I love cooking! Its not something I would have said 2 years ago, but now, I’ve found it to give me a deep sense of peace. Of seeing my efforts transform into nutrition, and good health for my body and my family. Mostly, its the sense of being present. Of being in the kitchen at the right time, with no agenda other than to prepare food. There is no sense of urgency, and there is no goal (other than to hope that the food is edible 😉 ). At that moment, all I’m doing is being..in its true sense. Nothing else matters.
Like any other art, to truly enjoy something, you have to first practice, develop ease in the art to actually create your own traditions and routines. Cooking to me used to feel awkward. And then I realized one of the reasons for that-even before I started cooking, I wanted it to be perfect and taste amazing..I was judging it even before I began! and that takes all enjoyment out of something. I then started to cook, without expecting anything. I was okay if the lentil soup didn’t taste exactly the way it was ‘supposed’ to. It helped that my hubby loves any food I make-irrespective of its taste. I was generally my own worst critic. and then I dropped the critic bone!
I also found simple recipes that allowed me to simply experience flavors without complications. to simply appreciate the scent of cumin, the taste of garlic. My favorite dish that I enjoy making is moong dal using moong beans. Recipe follows. Most of all, I love it that my loved ones can enjoy something that was made by me for them. A gift.
Recipe for Moong daal:
1 cup moong daal washed and drained
4 cups of water
1 tsp turmeric
Combine these four ingredients and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer covered till the daal is soft. Ladle half cup of the daal into a bowl, mash into a puree, and return back to the pan, and bring to desired consistency.
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 green chilli finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger minced
2 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon ghee or oil
For tadka, heat the ghee or oil. Add cumin seeds, let them brown for about a minute. Then add the ginger, garlic and green chillis and saute till the raw taste of garlic is gone-about a minute. Add this tadka to the prepared daal, and mix in the cilantro and lemon juice. Your daal is ready to serve!!
With love, S.