Mango Just Got “Dahl-ed”!

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Silly is the glittery pink punctuation mark to end average days. Silly is the much-needed boost of energy and a nice break to the normal flow of life. There are two characters, namely “Serious” and “Silly”, who co-­exist within us. I think Serious has Silly imprisoned in most of us. These two forces operate in our consciousness. Silly can’t take action because the force of Serious — who likes to think of itself as the Great Big Boss — dominates. Silliness gets bound up by the business-like approach of Serious, whose first question is always, “What’s the use?”

There’s the common understanding that one needs to maintain a level of focus and seriousness when it comes to achievements and getting something tangible out of life. However I think there’s a level of humor and silliness we still need in our lives to give it the meaning that we seek.

For me personally, the opportunity to be silly pops up often. There are numerous times that I just bust out and start dancing. I’m talking about grocery stores, while in the shower, cooking, while doing my laundry or even right now as I jam to Nicolas Haelg’s Remix of Gone (<< clickCLICKclick the link hehe!! It’s quite honestly one of the best I’ve heard this month). It sounds funny but for me, it’s a stress reliever. When I get lost in the music that I’m listening to, I’m able to get into a happy sort of zone.

So yes, I’ve always believed in being silly, even if it meant being judged or even if it meant marrying unlikely flavours from pole ends of the spectrum, namely Sweeeet and Savoury! Can You imagine?? Mango and Curry?! Oh dearest, it works!

I remember which song came up on my Spotify playlist – which I had blasting – when I started getting my kitchen pantry ready for this dish: When You Come Home by Trevor Dahl (<< Have a listen to this sweet sweet tune if Your heart fancies a few sparklers :’) !!). Trevor DAHL, friends, DAHL. I did a twirl right where I was and a smile spread wiiiiide and biiiiiig on my face! Life is so cheeky! Ahh and might I add… silly!

Sitting atop the bed of brown rice and layer of lemony spinach-zucchini salad is the warm, lovely mango-lentil dhal. The sugary, fragrant lemon contrasts the otherwise unexpected spice originating from the curry. I remember the silly sensation I experienced upon tasting the final product – my tongue was tingling with confusion. It was a flavour I haven’t ever had the chance to taste and my tongue was simply learning how to appreciate this new combination. At that moment, I was thrown back to my childhood when Dad would scoop a teaspoon’s worth of whatever he was cooking and let me experience and even critique the flavour he was brewing. At that moment, I felt like the little girl I was in the past. The silly little girl who would mess around in the kitchen and put spices in everything because she thought, “The more the merrier!”

Fast forward to the present, perhaps I’d do this dish a little justice by sharing my recipe with You so You’d be able to experience the bursting of little fireworks on Your tastebuds – the way I did when I had the pleasure of tasting this dish.

In Pot #1:

Cook rice – brown rice, long rice, black rice, wild rice, red rice… any rice, as long as it makes You happy. 🙂

In Pot/ Saucepan #2:

Cook lentils according to instructions on its packaging. Add chopped leek/ spring onion and spices*. Once it’s done cooking, add small, finely chopped mango cubes into the saucepan. The lentil-mango ratio should be about 1:1.

*For the spice, I added a spice mix I found in Basic Bio – Minz (Mint) Curry, Malaysia. Malaysia! How delightful! It is a ground mix consisting of Turmeric (aka. Indian saffron), Coriander, Onions, Paprika, Cumin, Garlic, Mint, Parsley, Black Pepper and Bay leaves. I know I know, it’s pretty complicated! I do believe though, that any Curry mix out there would work just as perfectly. 😉

In a Bowl:

Toss chopped spinach and zucchini together with a bit of freshly-squeezed lemon juice. Add spices to taste!

Putting it all together:

Scoop some rice onto Your serving bowl/ plate first, then add a layer of fresh salad before pouring a generous serving of delightfully yellow mango-lentil dhal over the greens and grains. For the finishing touch, simply sprinkle some parsley on top of everything! 🙂

Everything about this dish came together so flawlessly. Miriam suggested that the theme for our ‘kitchen challenge’ this week should be “Asian” because of Chinese New Year, I had perfectly sweet, ripe mangoes on hand AND I had just found this special Malaysian Mint Curry spice mix in the “for sale” stand – simply because it belonged to one of the older batches in the grocery store… doesn’t mean it’s bad though, so I bought it! – in Basic Bio on Monday and was planning to use it in a dish the first opportunity I got.

Sometimes I can’t help but think about how amazing life fits together like a jigsaw piece, no matter how silly or random the pieces could be.

The point that I’m trying to bring across is that we need to re-learn – we’ve simply forgotten! – how to play and let Mr. Silly out so that we can have fun. Sometimes the child in us does play, but we feel guilty. Sometimes the parent in us scolds us for gambling with or wasting our time.

Dad once told me that people don’t stop playing because they get old. Rather, people get old because they stop playing.

The next time things get serious in Your life or You feel trapped I’d like You to try something: Get up and dance. Or sing out loud. Heck try even just jumping up and down on Your bed. Do something to break up Your day and to give Your brain a break on what You’re focusing on. Your brain will love it. Make time for fun and hilarity. We only have one life to live (I know, I know, cliché… but true!!!), we might as well have some fun while we’re at it right?

Oh and if You need another reason to be silly, Mr. Silly brings us lots of vitamins! I once read of a research study in which scientists took samples of T-cells (cells which indicate immune function and general health) of elderly individuals before and after the experiment and got folks to wear the clothes they wore in the 1950s. The researchers then played the music of that era in a room decorated from that time and had them dance to the tunes they danced to in the 1950s. They then took T-cell samples again and showed an increase in T-cells after the merriment. It seemed to the participants that the burdens of the serious years had been lifted from their shoulders. They experienced more vitality and energy!

Here’s to a life of silliness! 😉

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One thought on “Mango Just Got “Dahl-ed”!

  1. Pingback: Faschingsdienstag | Stefanie Natascha

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