Afterall its only in quiet waters that things mirror themselves undistorted.
How many times in our lives have we felt weary (not physically) about the fact that we have to keep appointments/dates, call so and so, greet, console, cheer, congratulate, finish the never ending list of to-dos, hit the gym, stay healthy, eat, cook, spend time with family and friends, go to church, play, seal deals, toil at the workplace,chill at a party.....et al.
And exactly how many times have we stopped ...shut the whole world out and be with thy ownself ?!! Its important....very important....for to be able to do all that we want to in our lives, we must take a break from all of 'it'. Trust me it works wonders. You are recharged...its theraupatic...and nothing beats this therapy. Talk to yourself....spend time with your own self, when we cannot bear to be alone, it means we do not properly value the only companion we will have from birth to death - ourselves.
And those who truly love you will help you with this. The highest task for a bond between two people: that each protects the 'solitude' of the other.
I am not trying to sermonize here, instead I am sharing with you all what I have attained in the past few days. I have been taking such "time offs"...for as long as I can remember...earlier it was more so unconciously and on hindsight I knew I was cut off from the universe when my mom used to ask me "whats wrong? has someone scolded you...or have you been hurt etc etc."; for she was worried her talkative darling was suddenly quiet.However she was instrumental in showing me the way to 'satsang'.
These breaks became more evident when I started attending satsangs (translation: the company of learned men and women) every other Saturday. I am not someone who will renounce the world to attend religious gatherings for hours...infact I am not a religious soul. This particular satsang that I attended however was different...it did not stress that I had to pray everyday, or fast, or give offerings to Gods and Goddesses; it just suggested that I take time off to watch my deeds, my actions, my words, feel proud that He has created me, revel in the joys of humanity, respect myself for I am His child, truly love myself above all....for if I did that I would love all....this isn't selfish ...but selfless love.
I cannot put into words something that is so deep that it needs to be felt rather than heard/read.
By all means use sometimes to be alone. Salute thyself; see what thy soul doth wear.
Keeping with the "simplicity" , I share with you this recipe. Its a typical Rajasthani dish, made from simple ingredients that the desert belt has to offer.
Rajasthani food was not created in a day. It evolved over the centuries of royal governance of the Rajput Maharajas for whom a lavish lifestyle and lots of good food was as important as collecting revenue from their subjects.
There is scarcity of water and fresh green veggies in the state of Rajasthan, so it is preferred to use milk, butter milk and butter in larger quantities to minimize the amount of water while cooking food.
Out of all the Rajasthani dishes, dal bati churma is perhaps the best known.
Panchmel Daal and Baati
This is a lentil curry comprising of five different pulses. Hence the name "panch" (five) "mel" (meeting) , meaning meeting of five varieties. It is highly nutritious and full of protein. Those of you who are watching your weight can binge on this without guilt...just skip the ghee/ clarified butter.
1/3 cup split bengal gram/chana dal
1/3 cup toovar/arhar dal
1/3 cup masoor dal
1 tsp urad dal/split black lentils
1 tbsp whole moong/mung dal
3 teaspoons chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder/haldi
1 tsp coriander/dhania powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
2 green chillies, slit
a pinch asafoetida/hing
2 tsp amchur/dry mango powder
2 tsp tamarind/imli pulp
3 tbsp ghee/clarified butter
salt to taste
Clean and wash the dals and add 4 cups of water. Pressure cook for 2 to 3 whistles or till the dals are cooked.
In a bowl, combine the chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala with 3 tablespoons of water and mix well. Keep aside.
Heat the ghee in a pan and add the cloves, bay leaves, cumin seeds, green chillies and asafoetida. When the cumin seeds crackle, add the prepared masala paste and saute for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the cooked dals, amchur, tamarind pulp and salt and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. Adjust the consistency of the dal before serving and if required, add some water.
Serve piping hot.
As the name suggests, baati in Hindi means a bowl, as this part of the dish resembles a bowl. For this you need thick ground wheat flour. If you’re getting freshly ground wheat flour , then you can specifically ask the person to grind it to make laddu bati ka atta.
If thick or mota atta is unavailable, you can go with the regular atta/whole wheat flour, but mix three cups of atta, with 1 cup of suji/semolina to make it thick, as that’s the consistency we need to prepare baati. Traditionally, baati is prepared on earthen ovens, with dried cow dung cakes burned as fuel.
However we will prepare it using the trusted oven/gas stove.
3 cups – atta/whole wheat flour
1 cup – suji/semolina
1 cup – ghee/clarified butter
You need to make soft dough out of the atta and suji mixed with salt, ghee and lukewarm water.
Set aside for half an hour.
Make lemon sized round balls with the dough.
Bake them in an oven on 170 degrees C (approx), till it browns and forms a crisp crust.
Now, if you so desire you can roast it on the gas stove slightly with the aid of tongs, just so that the crust becomes crispier.
Dip in clarified butter/ghee, and serve with panchmel daal and mirchi ka achaar/pickled jalapenos/chillies.