Earlier this week the news was all about Priyanka Chopra’s father passing away. Usually when such things happen to celebrities it hardly affects me, they’re also human after all. But when I saw an image of a completely crushed Priyanka in the news, it was as though someone punched me in the stomach. At that point I didn’t see an actress, a model or a beauty queen; all I saw was a girl who was utterly devastated that her first and real hero was no more. That was an emotion I could identify with. There was a lump in my throat and I had to blink back tears. After all, it wasn’t so long ago that I was in her place.
Whoever tells you that time will make the pain go away isn’t telling you the truth. Maybe time helps to heal the wound but the pain isn’t a pain any more – instead it becomes a void, some kind of a vacuum that’s deep within you. But, on the brighter side there’s also a sense of assurance – you will know that you’re never alone. And I say this out of experience of the last one-and-a-half years, every time I’ve felt overwhelmed or confused the answer appears like magic and that’s when I know that even if my dad isn’t around physically he’s still making sure his little girl is taken care of.
My father was a total foodie and yes, I’ve got his genes, something I’m terribly proud of. So for Father’s Day tomorrow, I decided to make one of my dad’s favourite dishes and I know one thing for sure, wherever he is he’s sure to be drooling! This Baby corn & masoor amti (a whole masoor and baby corn preparation that’s tangy and spicy) is my grandmom’s invention and this is one of the things my dad would ask her to make every time she visited us or vice versa. It is a really simple dish but the addition of baby corn adds a touch of exotic to it. We usually have this with rice and a simple salad but I’ve found that it goes really well with rotis too.
Baby corn & masoor amti
1/2 cup of whole masoor, cleaned and soaked for about 3-4 hours
4-5 baby corn, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tsp (approx) of amti powder, you can also use Goda masala if you don’t have this
Juice of a marble-sized ball of tamarind
1/4 tsp of turmeric powder (haldi)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
1 tsp of oil
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves to garnish
Drain the water from the masoor, add about 2 cups of water to it and steam it in the pressure cooker for 2 whistles until it is soft and done. Steam or boil the baby corn separately and keep it ready.
When the masoor is done, beat it vigourously for a while till it attains a thick, soup-like consistency and simmer on a low flame. Add little salt, baby corn, haldi and the tamarind water to this.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan and fry the onions until a light golden brown. Add the Amti powder to this and fry until it releases the aroma, be careful not to burn it. Now add the chopped tomatoes to this and fry a little more. When it has all come together like a thickish paste, turn off the flame and add this to the simmering masoor. Boil for another minute or two and turn off the flame. Check the seasoning. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot. Since this is one special dish I drizzled 1/2 tsp of ghee over this just before serving.
* You don’t have to use masoor, toor dal is another option, but I go with this one because it’s the one I’ve grown up eating.
* Instead of baby corn you can also use potatoes, brinjals also taste delicious in this dish but you will have to fry or saute them a little before adding it to the lentils.
* Some people also add a pinch of jaggery to the dish, I’ve tried that version but I prefer to stick to this one as I don’t have much of a sweet tooth.