In the Mailbag

In-the-Mailbag:

Olaf Hendriksen from Leiden, The Netherlands, asks: “I bought in an Indian shop Chickpeas and there they say that it is the same as Channa dahl, is this true?”

My Reply: Yes and no. The large common everyday chickpea (kabli chana) is a cousin of a smaller ‘chickpea’ with the dark brown skin, which is, in fact whole chana dal. When the skin is removed from these small so-called ‘chickpeas’ (the basis of the famous ‘chole‘ dish from Northern India) and they are split, they are known as chana dal. The picture below is of a salad made from whole chana dal.

whole chana dal:

Sue Kelley from USA writes: “Hello! I was wondering if you would be celebrating your years of menu and recipe creating with a special of sorts? It was about 20 years ago when I tuned into you on PBS, here, in America.”

My Reply: “Wow! How time flies. No TV special planned. Perhaps you could party by getting my entire DVD collection for a private celebration. Ask me how…”

Sue replies: “Touche’! Already have it. Been using the DVD’s for a while and I also have a copy of your ‘Great Vegetarian Dishes’. Made the potato and pea croquettes for dinner last night. Great, as always! Any chance of a visit to America in the near future? Americans REALLY need some good news right now. 🙂 P.S. As a matter of fact I’m having friends over in November to cook different dishes from your series. Should be interesting. Meat eaters and vegetarians.”

20th birthday:

Maria from Australia asks: “What are the health benefits of Sago?”

My Reply: Practically zero. 100 grams of sago would contain 351 kcal, 87 grams carbohydrate, along with 0.2 gm of fat and protein each. Its nutrient value is actually poor, and it provides just a large quantity of starch, with little or no minerals and vitamins. But when combined with other things it can taste nice, and will have a better nutrient profile; everything we eat doesn’t have to be brimming over with good stuff. You can’t subsist on it, but it will save your life if you are stranded on a desert island.”

sago pearls:
Posted by Kurma on 21/10/08; 7:34:18 AM

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