Today, I am taking you on a journey to Chattisgarh, a state located in Central East India. Like many other Indian states, it was established along linquistic lines. It was formed in 2000 out of 16 Chattisgarhi speaking districts of Madhya Pradesh. It is a landlocked state, bordered on all sides by 6 other states.
Chattisgarh is one of the poorest states of India, with only Bihar and Odisha having lower poverty rates. It also has life expectancy rates, education index rates and standard of living levels well below the national average. Although located in Central India, Chattisgarh has many similarities with the Northeast Seven Sisters, including a large tribal population.
However, it is rich in culture. Chattisgarh tribes are especially known for dance. Many of their traditional dances depict stories from Hindu religious texts, the Ramayan and Mahabharata, as well as other religious themes. Here is one example.
Now let’s take a small glimpse into their cuisine.
- 1 cup red lentils/ masoor dal
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
- 6 curry leaves
- 2 dried red chiles
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 2 teaspoon chickpea flour/besan
- salt, to taste
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add lentils. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
In a wok or large skillet, heat oil.
Add mustard seed, curry leaves and chiles. After they stop sizzling and popping, add onion. Saute until softened. Add cooked lentils, turmeric, salt and coriander. Stir to combine.
In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt and the besan. Add this to the lentils and simmer for 5 minutes.
This is a really creamy and luscious dal.
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