Thursday, 12 January 2017

Oh My Darling, Oh My Dahling, Oh My Dhaling, Clementine...

My banting also seems to include dhal-ing. Lentils are a very good part of your diet if you want to eat foods with a low Glycaemic Load. GL is a measure that takes into account the amount of carbohydrate in a portion of food together with how quickly it raises blood glucose levels. Dhal, made from lentils, is a nourishing, sustaining food - as people in the Indian Sub Continent have known forever.
Do not confuse Dhal with Dahl! The first is the lentil dish, the second is the Norwegian surname of Roald [the writer] and his granddaughter Sophie [the cook] She has actually published a recipe called Sophie's Dhal. The clementine** is simply there so you can look at the pictures and sing the song!
On Monday I cooked up a batch of green lentils and kept them in the fridge. That way I could sprinkle some into a salad and serve the remainder with chicken breasts and green beans for our evening meal. I have green lentils, red lentils and yellow split peas in the pantry [all dried] My new Fresh India Cookbook has a number of lentil recipes - as does the Ottolenghi 'Plenty More' book which I gave Bob.
Did you know that the word lens comes from the double convex/circular shape of the lentil?
In Italy and Hungary they eat lentils on New Years Eve - their round shape is reminiscent of coins, and symbolises hope for a prosperous year ahead.
Jewish people eat lentils as part of their mourning tradition - for them, the shape is symbolic of the cycle of birth, life and death.
**I just realised whilst singing 'Clementine' to myself that I took a photograph of "Herring boxes without topses" last week.
In a cavern, in a canyon,
Excavating for a mine,
Lived a miner, forty-niner
And his daughter Clementine

Oh my Darling, Oh my Darling,
Oh my Darling Clementine.
You are lost and gone forever,
Dreadful sorry, Clementine.

Light she was and like a fairy,
And her shoes were number nine
Herring boxes without topses
Did for shoes for Clementine.

[In another interesting plot twist, I have just discovered a friend here in Ferndown is actually a descendant of Mr Banting!!]


  1. We sang that song as children. The old songs seem to be disappearing now.

  2. I was happy to read about the dhal - it is a staple for us! I just ate the last of the dhal I cooked earlier this week, for my lunch today! And I enjoyed seeing the pictures of the "herring boxes without topses". When I was a little girl singing the song, I always thought they were talking about "her ring boxes" and wondered how tiny her feet might have been to fit inside ring boxes! :D

  3. I am trying soooo hard with lentils. Not that keen on Indian food so think that is holding me back. We did a sort of bolognese with puy lentils but something was just missing.
    Well done on the teaching. That must have taken a lot of steely courage :-)

    1. I think lentils are like pumpkins - you meet to add some spice or something to give them flavour, otherwise they are just a bit ho-hum

  4. How funny! I'm teaching 'My darling Clementine in KS1 Singing Assembly at the moment! I ate Tarka Dhal as part of my meal last night because we had a powercut so sought sanctuary in an Indian restaurant! We are very fond of lentils in our house. One of our favourite recipes from Anna Jones' 'Modern ways to eat' is a Sweet potato, spinach and red lentil Dhal with Coconut chutney. Our Dinner party guests loved it so much that they cooked it for themselves 3times in a fortnight after visiting us!


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