Kaalu Chutney

Kaalu literally means lentils and this is one simple recipe which reminds me of mom’s cooking. Whenever we are in need of a change from the routine menu or when we want a light meal mom prepares kaalu chutney.

We usually mix this with piping hot rice and drizzle a little sesame seed oil or ghee.I love to dunk morsels of rice mixed with chutney into a bowl of piping hot rasam. The taste is absolutely heavenly…

Usually we[mom,dad and me] sit together during meal time and talk about the happenings of the day.Dad used to talk about his day at work and mom about her students and me of course about the new things I planned for my patients-workshop.

The topics were nothing serious and we loved to have dinner in this way.No watching TV during meal time. Dad totally dislikes this idea. He always says that people don’t even know what they are eating coz they are more engrossed in what’s going on in the program than on what’s on their plates!This is true ,for many a times when I dine with my friends,I find them all glued to the TV and are lost into it and half the time they eat either too much or too little. Since we are not much interested in TV programs especially the soap’s we really don’t mind it much and always looked forward to dinner time –not only for the tit-bits we shared but also to the warm dishes mom prepared each day.

Dad usually finishes his dinner first and after he leaves the table mom and I would discuss other stuffs.. This was the best part of day.I used to share with her many things that I would normally share with friends and she too would treat me alike. We would then discuss about the typical 'lady stuffs' like where to buy dresses for an occasion or what to cook for the next day ,a little bit of harmless gossip.

On the days when mom prepares this kaalu chutney, I would sit with her chatting all the while ,even after dinner is complete and place dollop after dollop of this kaalu chutney on my plate and savor it as such. By the time dad comes around to see what we are up to the bowl of kaalu chutney is long over and much to mom’s delight there are no left-overs. So you can guess how much I love this dish.

Nowadays,when I chat with mom[on the net,not at the table] the conversation starts with ‘who cooked what today’ and a few days back mom mentioned that she prepared kaalu chutney and saaru. Even before she finished the remaining menu I was drooling and I realized I hadn’t prepared it at all.

So got the recipe from her and prepared it pronto.It did taste good but I found something amiss. I am sure it is her touch that was missing.

Anyways,the preparation is very simple,as I said before and it should be ground thick and a little coarse .

You need:

Toor dhal-1/2 a cup
Red chilllies – 5[adjust to taste]
Asafoetida powder-a pinch
Coconut-2 tablespoons ,grated
Tamarind- a small bit
Salt to taste
Oil- 1 teaspoon

1. Heat oil in a pan and put in asafetida,toor dhal and red chillies and fry on medium flame till the dhal is brown in color.Take care not to char the dhal.
2. Switch off the flame and add the coconut and tamarind piece.
3. Stir to mix and cool.
4. Grind using a little water to a thick and a little coarse paste
5. Add salt and mix well

Serve with warm steamed rice. Drizzle with a little sesame oil / ghee for extra flavor….

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