Friday, July 30, 2010

Starting Fresh In Michigan With Daal!

That's right. I'm very much alive and kicking. It only seemed that I had dropped off the face of this planet for about a month or so. In actuality though, I was involved in so many different things at the same time, that I found myself sacrificing precious "me" time. So that meant a temporary adios to blogging.

*sigh* Where to begin? With the move, I suppose. That's where we left off, you and I, dear readers. You knew that I was preparing to bid farewell to my beloved Yale and Connecticut, and follow DH into the unknown once more. Erm, I only wish the unknown were a more exotic destination like Paris or Madrid, and the not the exact opposite that is Grand Rapids, Michigan!

Hang on hang on, I'm not going to stomp on Michigan - I hardly know thee, O state of a thousand lakes! I've barely settled in. The furniture is in its place, but so much more needs to be done. I've already discovered some beautiful parks and enjoyed some spectacular local food, but I have yet to visit a farmers' market here. And shop! I need to get comfortable with the shopping before I can call a place my town.

Granted it looks like I had a month to get my act together, but that's not the real story folks. Barely 10 days after moving into our new apartment, I packed up myself and Baby B and went off to stay with my parents for 2 weeks in Toronto, Canada. Relax, I did not have a fight with DH. This trip was planned months in advance, because I had two weddings to attend in Canada, plus wanted to introduce Baby B to his extended family there. Unfortunately this meant that DH was left to do all the unpacking, poor soul. Then when it was time for me to come back, I found out that my in-laws were going to be with us for a week. Knowing my somewhat paranoid personality, I'm sure you can imagine how uncomfortable I was having guests when my new apartment was still unfinished. And not a speck of food in the fridge. Urgh. I'm developing a twitch just thinking about it again! *deep breath* But it all worked out - my in-laws were good sports about sleeping on air mattresses in a barely furnished apartment, and I managed to put a few good meals on the table as soon as I got back from Toronto. And of course, Baby B sprinkled his fairy dust on everyone and kept them entertained.
But between my crazy schedule when I was in Toronto, and my crazy schedule as soon as I got back, I'm only barely hanging on to my sanity by the tips of my fingernails. It almost feels alien having this apartment to myself now that everyone's left. Baby B is finally taking a nap, and I'm teaching myself how it feels to have some "me" time again. It's tougher than it looks! Part of me wants to rush around completing my house chores, like the laundry, and vacuuming (did I tell you we have carpet in this new apartment? Blech. I miss hardwood floors.), and cooking, and taking a shower. But that can all wait ...

Because I want to once again feel the pleasure of typing. There's something so innately satisfying about the act of punching away with the tips of your fingers, and watching your thoughts appear on the screen in front of you. The stories in my head just want to spill out, and go on and on, but like Cinderella, I too have to edit my fun so that it's all done by the time the clock strikes "Bashaar's awake!".
Urad / Maash ki Daal (White Lentils Curry) - inspired by Mona's recipe on her fabulous blog Zaiqa.
Serves 4-6

Click here for printable recipe


1 cup Urad/Maash daal (split husked black lentils, which are white)
1.5 cups water
1/4 cup canola oil
1 onion, sliced
1/2 tsp ginger, grated
1 tsp salt
3-4 small green chilies, sliced
Cilantro, chopped

1. Wash and soak the daal in cool water for about 20 mins.

2. Drain the daal and put it in a saucepan. Pour in the water, ginger and salt. Boil the daal until soft, but NOT mushy. I evaporate all the water, and make sure the lentils retain their shape. Do not add water towards the end, because that turns the whole thing globby and unappetizing.

3. Pour oil in a separate frying pan and saute the onions till well-caramelized. In the last 30 secs, also add in the sliced green chilies. Then turn off the heat and scoop the onions and green chilies directly into the daal. Pour in almost all the hot oil too. Let it soak into the daal for a few minutes, then stir everything together gently. Mix in the cilantro, then you're done!
Verdict: Oh gosh, this is currently my favorite daal recipe. I can seriously eat a bowl of this, just with a spoon. Of course, if you want to be traditional, then get yourself some piping hot chapatis to enjoy with it. It's a great accompaniment to almost any meaty Indian/Pakistani dish. I hate calling it a side-dish, because to me it will always be the star of the show.
I posted this recipe because of it's ease and comfort factor. Something I appreciate more and more these days, especially with Baby B in my life. I'm almost thinking about having a separate "mommy" blog, where I can vent about everything he puts me through in a single day! Perhaps I will. Perhaps I should just get off this laptop and go do the laundry.

*thinking about it*

Pfffffffffffffttttt. Naaaaaaaaaaaahhh ... I'd rather sit right here and visit all of your blogs, dear readers! Give me a few days to catch up with all of you, and then it will (hopefully) be like I never left.