Breathe deep and eat dal

The other day I was having a mother chat and the one mother was saying to me (the other mother), how she finds it hard to work at night after her boy is in bed, but that there is no choice. “After he goes to bed”, she said, I do a little yoga to unwind, and then I have to get back to work.” I didn’t mention it, because sometimes you just don’t feel like drawing attention to certain things, but I do nothing like yoga after Ferdinand goes to bed. It is not uncommeon that I never make it up off of his bed after he goes to sleep and instead spend the night there fully clothed and teeth unbrushed. If I am however, feeling especially empowered, I might move myself over to lie down in a new spot near the television to watch a brain teaser like young teenagers singing to lose or win a dream. On my way to help smooth the lines of tension from the day, instead of a downward dog, I will unfailingly stretch my arm around all flavors of ice cream available in my freezer, or as many cartons as I can carry with a spoon, over to my show.
Before that I often try to improve the odds of my good health by cooking, and a dal makes an impressive stab at it. All you need is a 3 inch piece of ginger and two cloves of garlic. Smash those up with a few fresh mint leaves or parsely in your mortar and pestle until smooth. Heat up a little olive oil with a little butter, and throw the mix in with three finely chopped shallots (you can use yellow onion instead). Cook that over a low heat for about 15 minutes, seasoning with salt and throwing in a bay leaf.
Rinse off half a pound of yellow lentils or yellow split peas and then cover them in a separate pot with about four times as much water and a hefty pinch of salt. Spill in a bit of olive oil, add a bay leaf and a sprig of fresh thyme, and a garlic clove or the ends from the shallots. Cook, covered until soft. Prepare jasmine or basmatti rice. To the shallot mix, add a teaspoon each of toasted cumin and fennel seeds that have been smashed in the mortar. Add about a tablespoon of curry powder; stir around for another two minutes over the heat. Add the lentils, using a slotted spoon, and then going back for as much liquid as you like. Heat, taste for salt, and if you want to, as I always do, spritz in a little fresh lime juice. Top with toasted coconut.
Serve this over the rice along with a side of watercress, chive and mango salad.

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