Last year this time I was on unfamiliar soils. Trying my best ... well not exactly my best but try I did ... to settle in. More than the new people, the climate got me.
I just could not get over the crisp, cool and wonderfully pleasant weather I had left behind.
People soothed me ... I'll get used to it ... they said.
I tried to believe them.
But my heart did not. Believe, I mean. Did not even try to.
And it was not helping me at all.
After coming back, every day has thumbed it's nose to me ... proving me right and making me realise all over again what I had missed.
Not that I am complaining. With this wonderful weather I can take 10 thumbs, or noses, on, happily.
One thing that I missed here the whole year through was the rains .... except in the rainy season.
It never rained to surprise you.
And how I wished for a December or January rain ... the light drizzle of this little hilly city, that will catch me with surprise and make us shiver with the intensified cold.
Nah ... never got one.
The last two weeks, it has rained intermittently.
On and off.
Just when we set off for the long drive promised by B on our anniversary day ... it rained.
Clean and sprightly droplets, happy and sparkling in the late afternoon sun.
We had just stepped out of the restaurant after lunch and were heading towards the expressway.
I was savouring every moment and sight ... given that I was actually being able to sit in the car and go for a drive was making me doubly thankful.
And the rain was a bonus.
And like a good bonus, it lasted till we had our fill. And then the late evening sun burst out of the clouds, gave us a picturesque goodbye and went to rest behind the Khandala hills.
And still left some vibrant colours spread across the sky till darkness took over.
It rained last night ... again. The blissful sound of pouring made us switch off the telly and rush to the balcony.
It was raining in earnest. And the trees were covered with fog.
We stood there ... taking in the cold air and the spray on our faces.
B suggested coffee. But I suggested just standing there ... I knew it would only for sometime .. then all that will be left will be the clean air and the fog enveloping us.
We stood there for a long time.
And got up this morning to a beautiful, fog enveloped morning.
And yes, there is a very light drizzle too.
I cannot do without the sun ... but, just for today, I wish that the sun gets a day off. :-)
Paired with hot, fluffy rotis and some salad on the side, this make for a good, wholesome meal.
I had learnt the adding of fried garlic as garnish when I learnt to make this ... so had sprinkled some on the top too.
Else, just the addition of garlic while cooking is enough.
Palak / Spinach - 1 bunch
Chana dal / Bengal gram - 1 cup
Garlic - 6 to 8 cloves
Jeera / cumin seeds - ½ tsp
Haldi / turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Ginger - 1", grated
Green chillies - 2
Ghee - 2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Whole red chilli - 1
Water - around 3 cups
How to :
Pick, wash and chop the palak.
Wash and soak the chana dal for around 20 mins.
Slice the garlic into roundels.
Cook the chana dal in a pressure cooker with the grated ginger + green chillies + salt + haldi powder, for 2 whistles on low heat.
Heat 1 tsp ghee in a small pan.
Add the garlic slices and stir fry till brown.
Add the whole red chilli and remove from heat.
In the same ghee ( add some more if needed ), add jeera and the chopped palak.
Add red chiili powder and a little salt.
Fry for a while, till the palak releases water.
When slightly dryish, add the boiled dal and give a good stir.
Add water and salt, if necessary.
Add the roasted jeera powder and bring to a boil.
Lower heat and simmer for a while, covered.
Serve the dal steaming hot with the fried garlic and chilli sprinkled on top.
Goes great with rotis as well as rice.
A perfect dish for a fog enveloped winter evening.