Showing posts from June, 2017

Summer Special: Aamer Dal (Dal with Green Mangoes)

Indian cuisine looks upon dal, or lentils, almost the way Shakespeare described Cleopatra — a thing of “infinite variety”. Every region has loads of dal recipes and every kitchen gives its own distinctive tweak to them. The result is a staggering array of dal dishes that can range from the soothing to the seriously gourmet, from light soupy to lip-smacking preparations that are meals in themselves.
Dals are also among the most versatile of foodstuffs. Add some peas or chopped spinach to them or some meat, if you prefer. Really, you can put in anything lying around in the kitchen, and likely as not, you’ll come up with a tasty and interesting dal. Dal-roti or dal-bhaat can be basic; they can also be classy and imaginative. To me, a perfectly cooked, immaculately tempered dal often seems much more satisfying than heavy meat dishes. 
Bengal too boasts a variety of dal dishes. Masur, moong, kancha moong, channa, kabuli channa, urad, arhar, matar — you name it and there are multiple ways of …

Ramzan in Old Delhi: Gosht, Kheer and Khushi

Last Sunday I went for an Iftar food walk in the bylanes of Old Delhi. I had been meaning to do this ever since I moved to the capital three years ago. I had heard how Old Delhi was the place to be at when the faithful break their fast in the shadow of the imposing Jama Masjid during the holy month of Ramzan. The place is famous for its food anyway — there are  hole-in-the-wall eateries that make the most amazing kormas, niharis and kebabs, and the most gorgeous sweets and savouries. But Iftar promised to deliver Old Delhi and its stunning tastes in particularly splendorous ways. And so off I went to explore them.
My guide was Ramit Mitra, who runs the excellent Delhi By Foot heritage and food walk tours. Having interacted with Ramit before, I knew he was a connoisseur of good food. I knew he would guide us to some hidden gems (well, at any rate, hidden from Delhi newbies like me.) I had already done Puraani Dilli staples like Paranthewale Gali (overrated) or Hazarilal Jain Khurchan Wa…