I have a morning ritual of sorts that I like to follow, which include setting out a fresh pot of coffee to brew, catching up with my emails, and enjoying breakfast while reading through my favourite blogs. This little routine of mine almost always never changes. Except when something (delightfully!) unexpected happens. Like on Monday morning, for instance.
As I sipped on my last few drops of coffee, I received an email that instantly caught my eye. The subject simply said: The Mom Show, and its contents blew me away. I was asked if I would be available to do a cooking segment on Indian food for one of their upcoming episodes. They wanted me to show a few simple, kid-friendly recipes and discuss the best ways to introduce young kids to Indian food. Sweet! The catch? It would have to be taped the very next day in the afternoon. What could I say? Me, on TV, on The Mom Show, talking about Indian food? You bet I was available! Once things started to take shape (picking out the menu was a breeze!), and the timing and all other necessities confirmed, I set out to take care of another important task – my wardrobe! What followed, was a really looooong day of running from store to store looking for the perfect outfit, which might I had, didn’t quite exist as I had hoped! But whatever, I had a look at the clips after the shoot and think I looked pretty cute yapping away on the best ways to introduce kids to Indian food.
The taping took merely half an hour, but I was at the studio close to over three hours – prepping the food, and watching the taping of other segments being filmed. Needless to say, it was another long day but one I will never forget! By the time I got home, I was exhausted and the strain of the many hours spent shopping, prepping and finally shooting, made me crave for some homemade comfort food. And Dal-Chawal (lentils and rice) was what it just had to be for me! Trust me when I say this - no matter how tired you may be, the mere 10 minutes you’ll spend in prepping for this meal is truly worth it all the way. But why wait for the dreaded day when you feel that even lifting a finger could drive you to your grave? It tastes just as good when you’re your normal happy, active self. I can truly promise you that!
CHANA DAL MASALA (SPICED SPLIT PEA LENTILS)
Prep time: 10 min | Cooking time: 20 min | Serves: 4
Special Cooking Equipment: Pressure Cooker
1 cup split pea lentils
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 medium-sized tomato, finely chopped
1-2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp light cooking oil
fresh coriander leaves, chopped for garnish
water, as needed
salt, to taste
Heat oil in a pressure cooker and sauté cumin seeds, fennel seeds, green chillies, and onions till lightly browned and fragrant. Add in spices and ginger-garlic paste, and fry for a few seconds.
Add in the chopped tomatoes and salt, and cook for a few minutes to combine well. Add lentils, and enough water to cover them. Pressure cook for 15-20 minutes till lentils are soft and done. Stir in more water if you want a much thinner consistency, and let it come to a boil.
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves, and servewarm with a big bowl of rice.