About being authentic.

It is very natural to imitate. That instinct to be wanting to be “like” someone else. Someone who is better than us. We all do that. Try to be like someone else. Mostly because, when we are surrounded by people who are doing better than us, we often feel low and inadequate and the pressure builds to be good and achieve success “like” others.

This is so true especially in the world of blogging. I will tell you my story.

I started a blog because I wanted to have a blog. Not because others have their own blogs.

But over the period of time, when I started browsing hundreds of others’ blogs and noticing how great they were, be it their writing , be it their photographs or just their post titles, I felt awful. I felt  ” I am pathetic”. This feeling is strong, especially when your readership is so low and when the clicks on your blog is almost close to zero.

 

But then something happened. Something dawned on me. And it happened TODAY.

In today’s morning show, the popular blogger of Smitten Kitchen was featured on TV. She is the famous food blogger with her famous site, I realized. I was further intrigued when the TV segment featured her famous kitchen on TV. Her kitchen is famous, famous for being teeny tiny!!! Her kitchen looked like a warm, cozy place where you can find solace by making your favorite comfort foods and just enjoy them even if you are alone!

My curiosity rose and  in the afternoon I visited her site. This was the 10th time I was visiting her site. 9 times before the TV feature!

And what I read there caught my attention. She writes, “food has to be accessible”. And “she does not believe in fancy ingredients like an expensive bottle of pink Himalayan salt”.

I realized there was a song beneath these lines. A song of authenticity. A song of originality. A song of what she believes in. And that is what differentiates her and makes her unique. So unique to be featured on the TV show!

I took a deep breathe, refreshed my thoughts and came to a conclusion. Imitating, trying to BE Like someone else due to mere pressure to succeed, will not take me anywhere.

There is great strength in being original, being authentic, being yourself. Drawing inspiration from others is one thing, but completely trying to live other peoples lives while losing complete focus on yours is nothing short of ridiculous.

SO here I am. The new me. Trying to be myself again. In this humble blog of mine. Renewing and reflecting in what I believe in related to food and life. Mainly because when food and taste  is such a personal thing, it does not make any sense to imitate others.

Creamy Garlicky Dal

No dearies. There is no cream or milk involved in this recipe. And Yes, it does turn out to be creamy in texture and consistency due to the mashing involved.

A very simple, succulent dal to go with warm Basmati rice. I made this dal for our dear friends Yen and Cheewee. They were visiting us after a very long time. I remembered not to make anything too spicy or rough to the palate. They love Indian food, but their only complain was that, when they eat at restaurants, the dishes are overboard with masalas and pungent flavors which they are not comfortable with.

I was happy, that night, the Dal was a big hit and so was the light cumin flavored Basmati rice.

So I wanted to share this winner with you all too.

What we need:

1 cup of toor dal

1 cup yellow moong dal

2 green chillies

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp turmeric

6 garlic cloves minced

1 tsp roasted coriander powder

1 tsp roasted cumin powder

1 tsp red chilli powder

2 red chillis

Finely chopped cilantro

lemon juice

2 tbsp oil

1 pinch asafoetida

Method:

1. Wash and soak the two dals in sufficient water for about an hour

2. In a pressure cooker add the dals, tsp of cumin, 2 green chillis and turmeric. you can use the same soaked water for cooking ( or fresh water too).Make sure the quantity of water is right for pressure cooking.

3. Pressure cook the dal until 3 whistles. Once done, allow the cooker to cool.

4. Once cooled, transfer the dal into a wide pot. With a masher, mash the dal a couple of times, until it reaches the creamy consistency. The green chillis will be soft and mashes easily.

5. Add 2 cups of water to the dal and on a medium flame bring the dal to a boil. Add salt

6.While the dal is boiling get the tempering ready.

Tempering:

In a small  non stick pan, heat 2 tbsp of oil. Once oil is hot, add asafoetida, red chillies and minced garlic. fry for a minute. next quickly add the cumin powder, coriander powder and chilli powder. fry for less than a minute. Watch out, lest it might burn.

Now add the whole mixture to the boiling dal. Mix well. Continue boiling for another 2 minutes. Add water if the dal starts getting too thick in the process.

turn off heat. Squeeze a wedge of lemon juice and garnish with cilantro(coriander)

Serve with rice.

p.s: I am a little ashamed of the wilted cilantro during the process of photo shoot 🙂