Sense -comfort…This is a tribute to the 2 most important women in my life my mother Bina Gandhi and my mother in law Kanak Kothari

So today its going to be about comfort food and the memory attached with it.

For all of you it could be anything… for some probably wafers, for some it would be a sandwich or even popcorn for that matter..For me it was and will always be my mom’s cooking and particularly her Dal..

I am a Gujarati and for us food is the most important thing…be it any situation, any occasion or anytime. All we can talk about is food and from where and when our next meal is coming.

We will finish a meal and the moment we get up from the table our next topic of discussion would be what to have for our next meal. What can I say… We love food and it brings us a lot of joy.

We are the most comfortable eating Gujarati food and at least one meal has to be Toor dal & rice with chaas (buttermilk)

For me comfort food and its feeling would come when I used to eat my mother’s toor dal.

My mother Bina Gandhi used to be a brilliant cook and I really miss her food. ( she passed away 2 years back)

I still remember walking into the kitchen and smelling the aroma to the dal cooking. It used to do wonders to my appetite. My mother used to cook food with a lot of love and the food would reflect her mood.

She used to tell me that the way to everyone’s heart is through food and that food is instrumental is starting conversations that lead to friendship and finally built a relationship that last for a life time.

One wonders how food could do so much ? Built a relationship…? Really!!!

But on reflection its true we all make the most important decisions of our lives over coffee, tea, lunch, brunch or dinner and our food decides the outcome.

I never got a chance to learn making the dal from her cause she just made us eat with love and used to say that “once you go to your sasural ( in laws house) you will have to do all this anyways so right now just enjoy.”

But another person that was instrumental in making me learn to make that perfect Toor dal was… My mother-in-law.- Kanak Kothari

Now she used to say “Pinky( that’s my pet name ) if your flavors are as loud as your voice than your cooking will be wonderful”

She taught me the hard way …basically just threw me under the bus and said now show me what you’ve got. It worked I made sure that I made the best dal possible.

My mother and her are the reason for me to be this passionate about cooking. Our toordal is sweet like us 🙂 and when eaten with rice, ghee, papad, pickle and chaas it is pure heaven. I am sure that most of you reading this already know how to make this dal but still…
Lets try and recreate that magic today by cooking that very dal.
Ingredients :

Toor dal – about one bowl (this comes in 2 variety one that it oily and the other that’s dry I recommend the oily one if not than the other will do)

  • ghee- 2 table spoon
  • jaggery (gaud)- one big piece (here if you don’t have jaggery than we can use sugar)
  • Red chilli powder- 1 tea spoon ( one can use a bit more depending on how spicy you want it)
  • dhaniya powder- 1 table spoon
  • Haldi- a pinch
  • Mustard seeds (ria)- 1 table spoon
  • meethi seeds- 1 tea spoon
  • peanuts- about 20 gms
  • Coriander Leaves
  • green chillis – 3
  • few curry leaves
  • tomato – one finely chopped
  • Kokum – 3 pieces
  • Hing- a pinch
  • Salt to taste


Boil the dal in the pressure cooker for about 20 mins ( 3 whistle). Take a 20 cm casserole add some water to eat put it to boil. Add the dal once its cooked in the pressure cooker. Use the hand mixer to mix the water and dal well till its thick and the balance of the water and dal is right. ( make sure not to add too much water).

  • Add 1 table spoon of ghee into the dal.
  • Add all your masala ( chilli powder, haldi and dhaniya powder)
  • Add the jaggery ( this has to melt completely in the dal so keep stirring the dal)
  • Add the kokum and tomato
  • Add the peanut ( the peanut needs to get cooked while the dal is getting made)
  • Add salt as per taste

Now the tadka

Rake the vessel that we use for the tadka.

Add 1 table spoon of ghee and put it on the gas on low flame ( really low flame).

add mustard seeds. Wait for the seeds to start making the popping sound.

  • Add hing
  • Add the meethi seeds
  • Add the curry leaves
  • Add the green chilies ( sliced long)
  • Now pour the tadka into the boiling dal.

Make sure that you boil the dal on slow flame for the next 15 mins. The more you boil this dal the more flavor it will have.

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