A good daal requires tools. As Indians everywhere know, you can’t make one without a pressure cooker. Not for us the Western method of simmering lentils for hours on a stove, then serving them chewy and hard to the teeth. There’s no al dente for lentils; they must be soft and creamy. I have carted my battered old pressure cooker across the world, along with its gaskets, whistles and separators: a set of three shallow vessels that fit neatly inside and help me cook rice, daal and veggies all in one go. And among the early gifts I got from my mother was a tempering spoon, a large ladle used to simmer the curry leaves, mustard seeds and chilies that go on top of my daal. To read more from KAVITHA RAO, click here.