Not too long back, the world was smaller. I ruminate as I stir my pot of Komola Moong Dal this morning.
Washington apples, Chinese mandarins, Atlantic salmon or Chilean sea-bass had not yet invaded our kitchens. Science had still not forayed into the mind-boggling universe of crazy genetic mutations.
You waited, patiently, for the Good Earth to bless you with her bountiful produce.
And unlike in today’s world of crass consumerism, where, thanks to the magic of biotechnology and the supreme power of logistics, anything is available at your doorstep any time, you watched in anticipation as seasons flew. The grey winter gave in to the colorful spring. The monsoons quenched the thirst of the earth after the scorching summers. And each season arrived in ostentatious style with her own bouquet of produce – her very own fruit, vegetables, grains or even fish.
The Ratnagiri Alphonsos, for instance, that heralded the onset of summer. Or that first crop of Muzaffarpur litchis.
The first Hilsa from the Padma just before the rains.
The Himachali apples that announced autumn.
The first harvest of gobindobhog rice and the first pot of date jaggery. That ushered in winter. Or the first harvest of gorgeous oranges.
This season’s first Nagpur oranges and I cook Komola Moong Dal, yet another quintessential Bengali classic. From Grandma’s kitchen. Moong Dal cooked with luscious orange segments in orange juice. Just a bit of ginger and a couple of green chillies for that pleasant heat.
And that nutty aroma of roasted moong dal blended harmoniously with the citrus fragrance from the orange is enough to send your olfactory senses to an ecstasy! !!!