We called it Kolatha in Odia. As I came to know only recently, it is also known in North India, Kulath, it is called. I was surprised, I thought this dal was eaten only in Odisha, rather only in my village, in our sai, there is no equivalent term in English, may be clan.
Anyway, the point being it is a very unglamorous dal. Moong was used in puja and on special days, arhar was, even then, a prized dal. Chana was the hardworking common man of a dal. But a few recipes made that my personal favorite.
Kolatha was not ranked on that scale. It did not make it to the charts. It was the dal that my grandfather liked, he also liked mashed arbi and elephant foot yam. I hated him and he liked this dal, cooked with tamarind.
It was also the dal that was fed to the cattle. It was slippery when soaked, slimy when cooked. That’s why it was always dry roasted before cooking.
I stayed miles away from this all my life. Then it went to that peculiar box – of things that you hate as a child and love as an adult.
The dal is warm food, it is majorly eaten in winters. Why am I having this in May? Because, I am one those daredevils who plays with fire for fun and loves living on the edge.