A typical meal at Gondavale temple would be Bajarichi Bhakari, Bhaat, Brinjals with crushed peanuts, Aamti, buttermilk, salt on the side, Khuraasnichi chutney, Spicy lime pickle. The Kandi peda in the middle is a Satara special that is offered at the temple.
Gondavale is where my family's faith lies. It is a small sleepy village that comes to life only when there are certain festive days like Ram Navami, Gurupournima, Shree Gondavalekar Maharaj's punyatithi etc.
Shree Gondavalekar Maharaj is the saint who was born there and in his life time he helped people find the love of God through chanting the divine name. He propogated the "Shree Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram" mantra. Today there is a Samadhi Mandir and a trust that manages it. Read more about it on my travel blog, Swachchanda.
Shree's family was the Kulkarni of Gondavale. In his times whenever there was drought he would start some project in the village and provide food to the villagers. Most times it would be a Bajarichi Bhakari with spicy aamti. This aamti continues to be made in the Kitchens of Gondavale Sansthan and is served to 1000s of pilgrims every day along with the meal. There are many stories of miracles that people narrate on consuming the aamti. That is people's strong faith. We love the aamti so much that when we were kids we would drink dron-ful / Leaf cups full of it, guzzle it up when the volunteers came towards us to serve.
It is much later that we started making this aamti at home when we decoded the ingredients and were able to source the special blend of Goda masala from Gondavale itself.
This Gondavale Masala as we like to call is available on my E-shop. It is a fragrant masala and has a satvic taste that it imparts to the food. It can be used for curries and Masale bhaat but the best use is in this aamti. The sweet, tangy spicy aamti can liven up a simple meal.
Not only the devotees and pilgrims who have tasted it but also many who have heard about it would like to have it decoded. While temple recipes never taste the same at home for two reasons, one the mass proportions in which it is made and above all the blessings of the Lord!
Yet I am trying to put down a recipe that I feel is very close to the original and that I make often in my own kitchen.
1 cup cooked dal
4-5 kokum or 1/8 cup tamarind pulp
2 teapsoon oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard
1 tablespoon Gondavale Goda Masala
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
2 green chilies slit
1 sprig of curry leaves
2- 3 tablespoons crushed jaggery
salt to taste
handful of cilantro for garnish
Heat a deep pan add oil and splutter mustard seeds in it. Add the asafoetida, follow in with the curry leaves and slit green chilies. Shake the pan around to avoid charring of the phodni / seasonings.
Now add the cooked dal to it. Add the spices red chilli powder, turmeric powder and don't forget the Gondavale Goda Masala. Top up with water, the aamti at Gondavale is very thin and watery. You may want it slightly thick so adjust the water to your liking.
Churn the dal with a Ravi/ beater. This helps thicken it and liquidize the dal.
Once the dal looks well blended and is boiling rapidly, reduce the heat. At this stage add the kokum or tamarind pulp and jaggery. Let it simmer for 5 mins after adding salt. Dress up the aamti with fine chopped fresh cilantro.
Serve steaming hot. Drink it up. Mix with rice and toop/ ghee or crumble a stale bhakri and slurp it up!