On the phone I tell her that I will not be hungry. “It’ll be late and I think we’ll just relax and then go to bed!” She fusses and persists as she always does - I let her. I know she needs to do this. She has been planning for weeks already, asking us every time we talked on the phone what should she cook, anything particular we like for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It usually takes up several minutes of our conversation, both of us talking with great passion, before we get to other topics, seemingly inconsequential in comparison.
Arriving back in Dubai always feels great. I enter my parents spacious apartment and always my first steps are towards the large set of ceiling-to-floor windows in the living room. The view always dazzles me - looking out towards Dubai Marina the skyscrapers glitter in the evening sky. On the other side I see the faint outline of the Burj Khalifa towering into the sky above the new skyline of downtown Dubai while to my right the Burj Al Arab glows like a sail in the wind lighting the sky in different colors. It leaves me in awe. I remember back in the early 90s when there was nothing but a dessert in this area. Dubai has grown exponentially over the past decade and while I do not always concede with the methods used, I still look on bewildered.
After the suitcases have been unpacked and presents exchanged, gossip shared I walk into the kitchen. There on the countertop I see a bowl covered with a plate, next to it a small aluminium foil package. I uncover the bowl and smile. She knows me well - but then she is my mother. With all the talk about the opulent dishes, it is the simple contents of the bowl that makes me feel like I am home again.
We North Indians love our dals but I believe it is the combination of three different types of legumes that makes the dal fry a little more special. The spices warm from the inside out and sooth all the right spots. While the ingredient list looks long, do not let it intimidate you. The spices and legumes are readily available in many grocery stores and/or Asian/Indian store. The beauty of this dish is that you can be creative and really use any type of lentils and legumes that you might have in your pantry. Perfect for a chilly blustery Autumn day.
This is the soothing kind of meal I love coming home to after a long journey or a long not so good day at work. Of course, when mum makes it, it is just a little better – isn’t it always? My dal fry is pretty close to mum’s – it has just the right heat, the tart sweetness from the tomatoes and the spices provide a fantastic melange of comforting flavors.
Glad to be back home in Weimar after the several weeks of traveling. My schedule has eased up just completing a few small projects and post-processing tasks for the next few weeks. I am really looking forward to getting back into the kitchen and cooking … for me and my blog. I’ve neglected this space for quite some time. Thank you so much for your patience. In my upcoming posts I’ll show you around my Dubai workshop and take you on a virtual trip to Thailand. Hope you stay tuned.
More Punjabi favorites from WFLH:
|Mutter Paneer – Indian Cheese with Peas in a Creamy Tomato Sauce||Chickpeas with Spinach – Channa Palak||Indian Chicken Curry|
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