Confessions of a dal lover

15 April 2011

My friend explicitly said that cooking dal was dead easy. I’m not sure. I’ll just give you a quick update on my progress in dal cooking. Let me put it this way: I am not quite there yet. What happened yesterday was that I used the right lentils, but overcooked them into a mush (mental note: set the timer next time. I was sitting in the kitchen working happily on the computer while the lentils were boiled to death. I was so immersed, I didn’t hear their screams). Later, when I wanted to put the dal together, I threw the mustard seeds into the hot oil, exactly as the recipe told me to. Or so I thought. The only problem was that the oil was so hot that the seeds jumped right out of the pot again, like mini popcorn. They smelled like popcorn too. By the time I had fetched a lid to keep things under control, they were all over the place. I was also late throwing in the cumin seeds a few seconds after the mustard seeds –because I was looking for a lid!!! Anyway, at least I didn’t burn the onions :). When it was time for the zombie lentils to join the spices, I realized that the mix was too thick and needed some extra water. I poured in too much and ended up with mushy soup. On top of that, I added too much salt. So instead of creamy dal, I had salty mushy soup. To remedy this, I threw in some potato cubes. Phew. That, and not putting any salt into the rice kind of did the trick. We ended up with an odd-looking yet tasty dal. The children loved the popcorn smell in the kitchen and ate their dinner without complaining — it must be good if it smells like popcorn, right? As for Rolf…. what can I say, he ate loads and really liked it (mental note: you can serve anything to a man who hasn’t eaten for 6 days). I will work on the texture and looks of my dal next. And maybe on the chapati recipe. But I don’t have the confidence just yet 🙂 . Having said that, maybe yesterday wasn’t my day for producing perfect food, I didn’t even manage to make a proper coffee! Instead, I made purist coffee. This is easy. Just pour water into your Carmencita coffee maker

... this is what it looks like....

and forget about the ground coffee. I was so disappointed when the purist coffee was ready to go into the frothy milk, because it looked rather –clear and watery. I had so hoped to produce the image of Gaddafi in my cup at last… 😉
Anyway, today is another day. There will not be dal on the menu tonight, I need to recuperate. I made coffee this morning and it wasn’t purist. And maybe I’ll successfully boil an egg for dinner tonight?

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3 Responses to “Confessions of a dal lover”


  1. […] a dirty little secret with you. I just tried to make coffee in our trusted little coffee maker – the carmencita. Today, I wasn’t making purist coffee: I forgot to put water in the coffee maker, so I have […]

  2. Jen Says:

    Great read….so much foodie writing is all so perfect – and yet crappy! You and I could write a great cookbook together!

    • birolilu Says:

      🙂 I don’t know how you cook, but if it’s in any way similar to my way of putting meals together, I am sure we’d produce one hell of a cookbook… Wow, you got my imagination going, just think of the photos we’d put in … thanks for an inspirational comment!


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