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Being a traditional hot June afternoon, it was serenely still, with a gentle filtered sound of loo coming through the window. Loo has the terrible reputation of being the dreaded hot wind, that blows through Lahore during the hot summer afternoons. The term extends to even describe the concept of anyone who had a heat stroke. So very traditionally you can hear the older amma saying that poor lil munna has caught loo.

Such an afternoon surely meant that Zahraa should have the pleasure of an afternoon nap, to avoid any of the loo harming her.  Of course Zahraa could not just rush off to bed, before she served lunch to her family. To get about the matter, she spread out the traditional red and blue chaddar made of cotton on the floor, and lay out the simple yet finger licking Daal Chawal for everyone to eat. Chawal  was cooked in the simplest method of using Basmati Rice boiled in salted water. However, it is the Daal, which displayed Zahraas’ true art of cooking. She used her touch to make the simple lentil curry into a yummy gravy, by mixing two different types of lentils with spices. This was served with tawa roasted Papar,  and a blended yoghurt raita. The recipe was simple and passed on from her Mama, and was like this…

1 Cup Pink Lentils (Masoor Daal)

1/2 cup Yellow lentils (Mong Daal)

1 tsp red chillies powder

1 tsp Coriander Powder

pinch of Turmeric Powder

1 Bullion of Chicken stock cube

2-3 cups of water.

Cook all the above mixed, on medium heat till soupy in texture.

Finish it u with a TARKA (oil covering) of :
hot vegetable oil (1/4 cup)
, Cumin Seeds (2 tsp), 
Green CHillies sliced
, Kari Pata (Kari Leaves)

….

Once everyone had finished eating, Zahraa was ready to drift off to the land of dreams for the afternoon.