Ode to Mung Dal

What it means to me when feeling down, and photos from the last few months of cooking it. Simple but so many layers, make to match your mood - this one was pretty bumpy to use up the stalks and other 2020 bits: hot dates dropped in, your treacle anchor - nutty honey drizzled on top for biscuitiness. Cold sour tamarind blip, squeeze lime, green chillies - fresh one slit and ginger to hoik you up a bit.

Black salt to take you to the fifth dimension, floral butteriness when the fresh dill wades in. Date stones and seed crunch of Munaqua raisins, keeps you on your feet, licked by pre-serve tempering of spitting mustard oil, kashmiri chilli, coconut shards and peanuts. Life is pungent throw it in. Star anise shapes backfloat guided by bhaja masala - cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon medicinal quality. Woody black cardamom bobbing - like nutmeg but less harsh gives it comfort and depth, always makes me smile surprise when lift the lid see them ROFLing like blown up drunken barrels, surrendering.

You will never ever again be in this moment. Make it lots, but never make it nor try to make it the same; as every minute ticks by we become a slightly different version of our selves - bumping into each other and changing again. We are all working on our journeys, but not really that far from the same - together like a bowl of dal, melding, learning, returning. Bringing out flavours in each other that we didn’t know we had.

Tread differently and tread deeply. We all see things in different ways. So give time for simmering before you decide what to tame.

“Just chilling” - no I’m distilling, gonna use more when 2020’s passed away. It’s so important to find what brings us clarity when things sit foggy in head. On edge of threshold, call in the click moments that slot together your breadcrumbs. Cement your next steps:

“In the absence of any true control over their own lives , people cling to identity as to a life raft - desperately, instinctively, driven by the impulse to save self rather than with regard and respect for the whole. Life rafts are useful, particularly in emergencies, but they will never be as good as a functioning boat” - Gary Younge, Who Are We And Does It Matter in the 21st Century.

June 2020: New world new hopes new things and food always as a connector to identity, conversations pricked from “the unalloyed pleasure of piercing the top skin of a luchi with your finger, letting out the hot, fragrant air, tearing off a bit and putting it in your mouth for a slow, heavenly dissolution” - Chitrita Banerji, and remember 🌏💫 things.

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