Delectable dal

After a tough week, the prospect of the weekend buffet at Taj Palace was attractive. It had been a while, and seekh kebab seems to be available on weekends only. The dal today was the best ever, not too thin, and seasoned with lots of whole spices with large bits of red chile pepper visible and even small bits of identifiable small yellow lentils or split peas or the like. The perfect accompaniment was the constantly refilled tall glass of iced tea, served with an entire quarter of a good-sized lime. It was a treat to find samber (sometimes transliterated as sambhar) on the buffet table, another delicious broth and one full of fresh vegetables. Although the naan was somehow different, softer in texture without so many air puffs, and a tiny bit disappointing, every other item tasted was delicious, and we tasted every dish. The person who sampled the rice pudding enjoyed it very much and reported that it was seasoned with cardamom. There was a good-sized child’s birthday party in another room, dining from the same buffet; perhaps the host specified some of the dishes served. Most of those making up a large party of over a dozen people in our room were obvious academics. Our lunch was a great restorative and the perfect choice for today. As we made our way home, we stopped at various library branches, some of which were polling places. Reports are that turnout is light on this election day. The polls don’t close until 7 pm, so there’s still time for laggards to vote in this important contest.

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