I was chatting with an old and dear friend and he made me so nostalgic for the foods and smells we grew up with that I had trouble falling asleep last night. He spoke of how he wanted to eat bhel puri and pani puri. Masala dosa and pav bhaaji. And biryani and tandoori and just heaps of other food of our yesteryears…
So today when we got invited to dinner and I was asked to bring daal and rice I simply had to get my jeera on! But first to get in to the mood my little boy showed me how to meditate (levitate?!).
Then we went to the markets and bought gorgeous sun ripened tomatoes. When we came home we turned on old Kishore Kumar / Lata Mangeshkar songs on the radio. Aha, do you see my head wobbles getting more pronounced?
And because I cook from recipes and follow them to a tee (not) I chopped up about 8 cloves of garlic, 2 onions, Parsi dhanajeera powder and sambhar powder in oogles of ghee. Two of those roughly chopped tomatoes I added did not die in vain either. They were the shining stars of the entire dish.
Once the house (and my clothes) started smelling like an Indian restaurant and I opened up all the doors and windows… and thanked God I didn’t have carpets at home… I added a cup and a half of ‘mixed lentils’ and water, salt, sugar and tamarind paste to the cooker. Yes yes it was meant to be a Gujarati style khatta meetha yellow daal but I ran out of daal ok. Don’t judge me. You too can use what’s in the cupboard, the results might shock you!!
While this happy mixture wheezed and whistled away in the pressure cooker and my boys ran out yelling Mum the house is going to explode!! I started on the rice.
Not just any ordinary rice. Heaven forbid we eat ordinary rice today. It was the best long grain basmati I could get my hands on, tempered with jeera (cumin) and garlic in ghee.