Monday, May 26, 2014


It is good to wait until after dinner before going onto the internet.
Had I not done so, I wouldn't have had much of an appetite.

On the same evening that one of my facebook friends posted an article with horrific pictures on his wall, a reader left a link underneath one of my earlier blogposts ("when grown men dream of goats").


At 4:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

More compelling reasons to serve goat.

Noor Hussain (75) is now in trial in New York for beating his wife to death because she cooked him lentils for dinner instead of goat.

Mr. Hussain wanted goat. His wife cooked lentils. He chastised her to death with a laundry stick. Apparently under the mistaken impression that doing so was normative.

"He comes from a culture where he thinks this is appropriate conduct, where he can hit his wife. He culturally believed he had the right to hit his wife and discipline his wife."

That's one hell of a nasty culture. It's rotten to the core.

Clearly mister Noor Hussain and all who think like him are not civilized or even human. Is it really "appropriate" to beat your wife to death, ever? For any reason? I'm asking, because his defense attorney thinks she can convince the court that it is, and undoubtedly there are plenty of splendid examples of Pakistanis killing their wives. For many reasons. Even something so trivial as a pot of lentil curry.

Just like there are innumerable examples of Pakistani men throwing acid in the faces of women. For what are, no doubt, "culturally appropriate" motives. As was mentioned in the article that my facebook friend posted to his wall. Which had horrific pictures.

What kind of society condones such behaviour?

I could say any number of horrid things.

About Pakistanis, and depravity.

But their acts speak.


What IS the proper response when you had a craving for goat, and she cooked Tarka Dal instead? Maybe she was tired, or had too much to do that afternoon, and the carnicería ran out of carne de cabrito early in the day. Or perhaps your good woman felt that lentils were a more suitable meal that evening. The only acceptable way to deal with the situation is to say "thank you for a lovely repast", and just suck it up. Have some yoghurt, and avoid the beer.
Eventually there will be goat. You could cook it yourself. Who says women have to do all the cooking? Going batshit crazy and beating someone to death is NEVER the appropriate way of dealing with a lentil curry.

Even if you are a Pakistani, heaven forfend.
There are worse things to be.
It's just not done.

[Not Pakistani style, more sort of generic subcontinental.]

One cup masoor dal (red lentils).
Two cups water.
One onion, chopped.
Two tomatoes.
Four garlic cloves, minced.
Equivalent amount ginger, ditto.
Four green jalapenos.
One Tsp. cumin seeds.
One Tsp. ground coriander.
Half Tsp. cayenne.
Half Tsp. turmeric.
Cilantro for garnishing.
Oil, and butter.

Rinse lentils well, remove any unidentifiable objects.

Put lentils in a pot with two cups water or slightly more. Bring to a boil, simmer till soft, about forty minutes. Stir frequently to prevent scorching. Set aside.

Roast the tomatoes and jalapenos over an open flame (one of the burners on your stove), then peel &seed -- don't worry if some of the blackness remains, it adds flavour -- and chop coarsely.
Fry the cumin seeds in a little oil, then add the onion plus more oil and some butter, and saute till translucent. Put in the ginger, garlic, chilies, and the powdered spices, and when the fragrance rises add the tomato and stirfry soft.
Decant everything into the lentil pot, and bring back to simmer temperature. Cook for about ten minutes, then squeeze in some lemon or lime juice for a fresh tanginess, and add salt and black pepper as appropriate. Garnish liberally with chopped cilantro, and a sprinkle more ginger, freshly slivered.

This is splendid as is, with white rice, cucumber-yoghurt, and achar.
 I also think it's superb with chunks of roasted fatty pork.
Or high quality pork sausage, grilled.
I am not a Pakistani.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


Esau said...

Sounds delicious. Would you give me some, please? Would you be interested in buying my birthright?

The back of the hill said...


An interesting idea.

Tell me more.

From the good book: "But my brother Esau is an hairy man....".

Esau said...

Which good book? There are several books that I like.

The back of the hill said...

The "good book" is a standard reference to the bible. Jacob and Esau are mentioned rather early on.

The back of the hill said...

Sharing lentils with a witty woman sounds like a lovely idea.

Sharing lentils with a hairy man, not so much.

plasterer bristol said...

One of my favorites this, delicious, thanks for putting this up.


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