Dahi tales, and some more… (2)

Dahi, has such a special place in our hearts, that one blog post, doesn’t really do justice to it. So here’s the sequel…

You know, by now, dahi was consumed in copious amounts in my household. By my, I meant, whichever house I was currently occupying. And like butter, it wasn’t restricted to only family. I have been known to demand dahi, in other people’s houses as well. Till I learned not all folks had such a passionate relationship with dahi as we did. Or perhaps till I learnt to grow up and be polite, and eat whatever was served on the plate. So if I have not demanded it when I was over at your place, you know I was hammered into submission at an impressionable young age.

There were a few favourite families, who would have delicious, creamy dahi every time I lunched or dined at their place. And I could have as much as we wanted. Those lunches and dinners are, needless to say, my favourite memories.

My in-laws learnt it the hard way though. I would persist in asking for dahi at every meal. You see, in mom’s house, no meal was ever complete without the final dahi-bhat. And it was a sacrilege to eat the final rice with dal or some such curry. It had to be either dahi or taak (buttermilk). Ditto in the temple or maths, where would so often go and have prasad. So, after a few such demands for dahi by the new soon, my in-laws gave in, and would keep some ready, every time I was visiting. Or the f-i-l would be dispatched to the nearest store to procure some. (That was in the initial days. Then of course, I started setting it, like I did at mom’s house)

So while the last dahi-bhat was almost a ritual, dahi also found it’s way as an accompaniment to other dishes or meals. Like with parathas, or poha and upma, or even idly-dosa. (Sometimes to take out the extra salt, that was mistakenly added twice) Or in the taak-bhakri nyahari (breakfast). Or dahi-sakhar poli. Or dahi-pohe (recipe below). Or into a fruit salad, sans milk. Or a smoothie. And into various chutneys. Or sometimes just a big bowlful, just by itself.

But no one I had met so far, ever ate dahi with chakli and chivda, like I did. Except for the Scientist. When I knew of it, yes I gave him the same Kiron Kher look (of Dostana fame) – love mixed with pride mixed with relief. I knew then he would never judge me by the bowl of dahi I ate. And so yes, you knew then you were soul mates when you ate your dahi-chakli, dahi-chivda and dahi-shev with equal gusto, in your physical bodies.

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Today I will share a couple of quick recipes, featuring dahi.

  1. Take a bowl of dahi, and quickly whip it smooth. Add honey (or some sweetner of your choice) to taste. Add chopped seasonal fruits (bananas, apples, chickoos, mangoes, peaches, strawberries, and the like). Add a handful of roasted nuts (almonds, cashews, pecans, brazil nuts). You can also add some vanilla extract or other seasoning (like cardamom). Chill, or enjoy straightaway.
  2.  Soak the thick poha (like you would normally for kanda-batata poha). Whip a bowl of dahi, and add salt to taste. Make a tempering with coconut or peanut oil (or even ghee), mustard, cumin, hing, kadi patta. You can added grated ginger, if you like. Pour the tempering over the dahi, add the soaked poha. Garnish with coriander and serve. Makes for a very healthy and yummy summer breakfast option.

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