There is this joke I read in Reader’s Digest : An elderly man was pulled over by a police car at 2 am and asked where he’s going at this time of the night. The man replies, “ I m on my way to a lecture about alcohol abuse and effects it has on human body as well as smoking and staying out late.” The officer then asks, “ Really? Who’s giving a lecture like that at this time of the night?” The man replied, “My wife.” Ha ha ha!
Many times when growing up as teenagers families feel like this joke, controlling and lecturing but once you are mature you realize the importance of them. Being a part of a huge extended family, we bond the most over food. We share the same taste and common recipes.
This one is from one of the common family recipes. My grandmother [Dad’s mom] use to love this dal. She had taught this dal to her cook at our family home. Later it was learnt by my mother and the rest of us in the family. My father’s ancestors use to be farmers and this dal and bajri rotla was their staple food. My father’s family is a family of around 170 people and its amazing that the taste of this dal and bajri rotla runs in our blood. Everyone of us relish this simple meal. We have this dal and rotla with a sabji of our choice, chili garlic chutney and onions. Simple rustic food!
My whole father’s family are foodies. Every occasion is like a festival for us as there is delicious food and we are such a huge number of people. Imagine my Great grand father had two sons, one of them was my grand father. Then both the sons had dozens of children. My father and his first cousins where 11 brothers and 5 sisters. Now each of them have two children which includes us. Most of us have got children as well. Imagine the number in our family ! We have a joint family business thus our bonding is very good and we meet more often. I love this part cause every occasion is fun, lots of leg pulling and sharing experiences and jokes. One realises the support of having a huge family, specially during sad occasions as so many people visit you in the hospital, people take turns to stay over at night. Thus it is really a great support and during sad times having so many people around helps in managing things u don’t want to bother with. The weddings are a huge occasions in our family. As there are so many of us, everyone’s duties are assigned. Thus the person getting married sits back and enjoys. When there is a wedding in our family, we start meeting up 15 days before the event and mostly our dinners are together. It’s like a party everyday !
Once all of us could not believe the amount of children our grandmom’s gave birth to. So we asked our eldest aunt why did they have so many children. Our aunt gave us the most hilarious and logical answer. She said, ” you all have so much things to do. During our grandparent’s times, they did not even have a television set. They had no source of entertainment so what else did u expect them to do!” How true ! We all were rolling on the floor laughing.
1 ½ cup yellow urad dal soaked
5-6 cloves of garlic finely chopped
2 stems of green garlic finely chopped
2 tbsp of oil
2 tsp of rai
2 tsp jeera
2 whole dried red chilies
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp of hing
Salt to taste
Cook the urad dal with 2 ½ cups of water and turmeric in a pressure cooker for 3-4 whistles or till the dal is cooked. Once done, leave the dal in the cooker.
In a non stick pan heat the oil. Add the hing, jeera and rai. Once the seeds splutter add the red chilies. To this on a low flame, add the garlic [white and green] and let it cook for a few seconds. Add the chili powder and temper the mixture on the cooked dal.
Add the salt in the dal and let it cook for 7-10 minutes. The consistency of the dal should be like the one in the photograph.
Remove from the heat and serve with Bajra Roti (Millet roti )and baingan bharta ( brinjal)
The taste of hing is strong in this recipe. I have written a conservative amount in this recipe. Iif you like the taste of hing you can add more according to your taste.