8th May is celebrated in the world around as Mothers’ day. For each one of us however, every day is Mother’s day – for home is just a house without Mom and the aromas of her deft cooking wafting from the kitchen. Ask an Indian “what is your comfort food?” and pat comes the reply “dal-chawal” – almost always! This humble combination of steamed rice topped with cooked and tempered lentils has the power to soothe, comfort and transport an Indian back to childhood and into his mother’s lap!
From the plain salted lentils and dal with vegetables to delicately tempered, slow cooked buttered dals, the recipes are innumerable. While some dals are simply flavored with chilly, cumin, curry leaves or garlic, others may incorporate onions, tomatoes, leafy vegetables or even meat! Every Indian household swears by the dal prepared in their kitchen and no mother can ever go wrong with her signature recipe that is relished by the entire family!
The trick may simply lie in the way tempering is done, whether whole red chillies are used instead of green chillies, if a single dal or a mix of dals is used in the preparation, whether tamarind is used or dried mango powder – or simply how much butter went into making it!
Mothers have, over the years, perfected their unique dal recipes and these are handed down to the daughters – and now the sons too – when they go away pursuing careers or creating their own little worlds.
At Jewel, our chefs create delicious dals for you, from these tried and tested recipes, and making their own from the diaries of the dearies. Our dal masala is a cheerful medley of lentils and spices, with a sizzling tempering that tantalizes your taste-buds while soothing your palate. The dal makhani or the buttered dal is a dark mysterious blend of black lentils and red kidney beans, slow-cooked with spices and butter, with a rich brown color and aroma that nourish the soul. With bread, rice or just by themselves, these dals are a staple on any Indian plate – giving you the boost of protein and the caress of a mother’s embrace. This mothers’ day – come in’dal’ge!