ambat Goad Varan / Maharashtrian Fenugreek Dal

The A to Z Challenge was initiated by Jolly Makkar and this is my 6th post for the theme. Recipes in the challenge you might be interested and can try out at home are Roasted Almond and Choco Chip Icecream, Broccoli Corn Balls, Khamang Kakdi, Sugar Free Dates Rose Pista Ladoos, Vangyache Kaap or Pan roasted eggplants.

Looking for some vegetarian sides or sabzis to go along with this dal? Check out the Vangi Batatyachi Bhaji (brinjal potato curry) or a simple Vangyache Kaap (pan fried eggplants) all washed down with Mattha or Buttermilk.

If you want to try some recipes with methi or fenugreek leaves – Do try the Methi Thalipeeth, Samudri Methi Chi Bhaji (methi microgreens), Chana Methi Sabzi and Methi Missi Roti.

Recipe of Methi Che Ambat Goad Varan

Prep time 15 mins (doesn’t include soaking time)

Cook Time 30 mins

Serves 3

1 cup is 250 ml measurement


  • 1 cup Finely chopped fresh fenugreek leaves or methi leaves
  • 1 cup Tuvar Dal / Arhar Dal / Split pigeon peas
  • 1.5 cups Water to pressure cook the dal + water for soaking etc
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 long green chillies
  • 9 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tblsp of ginger roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp jeera or cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • a generous pinch of asafoetida or hing
  • 1 tblsp tamarind paste
  • 2 tsps goda masala
  • 1 tblsp palm jaggery
  • 1 tblsp oil
  • Salt to taste
  • For the final tempering
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp jeera or cumin seeds
  • 2-3 whole red chillies


(1) Wash and soak the toor dal for 20 minutes.

Soaked Tur dal for Ambat Goad Varan

(2) Drain and add 1.5 cups of water, turmeric powder and pressure cook until soft and mushy.

Ambat goad Varan recipe step by step pics
Pressure cooked Tur Dal with turmeric powder

(3) Whisk the dal well and keep aside.

Whisk the tur dal for smooth texture of Ambat Goad Varan

(4) Make a coarse paste of green chillies, garlic and ginger.

(5) Heat a pan, add 1 tblsp oil and mustard seeds. Once they crackle add jeera or cumin seeds.

(6) Add the green chilli, garlic and ginger paste, saute well until the raw smell goes off.

Tempering for the Ambat Goad varan recipe

(7) Now add the finely chopped methi leaves. Saute and sweat the methi well until it loses all the moisture.

sauteed methi leaves for ambat goad varan recipe

(8) Add the cooked dal along with turmeric paste, goda masala, salt to taste and palm jaggery. Mix well. Add some water to adjust consistency and allow it to cook for few minutes.

Addition of dal with methi leaves
Adding the ambat and goad element of tamarind paste and jaggery for varan recipe

(9) Switch off the flame and prepare for tempering.

Simmering pan of Ambat Goad Varan

(10) Add the tempering over the dal (with ingredients under tempering give above) and serve piping hot with steamed rice and a curry of your choice.

Recipe Notes

  • The tuvar dal that I have used is organic.
  • I have used Himalayan Pink Salt. You can opt for any variety of your choice.
  • You can add some onions and tomatoes too but we prefer this simple. In case you want to add them, saute along with the garlic chilli ginger paste.
  • Whisk the dal well as varan is smooth in texture and shouldn’t have thick chunks of dal.
  • I have used Palm Jaggery or Karupatti Vellam in Tamil. You can opt for sugar (adjust the quantity in comparison with jaggery) or normal jaggery too.

If you try this recipe at home, please give me a shout out / Tag Me on any of my social media handles.

Vidya Narayan

Views: 6337

Vidya Narayan

Hi Everyone, I am Vidya Narayan & Welcome to my blog MasalaChilli. Born in a Traditional Palakkad Iyer (South Indian) Family with strong value systems to an exceptionally strong and independent Single Mom, spent most of my childhood studying well (as most Iyer girls do).

This Post Has 36 Comments

  1. Jyo

    Goodness loaded ??

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Hey, thanks Jyo.

    2. Renu Agrawal Dongre

      I love such dals where we can simply sneak in the Vegetable’s and the taste, texture of the Dal enhances. Addition of Fenugreek leaves adds to the nutrient content too. I prefer the thick consistency Dal and as if you have made this Dal for me ?.

      1. Vidya Narayan

        I wish I could share this with you Renu. I prefer Thick dals too like a curry consistency to scoop the rotis or simply enjoy from a bowl. Thanks a lot.

  2. This sounds like simple, comforting, soul food for me! πŸ™‚ I think I will love this, considering how much I adore the sweet-and-sour Gujarati dal. Will be trying this out soon.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Glad you like it. Thanks Priya!

  3. mayurisjikoni

    An interesting recipe Vidya. I make toor dal the gujju way a bit sour and sweet, with palak too but have not made it with methi. Must try it. Anyway these days I’m into making quick meals so this recipe just fits the bill.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Quick and healthy absolutely Mayuri. Thanks so much.

      1. Batter Up With Sujata

        Loved this healthy and delicious dal . I use spinach in toor dal but never used methi. Tempering on the dal made it gorgeous. I would love to have this dal with steamed rice and begun or aloo bhaja. I must try it soon.

      2. Vidya Narayan

        Dal with bhaja is ultimate Sunday comfort meal. I totally agree. Thank you!

  4. FoodTrails

    I make methi dal almost similar to this dal but without tamarind and add a little bit of jaggery to cut down the bitterness of methi leaves( for kids.. though I love the slight bitter taste of methi leaves).. we relish this wholesome dal it with steamed rice. liked the addition of tamarind in it, will add next time when I make it. and the dal pic is a stunning one!! Loved it!!

    1. Vidya Narayan

      For kids, definitely the addition of jaggery should be a bit high. As time passes, methi lends more bitterness to the dal so for kids, its idea to add a bit extra sweet. Adults like me can enjoy the extra too. haha. Thank you so much Swaty.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Hi Ramya, good to see you after a long time. All well. Thanks dear.

  5. poonampagar

    I love all varieties of ambat goad phodaniche waran, especially with the goodness of greens. Your dal looks so so good and with that final tempering it is all the more inviting !

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Tempering makes all things beautiful, isn’t it? Glad you liked it Poonam!

    2. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you Poonam.

  6. Aruna

    We have a variation of this dal in Andhra which is very similar. However, it uses very few spices. I would love to try this version because of the range of flavours that you have incorporated. I can only imagine how divine this tastes with steaming hot rice and ghee.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thanks Aruna. I am yet to dive into Andhra Cuisine for the blog. Barring few Chutneys and palyas I haven’t tried much. The Dal does sound interesting.

  7. Ashima

    Looks and reads so delicious! Thank you for the step by step photos….I am tempted to try it today itself as we have a lot of fresh fenugreek growing in our backyards… I really need to find Goda masala now.. so many Maharashtrian recipes use it πŸ™‚ For now I am going to use garam masala instead.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Hi Ashima, thank you so much and glad you liked it. Hope you enjoy the dal.

  8. Paarul

    That dal is just amazing, will go well with phulkas or steamed rice. Addition of tamarind in new to me and I would definitely love to try this delish version.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      thanks Paarul, this is one of my favourites.

  9. Geetha Priyanka

    Vidhya dal looks absolutely lip smacking and I’m totally loving the way you’ve captured it with tadka on top and red chillies popping up!! I make methi dal Andhra style with slight variation. I will try your version next time with addition of jaggery and goda masala. Thanks for sharing this simple, comforting and tasty dal recipe.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you so much Geetha, glad you liked the recipe.

    2. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you so much

  10. After participating in this challenge, now I feel that I have to explore maharashtrian recipes. After methichiusal, this one is also interesting and a wholesome dhal. Loved the idea of adding methi leaves in the toor dhal

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you so much

  11. AHaaaa !!! such an interesting name this dal has …. The tamarind must be adding bit tangy taste to the dish πŸ™‚ In next fresh methi season I will surey try this one, bookmarking for now πŸ˜‰

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you

  12. Jolly

    A nice creamy and delicious looking dal. My husband loves toor dal. I sometimes add palak in it. These photos are gorgeous! I want to jump right in with a spoon and taste it for myself! Can I come over?

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Most welcome and would be happy to host you all someday. Thank you so much.

  13. Shobha Keshwani

    This dal looks super delicious .. somewhat like Andhra menthikoora pappu .Any kind of dal is ok for me .. I can just
    have it with plain rice with no side dish required. Methi gives a lovely flavour to the dishes.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thanks and like you, Dal is like soup for me too.

  14. Seema Doraiswamy Sriram

    mil makes a version og this and simply calls it sambhar. I can almost taste the same falvours in this soulful bowl. I am coming with the spoon to have my share.

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