Archive for March 11, 2007

Good Things Come To Those Who Wait ~ Indira’s Amma Mudda

Once upon a time, I perused the internet for “authentic dal recipes” and came across a recipe on a website called Mahanandi. Eagerly, I read that recipe, then another and another. I found links, and more links, to other great websites devoted to authentic Indian food. I spent hours gazing and absorbing and dreaming of all the wonderful dishes I could try.

Fortunately, I knew just where to shop. Soon I found myself carting home bags filled with various pulses, grains, fresh vegetables and and intriguing spices.
I bought a pressue cooker, dove in and made my first attempt. It was that
toor dal with methi, and oh, how I savored the aroma, the tastes — the whole experience of that delicious day.

It’s difficult to describe the feeling it gave me, and it may sound strange. It was as though I had found something I’d been missing for a long time.
I felt a sense of contentment and completion — like the comfortable joy that envelops you when you are finally reunited with someone dear to your heart,
from whom you’ve long been separated.

It was like coming home.

All that from a simple pot of dal. I told you it sounds strange 🙂

Needless to say, I was hooked, and what a delightful journey it is!

Not long after I made the first dal, Indira posted this photo,
used here by her kind permission.

Indira’s green mango dal mudda on sabudana papad
photo copyright I. Singari — wouldn’t you just love a bite!

I think this is one of the most beautiful examples of food photography I have ever seen. From the moment I laid eyes on it, I wanted to recreate that little ball of dal and rice. Correct that — I didn’t just want it — I yearned for it! Being somewhat obsessive when it comes to insisting on authenticity, I got stuck on that precise combination; it had to be mango dal, it had to be a sabudana papad, and I wasn’t going to make it till I could have it exactly as I saw it in the photo.

Alas, I had no hopes of finding green mangoes, so the beautiful mudda on the crispy light papad reluctantly retreated to the recesses of my mind — gone but not forgotten.

Months passed. I learned alot. Eventually I found and learned (thanks to patient instructions from Indira, see comment section here to read them) to fry the sago papads. Eventually I came across that green mango in brine, the closest thing to an Indian green mango I’d seen. And then, last Wednesday, I sat down to peruse the blogs. Lo and behold, dear Indira had posted step-by-step instructions for making mudda! Back from the recesses the memory came marching.
I was so excited! It took nearly a year, but armed now with my green mango, my papads, the proper dal recipe and instructions, I finally got to have my mudda, and eat it too 😉

rice and dal with pickled green mango ~ amma mudda
at long last, my own amma mudda ~ rice, ghee, and dal with pickled green mango
thank you, Indira!!

amma mudda
amma mudda in springtime sunshine ~ methi growing in the background

And *that* is the special way you can serve dal with green mango 🙂

This post is a big thanks to you, Indira; your unfailing kindness and generosity
are most gratefully appreciated!


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