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Author Topic: EP648: A Handful of Dal  (Read 450 times)
divs
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« on: October 08, 2018, 06:49:47 PM »

http://escapepod.org/2018/10/04/escape-pod-648-a-handful-of-dal/


AUTHOR : Naru Sundar
NARRATOR : S.B. Divya
HOST: Mur Lafferty

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200g Dal
300ml Water
Ghee
Turmeric
Coriander seeds
Whole black pepper
Cumin seeds

Start with the dal. Wash it like one washes the feet of ascetics entering a temple: with love, with care. Shake loose the dirt and twigs that inevitably stow away alongside it. Perhaps this note will stow away with you onto the Yatra, a tiny mote of the past to accompany you on your grand journey.

Then, a finger of coppery ghee in the pot, and seeds of coriander fattening in the heat. Let the dal swirl into the now fragrant fat. Watch it flush as red and bright as the stones in Fatehpur Sikri that we marveled at once. Let turmeric dust it in gold, as bright as suns. Drown the dal in water quickly, before it blackens to ash—like the protesters in Chandni Chowk. Who can blame them, our people carry the sin of division under our skin, and the selection process for the Yatra was not immune.

You were chosen, Rajiv. I can only hope that when you grind pepper and cumin, you will think of your children’s children, fated one day to smell the air of a distant world. When the dal is ready, soft and lush and swollen, let everything marry. A tapestry of flavors, a gift from your ancestors to your descendants.


Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
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delliot
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2018, 08:12:40 PM »

Absolutely loved this one, and registered for the forum to say so. It tells so much story with so few words. I legitimately went "YES!" out loud when the recipe started turning around.
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CryptoMe
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« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2018, 10:47:06 AM »

I love dal. I love cooking. I did not love this story. I guess it just didn't work for me. I need more exposition to figure out what is going on. Too little here. I got that there was some kind of generational migration ship, but that's about it....
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Kittenpox
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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2018, 07:07:43 PM »

I love dal. I love cooking. I did not love this story. I guess it just didn't work for me. I need more exposition to figure out what is going on. Too little here. I got that there was some kind of generational migration ship, but that's about it....
Whereas I've never had dal, have no idea what it is, and once managed to burn hardboiled eggs. (I am not proud of this.)

I liked the way the recipe changed, to adjust for measuring tools and available ingredients. The bit about written messages from ancestors reminded me a little of EP640 'Paradise Regained'. I think knowing the exact details of what happened in the background of the story isn't entirely necessary - though I'll admit I was curious about the mechanics of the gravity disaster. (As is often the case nowadays, I listen while driving - which is good because I get to hear a story on the way to work, but less-than-ideal in that paying attention to the road takes precedence to listening intently.) In any case, I would love to see more stories in this setting.

In short - I adored the flavour of this story, and knowing the specific ingredients used to make it is not a pre-requisite for enjoying the thing.  Grin
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