Maharashtrian Ambat Godh Varan: Flavourful Sweet-Sour Lentil Magic

Ambat Godh Varan is a Marathi name which literally translates to Sweet(= Godh) & sour(= Ambat) lentils (= Varan) . So it is a sweet and sour Maharashtrian style dish! This one is made by Madhumati Sawant. Big thanks to her for sharing this lovely recipe and also the video of making it(you will find the video below).

My comfort food!

Although I have been born and brought up in Mumbai, I ate the Ambat Godh Varan for the first time post marriage at my wife’s home. And I absolutely loved it!
Simply put this is an Indian Daal. And daal is as “home-cooked” and simple and yummy as it gets!
I am sucker for daals and it is on my top 5 list of comfort foods. And it is amazing how simple home cooked meal can more fulfilling and comforting than some of the most luxurious cuisine. Pair it up with rice (or chapati) and a small amount of pickle and a crispy papad – that is a heavenly combination!
Well at least for me and my family 🙂

Maharashtrian recipes have a huge range of flavors. Often cooked with fresh ingredients and “homemade” masalas, they a party for the mouth! Be it the street food like Vada pav or the Maharashtrian breads like Amboli or Ghavane or wholesome meals like Varan bhaat, Zunka Bhakar, etc. Maharashtrian food never disappoints me! And if you like spicy food like I do, Maharashtrian cuisine has further amazing flavors. Also they have simple ideas for sustainable cooking and reducing food wastage like make “Chapati ladoos” from a day old chapati by mixing it with sugar and ghee. I will try to explore some more recipes in the future.

Shelf Life & Storage

When it comes to shelf life, this daal has a good shelf life of 4-5 days, provided you store it correctly. You need to wait till the daal has completely cooled down and then and only then put it in an airtight container and keep it fridge. That being said this is one of those recipes which is best enjoyed fresh!
Important : When you take it out of the fridge to consume you should heat ONLY the amount you really want to eat. Constant heating and cooling of daal leads to a quicker spoilage.

Hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I do!

Ambat Godh Varan (Sweet & sour lentils)
Sweet & Sour sensation

Ambat Godh Varan (Sweet & sour lentils)

Recipe by Madhumati Sawant
0.0 from 0 votes

A tangy sweet & sour gluten-free delight to be enjoyed with rice or chapati!

Course: MainCuisine: Indian, MaharashtrianDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time






  • 1 cup Toor Daal

  • 2 tbsp Jaggery

  • 5-6 nos Tamarind

  • 2 tsp Mustard seeds

  • 2 tsp Cumin

  • 2 tsp Fenugreek seeds

  • 2 tsp Chili Powder

  • 2 tsp Turmeric Powder

  • 8-9 nos Curry Leaves

  • 1 nos Green Chili

  • 2 tbsp Oil

  • 1 tsp Sugar

  • 1 tbsp Salt (adjust to taste)


  • Cooking the Daal (or Varan)
  • Pre-soak the toor daal in water (2 cups water for 1 cup of toor dal)
    Note : Pre-soak for at least for 2 hours for best results
  • Cook it in a pressure cooker for 3-4 whistles
    (More is also fine as we finally need the daal as paste)
  • Once cooked and cooled, churn the daal with a handheld churner OR in a mixer/grinder
  • Keep mixing/churning until you have a consistent daal paste
  • Preparing the sour sauce
  • Soak 5-6 tamarind in 1 cup of water for about 10 minutes
  • So then the tamarind has softened and you will find the water turning brownish as it has soaked the tamarind pulp
  • Squeeze the entire pulp of the tamarind and get it in the water
  • Finally strain the mixture to get rid of all the tamarind strings, fiber and undissolved pulp
  • This final strained mixture is the sour sauce we will use for our daal
  • Final assembly and cooking
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a big cooking pot
  • Add all the masalas – Mustard seeds, Cumin seeds, Fenugreek seeds , turmeric powder, chilli powder, curry leaves and chili(slit into small pieces) – and fry for a minute
  • Now add the daal paste and add 2 more cups of water
    Note : You can adjust the level of water as per the required consistency
  • Mix all the ingredients on the heat
  • Now add the jaggery and the tamarind sauce
  • Finally add the 1 tsp sugar and 1 tbsp salt
    Note : Adjust salt as per taste
  • Bring it to boil and then let it simmer for 1-2 minutes!
  • Serving
  • Ambat Godh Varan is ready!
  • Serve hot with rice or chapati (check the chapati recipe here)


  • Pressure Cooker
  • Handheld Churner
  • Mixer Grinder

Recipe Video


  • > Storage Tips:
    – Store the daal in airtight container in fridge. Make sure to cool it down completely before keeping it in fridge
    – If stored as above the daal lasts for 4-5 days at least!

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