March 03, 2021


This is a horrible photo of me but Anita looks great.
This is Anita from Rajasthan who learned how to sew fringes from Kerala temple umbrellas on our parasols. She viewed the task as an exercise in how much silver fringing she could put on a parasol, you can tell ones she worked with because they have more silver fringing than any of the others to an excessive level. Her favourite parasols are the pink ones.


The best present she’s ever been given was a pair of puppets. The thing she most enjoys eating is Dal Baati, a Rajasthan delicacy of lentil curry, fried spiced bread balls with spiced butter and something sweet on top. It’s a glorious rich mix of sweet, savoury and spice. She’s a lady of good taste, how can anything involving sugar and butter taste bad?

For your very own Indian experience you could make Dal Baati and eat it under a pink parasol, or order a takeaway.
If you are feeling culinarily creative then here is a recipe for Dal Baati which I faithfully copied off google and summarized because it was very long and involved.

To serve 
(and give you an idea of where this recipe is headed)
Put two baatis in a bowl. Pour melted butter on top. Pour dal over that. Sprinkle with some chopped raw onion and a squeeze of lemon. Sprinkle the sweet part on top.


The Dal Bit
Get some dried pulses and soak them in water for a few hours then cook them: pigeon peas, chickpeas, black lentils, mung beans.
(or buy cans of cooked ones…)
Rootle in your cupboards for all the spices you can find.
Get a pan and heat some oil. Fry cumin and fennel seeds, mashed green chilli, red chilli and asafetida until the seeds crackle.

Then add garlic paste and finely chopped onions. Push them about a bit and open a can of chopped tomatoes.
Chuck in the chopped tomatoes with coriander power, turmeric, chilli power and garam masala. Give it all a stir.
Bung in those cooked pulses with some of the cooking water and salt. Shuggle it around a bit over the heat.
(or dial Deliveroo…)


The Baati Bit
Get some wheat powder (I think this may loosely translate as ‘flour’), semolina, fennel seeds, carom seeds. Plop them in a bowl. Dollop a bit of yoghurt in there and melted ghee so that you can mix it all together into balls.

Boil some water and cook the bread balls in it for the first half of Coronation Street. Then drain them and let them cool.
Heat a couple of inches of oil and deep fry your bread balls. Put them on some kitchen roll afterwards to drain off the fat and make them *fat free*



The Sweet Bit or Churma
This sounds like a total faff on google. I’d improvise by putting a yum-yum and some almonds in a nutribullet and sprinkling it on top of your Dal.


This was not made by me.