I love filching from hotels. No not towels, linens, curtains or furniture but soaps and sometimes shower caps. Guess it is in my “purani jeans” that I inherited from my great Indian Middle Class brethrens. I am however no cheapo filcher, I carry away body wash and cutesy soap bars only from good and reputed hotels and not from every Days Inn owned by the patel brothers. (The days Inn might have recycled my soap but the better ones definitely trash them and don't re-use them if the wrapper has been torn and the soap sniffed at, so though filching is morally wrong I think I am helping the economy by not letting them throw away tiny unused soaps. God please forgive me)
The little S who according to the in-laws is 60% like my dear sis-in-law and remaining 39.99% like her Dad, the darling Hubby, has inherited the last but not the least 0.01% from me and that is alas the love for Hotel Toileteries. She goes gaga over the little soap bars that the Hotel has, treasures them, brings them back home and uses them on special days.
Now, the hubby who has been travelling extensively the last few weeks, came back home around midnight yesterday. The way he keeps fleeting in and out of the house, you would think it was his in-laws and not mine, who are visiting. But why do I complain, I get peaceful nights to sleep in, without the high pitched snoring that jolts me every now and then, isn’t that what every female wants?
Anyway, knowing little S’s love for those soaps and also because he did not have the time to get her anything, he had filched two white and green soaps from the hotel and gave them to the little girl along with a small stress ball with a lot of hype and excitement. The little girl’s face lit up when she saw them, excited she ran around showing everyone in the household the two precious soaps and the ball. She became benevolent and offered to share one of them with me too. She literally danced around and hugged D for her lovely gifts.
She hadn’t been half as happy seeing the puzzle and the Melissa&Doug magnetic board I got for her from Amazon two weeks back.
It was so beautiful to see her contented and happy with those tiny things. May she remain the same always, happy with what she gets and not asking for more. Amen.
India is an amazing country with 1.5 billion people, 28 different states, 7 Union Territories, and 1652 different languages.
In a country with such diversity it is not surprising to have a vast difference in cuisines from the North to South, The East to West and basically from each corner to the other.
So while Toor Dal is a must in the South Indian cuisine and hugely celebrated there, it is not often used in the cuisine from the eastern Region. The Moong and the Masoor are the dals which are favored over Toor here. So while my Ma will never ever run out of Moong or masoor, she will have to run out FOR toor if you wish her to cook it on a random day.
Both me & D have developed a love for sambhar however and I do stock Toor Dal in my pantry and also make sambhar often. The other way I make Toor dal is the way a friend from the UP belt taught me. The UP belt also love Toor Dal with dollops of ghee with their chapatti and I love their dal tempered with red-chillies, whole cumin seeds and garlic.
Since I have not tried Toor Dal any other way I wanted to give toor dal chutney a shot and googled thus “toor dal chutney blog”. I came up with this, this and this. So be it, I decided and made a mean toor dal chutney, combining everything I read and things I consider to be a stamp of South Indian Cuisine. Refer to these blogs for exact measurment. This is my entry for JFI-Toor dal hosted by Lovely Linda who blogs at Out Of The Garden
This is what I did
Dry Roasted toor dal and dry red chillies till the toor dal was slightly browned and I could smell the warm aroma. Soaked them in water for 15 minutes.
Heated 1tsp oil and lightly sautéed a clove of garlic.
Put the roasted toor dal, dry red chilies and garlic in a grinder and made a fine wet paste.
Added salt and tasted. It still lacked what I felt was the south Indian flavor
In the 1 tsp of oil added some mustard seeds, a pinch of asafoetida and few curry leaves. Added the seasoning to the paste.
Mmmmmmmm…something still missing
Added a little tamarind paste and a little sugar.
Yes, yes, yes…loved it. Had it with mini rava idlis that I made out of MTR mix. But I loved the chutney by itself too.
There was still Toor dal chutney left, no more Idlis and the household kept saying "the chutney was interesting" whatever that meant
Also I had some avocado and had made some guacamole with finely chopped red onions, lots of corriander leaves, green chillies, lime juice, salt and a little olive oil.
Since I was going to send this to the innovative Linda, I thought why not and added the guacamole to the toor dal chutney or vice versa, in 1:1 ratio.
I actually liked the result though the corriander leaves dominated the flavor.
Give it a try if you have both in hand as the next dip for your chip
Trivia: Toor dal or split Pigeon peas is also known as tuvar dal and arhar dal. They contain high levels of protein and the important amino acids methionine, lysine, and tryptophan. The Indian subcontinent, Eastern Africa and Central America, in that order, are the world's three main pigeon pea producing regions.