An inseparable part of my mid day meal : Dal rice story | Annamrita Foundation


  • May 10, 2017
  • - by Annamrita

As a person with a penchant for trotting the globe for food, as unbelievable as it may sound, but my favorite plate of food is the modest meal of home-cooked dal (yellow lentils) sans the tadka and steamed rice. Dal Rice is a staple in every Indian household.

The simplicity of the meal, its delectable appeal, and nutritional importance struck my life early on and since then has remained with me.

My earliest and also the fondest memory related to food is when my nani (maternal grandmother) fed me. It surprisingly turned out to be a wonder diet for me.  It wasn’t a fancy feast but a bowl of thick toor (pigeon pea) dal topped over softened, almost paste-like consistency rice; a dish popularly termed as varan bhaat in my native land of coastal Konkan region. The dal was merely boiled, coarsely pureed, and flavored with salt & turmeric. Occasionally, she would drizzle the dish with a spoonful of tup or ghee. My nani would feed dal rice to me by cooking up a story that Mowgli, my favorite fictional character from The Jungle Book, back then consumed it, so I should eat dal rice. But in the guise of this excuse, she was only ensuring I received nourishment with a balanced meal of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, ideal for my delicate digestive system. Also, being a we

Time and again this meal surfaced at different junctures in my life. During my teenage years when I was hit with an intestinal complication, the only food that came to my rescue was dal rice. This meal proved a savior in the form of my sustenance during my recuperation period. Thus, it came as no surprise that when I learnt how to cook I opted to learn my grandmother’s dal rice recipe before anything else. And, till date dal rice is an inseparable part of my meal.

I am pleased to know that this simple, nutritious meal of dal rice is included in their school lunch program being provided by Annamrita to 1.2 million students in need of wholesome food in various municipal schools across the country daily. So, I humbly request everyone to join hands with this children ngo in their noble cause to reach out to more such children and help secure not only their health but also their future.


Saher Khanzada is a marketing professional who pursues her passion for the world of food through her personal blog, Her blog has been recognised with awards two years in a row at the coveted India Food Bloggers Awards.