Image cred: google images
Him: What’s for dinner?
Me: Daal Chaawal! (Enthusiastically)
Me: Helloooo?! When was the last time we had it?
Him: I’m a lion. I need some real food.
Me: Lion? Then I suggest you hunt. Or eat with us lesser beings, O King!
Him: Yeah whatever.
Me: Okay, tomorrow, I’ll make fish. Happy?
Him: Okay, whatever.
I go inside the kitchen and look at the daal critically. The yellow goop looks pretty uninviting and I realize that the ‘lion’ will be less than impressed. Rice looks okay though. The lentils definitely need a new soul (and I need a magic wand), I think to myself.
I take the cumin seeds and red chillies among other things from the kitchen closet. I decide to give the daal a tarka and I know one thing: for all the garlic and cumin I add, this thing will not become delicious. I used to make okay daal – I don’t know why this one looks so unappetizing.
I heat oil in a pan and add cumin and garlic and the chillies, then I improvise. I take the better part of a chicken cube and sizzle it in — and wait, laugh all you want, I stir in some yogurt, and some chaat masala. I’m serious – the frying pan concoction smells kind of nice. (I know, I wouldn’t believe it either). I pour the mixture into my daal and stir it in a very chef(esque) manner and hope for the best.
It changes colour from something the doctor advised for someone with serious gastro problems to something a normal Pakistani might consider eating. I force the little one to have some – and she doesn’t disappoint me. She doesn’t exactly lap it up but she doesn’t turn her face away either (as she does to some of my really awful concoctions). Yes, the little one eats ONLY yummy food and none of the nasty kiddie mixtures have ever passed her lips except to come out of the mouth with full force upon self.
He asks me which daal it is, because somehow it tastes different (I think he means edible) and something in my unusual recipe has obviously worked! Whew! Now if only I could get tomorrow’s fish done right… ahh.. I’m soo looking forward to this!