Issue 9 Food for Thought:
Food, Embodiment, and Knowledge

Homepage Intro Content

Note From The Editors

The paradox of studying food is that scholars necessarily rely on the very instruments of discourse that reify a hierarchy of the senses designed to render food unworthy of serious thought: Images and texts appeal to the “higher” sense of sight; they “figure the material as intellectual, imaginative, symbolic, aesthetic,” Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson claims (2004, 17). Reason cannot be found in the “lower” senses while eating reminds us too much of our body’s needs. But Krishnendu Ray reminds us that “much of the sociology of the body continues to be devoted to theoretical argumentation focussed on gender, sexuality, and disease, belying the sense that all social action {…} is always embodied” (2016, 26).

Read more in the Note From the Editors

Today’s Special

Moong Daal image

Moong Daal


My dad used to call moong daal a poor man’s feast.

A study in contrast applies perfectly to this famous dessert. According to him, it was the most abundant produce in the state of Haryana in Northern India while he was growing up, and hence the cheapest. And yet, it is used to make the most coveted sweet of that region. The recipe is simplicity personified, and yet so hard to master! I could never understand why my mom only made it on birthdays and Diwali, seeing that it only used 3 basic ingredients. Now, I do. This has got to be the most tedious, time consuming and fattening dessert ever! Don’t get me wrong – I still love eating it. It’s just that making it is so … tedious.

So, I learnt from my mom and only make it for Diwali (not even birthdays are that important now!) However, all said, it is still worth the effort. This dish is so rich that it hides small imperfections very well, so you can’t really go wrong with it. Even if you don’t do it exactly right, it will still turn out delicious! Unlike my mom, I make a small(er) batch of Moong Daal Halwa which saves me quite a bit of time and effort. Larger quantities of the daal take that much longer to roast.

Remember that when you decide to make your Moong Daal Halwa. If you can do a larger quantity, then the good news is that this keeps very well in the fridge or freezer. Here is how I make this yummy dessert:

Yellow moong daal – 1cup
Ghee/ clarified butter – 1cup
Sugar – 1 1/2 cup
Besan/Gram Flour – 2 tbsp
Water – 3-4 cups
Saffron – 8-10 strands soaked in 1 tbsp cold milk (optional)
Raisins, almonds and cashews to garnish

Soak moong dal in 3-times the amount of water overnight (You dont have to be very accurate here, just eye ball it). Drain and remove as much water as you can, then coarsely grind the daal. You don’t want to have a very runny mixture, so try to use as little water as possible. In a heavy bottomed kadai, heat the ghee till you see bubbles rising.

Add two tbsp besan (chickpea flour), and brown it. Now add the daal while stirring continuously. Initially the mixture sticks to the bottom of the pan, so make sure you force it off while stirring. Roast this mix (on medium heat) till the daal changes color and becomes deep brown. At this point, it will also separate from ghee, so you will know. Now add the water, saffon-milk and sugar’ again stirring till you attain the desired consistency. Garnish with raisins and nuts and serve!

Consumption habits for moong bean foods were assessed by the free word association method and interview techniques. Four groups of closely related products and perceived quality were revealed. The largest group comprised sweets and snacks, which were associated with unhealthiness, expensiveness and sensory liking. Another group consisted of ‘split daals’ associated with convenience and healthiness. It appeared that under different circumstances food choices vary and are influenced more by socioeconomic restrictions then by consumer perception and preferences. Scenario analysis based on consumer perception, preferences, practices and nutritional value of products revealed daals as the most promising food for innovation. As a result, PEC LTD. will be procuring 40000 tonne of split daal for 2013-14 & 2014-15 under Dal Roti Scheme of the Haryana Government. The Approximate monthly requirement of all processed pulses is around 3,500 Mts.

The procurement is from registered suppliers through e-procurement process at NCDEX spot exchange Ltd. The rates offered for the purchase center includes all Govt. duties and taxes (exclusive VAT), expenses like transportation, transits loss, insurance, packing articles (PP bags etc.) and packing charges etc. to deliver the goods on F.O.R. basis at various destinations of Confed in the State of Haryana as may be prescribed by PEC. Currently the ‘Khaap Panchayats’ have lauded this effort, as it will provide a boost to the flailing local economy. Ironically it is these very ‘khaaps’ that have been instrumental in passing dictates, which often leads to subjugation of women and honor killings.

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