I find clicking dals and gravies very difficult. So, while I do make dals almost everyday, I have diligently avoided trying to click a picture. Next time, I promise myself and get on with the day.
But this time, I decided to finally make a post of it. For two reasons.
One, it is not every day that I make tok er daal. So if I have made it, and have taken pains to click a few photographs too ... why not?
Two and the more important reason is ... who cares?
I mean who cares if a photograph is beautiful or not.
Except me, of course.
I mean, the blog is my own. And every photograph is like my own baby. I'll love it no matter what.
Every single photograph posted here has a history. And at least 6 or 7 siblings.
I have to choose one from all of them ... agonising over every one of them ... rejecting them kills me every time. And finally pick one. Ignoring the rest that I have put equal amount of time and sentiments in.
So that the reader feels good. Likes what s/he sees here. Does not feel put off by a photo which represents the food I have cooked in my kitchen and am serving here. I try to focus on close shots so that the reader gets to see the actual texture of the dish. And if possible, some of the ingredients too.
Like a few kalonji+mustard seeds+,methi etc. if seen together will give an idea that paanch phoron has been used. Or say, a fine paste has been used or a coarse one.
If the gravy should be watery thin or dense and thick.
And so on.
Worse, if the person is a new food blogger.
All they are in search of, these days, is a photograph. That will make their job of making a post on their blog easy.
And some good text too ... if it is a description of the dish, even better.
One click ... and all your hard work is gone.
Poof! It now bears the name and signature of another.
Even a girl getting married takes more time to change her name and address.
And who better to put the blame on than good old Google.
I have requested, ranted, raved, pleaded ... nothing has come of it.
Instead, I have often been at the receiving end.
How dare I complain?!
How dare I remind them the photograph is mine?!
How dare I say "Please write your own words, cook your own food and click your own snaps."?!
It was on Google, right?
Google is a search engine. It helps you in finding things you are searching for.
Not read a mind and find out if it is scheming to pick that photo up and use it for selfish purposes.
Believe me, if it could, it would never ever have helped you with your search.
Recently a reader, who proclaimed that she usually never leaves comments any blog but is doing so here, ... I wondered if I should have felt grateful for that ... wanted to 'share' my writings. Now, thanks to FB, a lot of English words have found new meanings and homes. When I requested her not to, she got nasty. And , among other things, declared why did I put things on my blog if I did not mean to 'share' them.
I believe I do not need to answer this.
Plagiarism is rampant all over the food blogging world. And is not restricted to food photographs alone.
People search for things, land on blogs, find lines or paragraphs that suits their purpose and simply copy them and paste them on their pages. Sometimes in the name of sharing, sometimes in the name of anonymity, sometimes under the guise of ignorance.
From childhood we have been taught never to touch things that do not belong to you, leave alone picking them up and bringing them home for personal use. So, I often wonder what kind of education have these people acquired? These people who blatantly pick up lines, recipes and photographs that are actually other people's work.
If they can run a blog, I am sure they are intelligent enough.
To know good from bad.
To know right from wrong.
The point is etiquette. Social courtsey. Good manners. Goodwill. None of these seem to exist anymore.
Rudeness is now a way of life. You want something ... you get it. Even if it does not belong to you, or you are unworthy of it. Denied, you bare your claws. And show your true side.
Integrity is now an option.
There is, of course, another side of the coin too. Not all coins are flawed.
I have always encouraged new bloggers by visiting their blogs and leaving lines ... I know how much a comment means to new bloggers. I take time to answer all their queries or mails ... even if it is midnight and I'm dead tired.
And have always got back love and sincerity in return.
When a new blogger, very enthusiastically started a blog a couple of years back, and cooked a huge number of my recipes, but used my photographs, I gently explained to her all about plagiarism. I was so happy to see that the girl took my advice positively and started on her own. Not only did she write down all the credits and links on every post but also kept in touch with me. Today she has a beautiful blog, with numerous recipes of her own .... and with some wonderful photography too.
Am proud of you M.
A little self realisation, a little quiet within .. is all that is needed.
If you keep these two words on your two sides, never ever will you falter ... be it the food blogging world.
Now to my dal ... am posting it no matter how the photographs are.
At least they are mine.
This dal goes best with plain rice. With some dry side dish like the aloo posto or some plain begun bhaja.
Paanch phoron - ½ tsp
( Mix 1 tsp kalonji seeds + 1 tsp fennel seeds + ½ radhuni/celery seeds + ½ tsp methi/fenugreek seeds + 1 tsp mustard seeds to have your paanch phoron.
Remember ... methi and radhuni should always be of lesser quantity than the others ... else you will end up with bitter tasting food.
If you don't have radhuni, no worries. Use plain jeera / cumin seeds in its place. )
Tuvar dal / Arhar dal - 1 big cup, washed
Raw mango - 5 to 6 slices ( depending on the tartness of the mango )
Whole red chillies - 2, broken
Haldi powder - ½ tsp
Salt - to taste
Sugar - a pinch ... just to balance the tartness of the mangoes
Cooking oil - 1 tsp ( I use mustard oil )
Water - 3 big cupfuls
How to :
Heat oil in a pressure cooker.
Add the paanch phoron and the red chillies.
Add the mango slices and stir for a while.
Add the dal, haldi and stir again.
Add water and then salt and sugar.
Cover and cook on low heat for 3 whistles.
Remove from heat and cool.
Remove cover and put it on heat again ... stirring till the dal has mixed well.
PS: I may have ruffled a few feathers with this post. But if you are tempted to write in rude words, I suggest you refrain. Neither will I read your comment nor will it see the light of the day.
This is my blog and I will not entertain any negativity.