Dal goes hand-in-hand with Bhat (rice). They are friends of one another on the lunch spread. The other day there was a conversation going on between Dal and Bhat.
Dal: Bhai (brother) Bhat, today is so cold.
Bhat: Don’t you know that winter has already stepped in?
Dal: I know because Didibhai, puts my bowlful in the micro-oven and switches it on to warm me up.
Bhat: Hey Dal Bhai, you seem to be so stupid. Didibhai warms all of us before serving as Dada babu likes hot food during these winter days.
Dal: Bhai Bhat, but Didibhai is so good. She knows so many kinds of recipes and makes me so interesting before serving.
Bhat: That’s right Bhai. Even she cooks so many different dishes…specially she makes something different and tasty with me on holidays which all gobble up with happiness and satisfaction.
Dal: Shhhhhhhh…Nilima didi (the helping hand) is coming. Keep quiet!
Nilima comes, picks up the bowl of rice in her left hand and the dal bowl in her right hand and moves towards the dining table.
There are times when we move away from Facts to Fiction. But ultimately we are grounded to reality.
No more Hip-Hops, better to speak about the Tak dal with chalta. Dal is a must with rice. It can be cooked from all simplicity to spicy…always best to cook the way the family wants.
Masur dal/Red Lentils is a common dal in Bengali homes. Talking of Tak dal, it is mostly about masur dal cooked with green mangoes…specially during the hot summer days. This is so refreshing on hot days.
At home Ma used to cook masur dal with chalta also. You can read Chaltar Tak here.
Some days back chalta was available in the market. Having one at home thought could divide it…some for the Tak with mustard paste and some for my masur dal.
Dressing chalta is a difficult task. But the taste buds sometime make you overcome this difficult task…all for the sake of taste and good food.
Serve with hot rice, bhaja, bhate or other sheddho.
That’s the magic of the dal-bhat in Bengali homes.
© gouri guha 2013