Banana Dhal. “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll”

by hillaryshort

The pumpkin enchiladas will be saved for another day. After reading the ingredients, this wasn’t a dish to be eaten by one person. Making enchiladas with mashed butternut squash, with a mole sauce is an experience that needs to be shared with another. I picked another recipe from Simon Rimmer’s book – Banana Dhal.

Dhal has always provided personal comfort. As a child indian food was a staple in our home, at least once a week. If not provided by Mother, there was always the local take-out. As an adult I crave a curry at least once a week. It provides a solace from feelings of isolation, a sense of connection to my roots explodes in my brain when the first curried morsel arrives in my belly. Rimmer’s dhal dish took 1/2 an hour, I boiled white rice and made a green salad to go with. After having added the ingredients to the plate, the sliced bananas and chopped cilantro were add and mixed in to the dhal. His recipe was perfect and the addition of banana and cilantro really added a perfect complement to the dish. How clever. The most important aspect of vegetarian cooking is what foods taste best together. That’s why vegan and vegetarian dishes are so much more interesting and tasty than meat dishes.

As I ate the Dhal, those childhood feelings returned. My father and I would always go to pick up the takeaway. Of course there was the obligatory stop in the pub for a pint on the way. This was my personal time with my Dad. Standing at the bar with our pints, Dad would test my knowledge. In the pub this would be linked to alcohol. Did I know where Gales Ales was brewed? Why was whisky good for you? I loved our general knowledge outings prior to a good curry feast.

As an adult, dhal represents a meal I prepare when I am short of money. If I am out of work or saving up for a holiday, dhal becomes my staple diet. Just for today I don’t have those worries. The late 70s and early 80s proved to be the building blocks towards my spiral into alcoholism and need to eat dhal on a regular basis. Which brings me to the film I watched last night.

“Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll” portrayed Ian Dury as a self-centered, immature, angry alcoholic, who surrounded himself with people who allowed him to self destruct. It was disturbing because I saw my own self destructive behavior in him. The film was well written and directed because of the idea of flashbacks he would have in his dreams. The main focus was his polio. He used his handicap as an excuse for bad behavior. After viewing the film I looked him up on Wikepedia, there was more to the talent than was portrayed in the film. Prior to his success as a musician he had been an art teacher and returned to his art after his music career dwindled. I tried to find a painting of his to post. I am glad that I survived the 70s and 80s and know there is a better world out there for me to be a part of.

I promised myself that I wouldn’t photograph food and put it in my blogspot, but there it is on day 2. I hate unprofessional food photos. I promise you there will be few published

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