Ranjan’s search for a simple and delicious recipe ended when he learnt this yummy dish of Yam and Lentils by Bani Sarmah from Somashis Gupta. Coincidently, last week, we shared a recipe on Yam by Shalini Kala. Perhaps, this is what we call an irony
The heat in Delhi is unbearable. I read this in the newspaper. But frankly, seating in Darjeeling the wildest nightmare of calcification I can think of is at maximum 20 degree. So with such a perspective, trying to assume 40 degree is beyond sanity. Hence I preferred to concentrate on some freshly brewed Makaibari instead.
But as I took the first sip, my phone started ringing. Thank God to caller line identification, at least these days we get the leverage to accept or reject a call. Thanks to mobile phones. But that call was the one which I intended to accept as it was from Ranjan who is definitely not a chat monger.
“Hello Ranjan? What makes you call?” I assumed he had a reason to call.
“Dada I need your guidance to make a simple and delicious dinner,” he replied.
Before the story proceeds, let me tell you about Ranjan. Ranjan, a software engineer, had recently shifted to Delhi with a new job. When he relocated, I advised him to stay in a paying guest accommodation. He did that, but the modern day hosts of these guests are not examples of traditional Indian hospitality. They don’t serve food. Thus the residents become either a Swiggy-er or a Zomato-er. This actually is a perfect example of economic morality of this era.
“Why what happened to your Swiggy or Zomato?” I asked.
“I am tired of it, would like to taste some good homemade food,” he replied.
“But do you have a kitchen set up?” I enquired.
“I bought an induction oven, a pressure cooker and a kadhai today,” he replied.
“Well …let’s see, a recipe …frankly I am a bit confused …I don’t know what to suggest…okay try this amazingly delicious yet simple recipe from Sarmah aunty.”
“Sarmah aunty? You mean Bani Sarmah aunty, whose recipe you shared earlier with Dr. Oojam Rajan?” he enquired.
“Yes, you remember” I was surprised.
“Of course I do, who can forget such a great dish?” he replied.
“Okay what you need is Split Urad Dal and Yam. Also get some tomatoes and other basic things like turmeric, chili, garlic, salt, mustard oil, bay leaf, some coriander leaves and paanch phoron,” I advised.
“Dada, where do I find paanch phoron in Delhi?”
Ranjan was sad I understood.
“You can try in C R Park market, and in case you want to avoid the distance try improvising,” I advised.
“Improvise? How?” he sounded surprised.
“Simple,buy them separately. You need cumin, fenugreek, brown mustard, nigella and fennel seeds in equal proportion, mix them and your paanch phoron is ready,” I said.
“Oh,Yes!Buthow to make this dish and what is it called?” he asked.
“It is called Kat Alu aru Mati Dali in Assamese and translates to Yam and Split Urad Lentil,” I continued after my last sip, “and the way to make it is very simple. You wash and soak the lentil for an hour. Clean the Yam in warm water, pressure cook the lentils and the yam along with tomatoes, salt, turmeric till 4 whistles. Once done you need to tamper by heating the oil and once hot, add the paanch phoron, garlic and bay leaf. Cook for some more time and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.”
“Oh it is simple and quick,” he seemed happy.
“I am emailing it to you as well,” I said and sent him this…
Elephant Yam and Split Urad Lentils, for 4 Persons
Split Urad Dal – 1 small cup
Elephant Yam – 8-9 small pieces aces
Tomato – 2 medium sized
Paanch phoron – half tea spoon
Turmeric – half tea spoon
Chili – 2 nos.
Garlic – 5-6 buds
Bay Leaf – 2 nos.
Mustard Oil – As required
Salt- To taste
Chopped Coriander leaves – 1 table spoon
Wash the lentils and keep it soaked for an hour.
Wash the yam properly in warm water.
Pressure cook the lentils and the yam along with tomatoes, salt, turmeric till 4 whistles.
Heat oil in a kadhai.
Once hot add paanch phoron, garlic, bay leaf and fry for some time.
Temper the lentil with this mix and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve.
Now the Assamese version.
কাঠ আলু আৰু মাটি দাইল (৪ জনৰ বাবে)
বাকলি থকা মাটি দাইল – সৰু বাটিৰে এ বাটি
কাঠ আলু – ৮-৯ টা সৰু টুকুৰা
বিলাহী – ২ টা মজলীয়া আকাৰৰ
পাঁচ ফোৰন – আধা চাহচামুচ
হালধি গুৰি – আধা চাহচামুচ
জলকীয়া – ২ টা
নহৰু – ৫-৬ ফোটা
তেজ পাত – ২ পাত
সৰিয়হৰ তেল – প্ৰয়োজন অনুসৰি
নিমখ – সোৱাদ অনুসৰি
ডাইল খিনি ধুই পানীত এ ঘণ্টা তিয়াই থব |
কাঠআলু খিনি গৰম পানীৰে ভালদৰে ধুই লব |
তাৰ পিছত এটা প্ৰেছাৰ কুকাৰত দাইল, কাঠ আলু, বিলাহী, নিমখ, হালধি গুৰি আৰু পানী দি ৪টা হুইচেল মাৰি সিজাই লওক |
কেৰাহী এখনত সৰিয়হৰ তেল গৰম কৰক |
গৰম তেলত পাঁচফোৰন, নহৰু, তেজ পাত দি ১-২মিনিটৰ বাবে ভাজক |
তাৰ পিছত প্ৰেছাৰ কুকাৰৰ সামগ্ৰীবোৰ কেৰাহী খনত ঢালি দিয়ক |
সকলো বোৰ উতলা লৈকে ৰান্ধক, ৪-৫মিনিট |
এতিয়া ধনিয়া পাত দি পৰিৱেশন কৰক
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Apart from her interest in reading biographies of famous personalities, Bani Sarmah is also passionate in trying out traditional recipes from Assam. She loves gardening and keeps herself busy with home decor and sewing as well. Exploring her passion for cooking she has decided to share her culinary secrets with the world.