Hesaru Kalu Menasina Saaru

Money and power corrupts us mortals like nothing else, more so my fellow Indians who are rich and powerful. As an expat, it is very uncomfortable when a fellow Desi is apprehended for violating the law.  More than anything else is the Visa violation for domestic helps that riles me. Our more privileged brethren seems to think that because they are rich or powerful or both, they are entitled to bi-pass the law of the land. They process papers for domestic help and under pay them or abuse them, there by breaking the law. They seem to carry the 'Chalta Hai' attitude over to this side of theA tlantic. Well don't they realize that USA is far more an egalitarian society than India and that despite money,connection and power the law of the land is mightily enforced here?
Recently an Indian diplomat in NYC has been arrested on similar charges. And India is creating a furor over this. If we so worry about the image of our country what is the first lesson we need to impart our diplomats? It should be "Never break the law of the land you are posted in". This should be written on the stone. Second, if the law of the land is violated, the violator should be held accountable and GOI-MEA should not politicize the issue.It is interesting that an Indian diplomat had her domestic help imported from India! If she did, she ought to respect the law of land and make sure the domestic help is compensated properly.  If she did not, then the law must take its own course. Some one from MEA had commented that Indian diplomats cannot be expected to pay $9 + /per hour for domestic help because they do not make much themselves. Well, if you cannot pay the minimum ways stipulated by law, you should not be having domestic help at all. There are thousands of us living well without a domestic help. We all balance dual careers, children, school, extra-curricular activities, households everything. It does help us that we left behind the sense of entitlement, the "Chalta Hai" attitude that comes to privileged citizens of India, the privilege of bending the laws to suit us and go scot-free.
A bellicose India in this particular case means disrespect towards the law of the land. Besides MEA were informed about this two months ago.. They did nothing. Now after the arrest they are acting like school children. What else could it be during an impending election but dirty politics?
However, the accused, deserves to be treated courteously. Not because she is a diplomat, but because she is a women who was dropping her daughter to school and that the she is not a criminal. She did not have to be put behind bars with drug peddlers etc. Looks like Mr. Preet Bharara needs to slow down a bit. Treat Indian ladies with more respect please, because that is what GOI expects from the rest of the world though GOI cares two hoots for the safety and dignity of women in its own land.
The most hilarious part of the story is Mayawati playing the Dalit card. Who ever knew this particular diplomat was a Dalit and who ever cared if she is one? To us she was just an IFS officer, the creme de la creme of Indian bureaucracy, the best my motherland has to offer to the rest of the world. Sadly this 'best' however was already involved in the Adarsha housing society scam.
To me this story looks like a classic case of privilaged 'Desi' throwing their weight around in a land which is better than 'Des' at enforcing their law. Remember Shah Rukh Khan's detention in NY airport? Kudos to people like Abdul Kalam, who never made much of a similar incident. Indeed it is people like him that are the best India has to offer the world.

Now for some food. As winter sets in it is time for bone warming Rasams and Saarus.. This winter had a particularly snowy start. We have already had three snow storms and it is not yet January. 

We will need,

Green gram whole /Hesaru kaalu 1/2 cup
Turmeric a pinch
Ghee a drop +2 tbsp
Mustard seeds 1/4 tsp

Curry leaves a handful
Garlic 3-4 cloves
Jeera 1 tsp
Pepper 1 tsp (more if you prefer spicy)
Dried red chillies 3-4
Tamarind extract 3/4 tsp
Jaggery 1" piece (according to taste)
Salt to taste

Method:
  • Wash the green gram in several changes of water and place it in a pressure cooker with 2 cups of water, turmeric and ghee. Cook till the green is soft and mushy.
  • Once the pressure cooker is cool enough to handle, open the lid and mash the dal. Throw in the tamarind extract, jaggery and enough water to get the Saaru to desired consistency, simmer.
  • Crush the pepper, cumin and garlic coarsely.  
  • Heat ghee and throw in the mustard seeds, the garlic mixture, curry leaves and the red chillies. saute till the spices are fragrant about 20-25 seconds. Remove from heat and pour the contents into the simmering green gram mixture. 
  • Bring the mixture to a gentle boil and adjust salt. Serve hot with rice or in a bowl with some crusty bread.  I love it both ways. In fact I do not even need the bread, just a bowl of nice hot Saaru to warm my soul and my cold bones!

3 comments:

Nagashree said...

Perfect recipe for the weather.

As you say, this is a piece of news that makes feel ashamed and sad for multiple reasons :-(

Nagashree said...

Perfect recipe for the weather.

As you say, this is a piece of news that makes feel ashamed and sad for multiple reasons :-(

Hari Chandana said...

Lovely recipe!!