Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Methi Dal -- simple rants


**This is my pet rant. Brings out the dying, old feminist in me. While nouveau feminists have more important matters to deal with, me, I love this one. Solves my purpose **

Why is it that we women, educated and enlightened like a Sylvania Laxman 100watt bulb, tell the woman, whose husband loads the dishwasher every night, "You are so very lucky".Can someone please come up and ascribe some luck to the male too.

Why do we assume that just because the husband makes the occasional Sunday breakfast, the wife is a lazy slob who polishes her nails while all other house work gets done magically.

Why do we keep on insisting that the woman whose husband does a fantastic "dal tadka" should actually prostrate and worship the ground her husband walks on ?

Why do we think that it is perfectly natural for the wife to work outside the home, cook, clean, take care of kids and tell her it is really easy for her because her husband can change diapers ?

Why do we think that in the secret of their home the wife surely paints her face and dons a Nazi suit, how else can we explain the husband to remember buying "organic brown eggs" when there is "organic brown eggs" written on the grocery list ?

Why do we women think husbands helping around the house is an anomaly rather than the norm ?

I mean what happened to all that feminism thing and demand for equal work and pay and all that hogwash.

Hey, if we keep applauding and going "awwww" for every guy(in the capacity of a spouse and not your offspring) who manages to bake a cake at home aren't we lowering the standards or something? Where is the motivation if he sees his basic skill set is held at the pinnacle of excellence and he would be the best fit for any lucky woman with an open requisition for husband position ?

Do we even understand that this pulls down the global standard for men helping with housework and there could be serious consequences if we all live beyond 2012 ?

Disclaimer: Any resemblance to characters in real life is purely unintentional. As if.


My Methi Dal is just my regular Dal made magical with Methi Greens(Fenugreek Greens). For more of a star kind of Methi Dal, check this.


My Methi Dal
Step 1: Wash part Masoor, part yellow Moong Dal in several changes of water --> put in Pressure Cooker with a pinch of turmeric, a roughly chopped tomato and enough water(water should not overwhelm the dal, very important, copyright Sra) --> cook till dal is done --> roughly mash the dal

Step 2: While Dal is cooking, wash and chop methi greens. I just go snip, snip with my scissors. That is as much patience I can muster.

Step 3: Heat Oil or ghee in a deep, thick bottomed cooking pot. Temper the oil with few cumin seeds, 1 clove of garlic minced and thinly sliced onions. When the onion starts browning, I said browning and NOT burning, so take care. Anyway when it starts getting brown or whatever color deemed fit, add the chopped methi leaves. Saute for a minute and those leaves will start wilting.

Step 4: Add the cooked dal and saute for couple of minutes. Add salt and sugar to adjust. Add some slit green chili if you are that kind. Now add the dal water or if no dal water regular water.

Step 5: Bring to a boil and adjust the consistency. Squeeze lime juice to finish off.

Step 6: Serve with rice, ghee and aloo methi.

Step 7: Experience Bliss.


  1. Tell me about it. It's a pet peeve of a lot of women. My husband is a great guy and gallantly steps up to the plate as a pinch hitter whenever guests are coming. I'm always very grateful to him, but that also means that I have to smile/grimace through all the coos of how lucky I am that my husband cooked the Biriyani/salad/ whatever. Hello -- who cooked the other 10 items that you are now enjoying? LOL. I've learned to take it in stride.

  2. You make an excellent point. Once someone asked me if my husband helps me at home, and I was speechless for probably the first time in my life. I mean, we are a team, we work together, help each other and create a home for ourselves. It was such a very disconcerting question.

  3. Meem

    Hugs.Totally understand :-)


    So True.


    It is true that many guys do not gladly help at home. I personally know men who say "I will never do the dishes".True for Indians as well as non-Indians. It is for the couple to decide how they negotiate or balance such things.

    But in the cases that men do help, I do not understand the point in going overboard with all that praise.

  4. The same reason why men are paid something like 30% more than what women are paid to do the same work :( It is simply unfair that's what it is Sandeepa.

    Anyway I was expecting the dal be cooked by your DH. I love the smell of methi in dal and this is delicious. I would add sambhar powder of course ;)

  5. You are 100% right. I say this all the time, to my daughters, to my students, to anyone who will listen. And some who won't. It falls to us to teach the next generation, boys and girls, to stop seeing things this way. Equality takes a long, long time to achieve...

  6. I ve seen my dad helping my mom, cooking and cleaning etc... Even now, they are alone, when the maid is not there, my dad helps.
    I tease my DH , he does few chores, but not cooking and of course no dish!
    I like ur disclaimer!

  7. Love it dear, methi in dal is simply awesome.

    Hey, I was wondering if you saw about "MAITRI - A Friendship Chain" event. If not, please do take a look and try to participate, it will be fun :)

    Send me an email @

    Please also check my "Flavor of Bengal" event going on as I know you will add a lot of delicacies to it :)

  8. I am determined to make my sons do work around the house.You know my husband beams when someone praises him for MY cooking!!!Oh well. We can only rant.Love your disclaimer though!!

  9. Indo

    I leave the hard work for him, this was easy-peasy :-D

    Do you have a blog ?


    My Dad is not adept at cooking etc. but when he is here he helps me a lot with laundry, gardening etc.
    My husband is very good at housework and he gets too much praise from my friends for that ;-)


    Will check out sure


    Ha, ha that is a good one. I hope they tell him, how lucky he is.

  10. I loved your rants! It is so very true, but I guess we are being praised when we drive our kids to school and home, we go out for a meeting, then come back look over the home works of our kids and still manage to put something on the table, you know what I mean. A woman need to do 30% more at home and work to get equally paid and praised in the society! Loved your meth dal.

  11. ekebare table chapRe sommoti janalam Bongmom.....arekta byapar, celebrity mohilader interview newar somoy abodharito 3 nombor proshno, "apnar swamir sohogogitar byapare kichhu bolun" ami bujhina, hothat asohojogita korte jaben keno swami? ar purush celebrity ra ki kono sohojogita chhaRai bikhyato hoye jachchhen naki? tNader to bhuleo o proshno kora hoyna?

  12. Chandrima

    Honestly I never see anyone (except in the Indian ads maybe) praise a woman for doing these things. In today's world it seems it is accepted that a woman will work outside as well as inside home with equal panache and can do no less.And I am speaking of global women here.


    Kothay bhablam table chapre bolbe --"ekdom na, birodh korchi". Dush mene nile ar roilo ki.
    Ei celebrity mohila der interview dekhini to, eta ki bangla channel, Rituporno noi to.

  13. Sandeepa,

    Loved this post, specially the disclaimer was like cherry on the cae. I'm gonna make my hubby read this.


  14. I was expecting the dal to be made by D!

    Men can cook and clean but be nasty/unhelpful in other ways so there's no need to gush. No one gushes about women earning, spending and paying the bills so that the burden on the man is lessened - next time someone says something like that, I'm going to say all this. They'll call me arrogant, but I won't care.

  15. Well said dear!!!

  16. Seema

    It is not about the hubby though. It is about our attitude towards men helping at home.


    I tell you, no one will care. I often say, the kids are not mine alone so if D is doing diapers or feeding them breakfast, I appreciate his help but I also expect as much.People still continue saying, "Oh he does so much". What is that supposed to mean?


    Ar bolo na :-D

  17. Thats such an awesome post S. Recently we were at a friend's place in CA, who kept barking(yeah, I was so mad at him) orders at his wife. He would ask his wife, who would be working in kitchen, to come and hand over the remote!!. I asked him why he does that. I was speechless at his response. He said "I earn, so she can atleast do all these seva for me". Btw..his wife is doing some medical course, she goes to college. She does not get any vacations(she has to go to school even on weekends and other holidays). Her timings are more hectic than his.

  18. I completely completely relate to this and I think I've used your exact same arguments
    My husband and I have always sort of divided the work and it is usually a non-issue between us. However, it really annoys me when (in the eyes of other people like friends/relatives) anything I do is my duty and something I am supposed to do, but everything he does becomes a sort of virtue).

    ANd it is not like people always say anything but I can feel them thinking it..So I wonder if this is just in my head and I even let myself feel guilty about not doing more which makes me feel like ranting even more because ofcourse I am doing (Ok- I am starting to sound crazy..:))

    [I think it is because we compare ourselves with the average within our own gender and Indian husbands have a history of low averages so anything above that average seems super great. Which is very rant inducing!]

    btw - i think I will make your methi dal today..

  19. Maybe guys tell husbands.. "Your wife works.. so you are quitting this crappy job! You are so lucky!"

  20. Shilpa

    What a frustrated person, but it is really hard to judge from the outside on the dynamics in a couple's life. Many times the women themselves like to play the role of a martyr.I hope your female friend is ok with the situation.
    Maybe you should tell the guy, "How lucky he is after all"


    Good Point.


    yeah that happens too but the wife has to be an exemplary earner. I am sure Indra Nooyi's husband hears that a lot :D

  21. You hit the nail on the head. I am so sick of all the "you are so lucky" comments that I want to say "but he is lucky too dammit". Some of the friends even comment as to what is left for the wife to do if the husband does or knows how to do everything?

  22. Very well said...
    In my house its the MIL who bristles if her son even picks up a spoon... very 18th century... And spoils him silly so when MIL is around hubby doesnt lift a finger.

  23. Yeah I gree S. We women are mostly at the receiving end, but somewhere somehow we too are responsible for handing over the certificate of 'an elevated being' to our hubbys and thattoo on a platter. My hubby is staying at a different city where he works. Of course he has to do the housework there (even though there is a maid) and cooking too. He never fails to remind me how magnanimous he is by taking care of eveything 'inspite' of working out. Mind you he's living alone there and i'm living here with my 10 yr old son. I too work and my hours are hectic. Ihave a house too and the additional duty of doing all that needs to be done for a 10 yr old. But not a word of praise for me. That's normal for a woman and she must do---he seems to think. But, and here there is a big BUT. When this hubby comes home on leave, surprisingly I find myself going aaah and ooooh over how he toils over there and he needs to relax and go overborad with feeding him all his fav dishes, as if he has come home after winnin g the world war II. Why do I do that? It's MY fault entirely.

  24. ohhhhh I love your post just as much as i love the recipe ...

  25. I just loved your opening lines...and not only on this post!!! It found resonance with what was on my mind today!!! The whole lucky you .... he helps out (I am like ...dodo... aint that how it is supposed to be?)Great blog!!

  26. I was looking for a recipe of dal and I find this delightful post that echoes the thoughts in my mind and I guess those of half the female population. It seems like serendipity that I found this post today when I was feeling a little irritated thinking about how 'women's day' is celebrated now-a-days. Thanks. I love your recipes and posts. This post put a smile on my face.

  27. Dear Sandeepa
    I remember reading this great posting many times and read once again today ...very nice and the disclaimer is well placed .
    But yet to make the dal, with a flavor of cumin,, garlic and methi green tempering. Whenever i read this, the kitchen was not handy
    have a nice week


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