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Dal à la Obama


“I wanna try the dal Obama makes,” said my 7-year-old daughter yesterday, when she heard about the presidential candidate’s dal making prowess and “desi” bona fides.

The San Fransciso Chronicle reported Sunday that while addressing a group of largely Indian and Pakistani supporters at a Frisco fundraiser, Obama declared, “Not only do I think I’m a desi, but I am a desi.”

The desi (one from our country, in Hindi) then went on to talk about his expertise in cooking dal (lentils), while admitting to not being an expert at making naan, the Indian bread.

“Somebody else made the naan.” he said, during the fundraiser that netted a record $7.8 million.

In India, where many families have been vegetarian for generations, dal- a good source of iron, folate and protein- figures prominently in most meals.

So when Obama talked about his affinity for dal, it obviously struck a chord with desis of all generations.

I am truly impressed that not only is The One down with our lingo and cuisine, but also has enough sense on where to draw the line. If he had said he was an expert naan maker, he would have been booed out of the auditorium. No desi worth his salt makes naan at home. It would be like making bagels at home.

Excuse me while I serve my family some arugula with my dal fry.

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 21st, 2008 at 11:23 am by Swapna Venugopal. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: cooking, India, vegetarian