The Rising Cost of Dal in NYC

In the summer, it seems everything goes. The temperature, price of gas, electricity consumption, tempers all head northwards.

Now add to that list, is the price of lentils.

All Indians, no matter what part of the compass you are located on, eat lentils in all forms and manners. Be it toor dal, urad, kaali, chori, masoor…you name it and there are at least 6 different ways to make it in every cuisine. After bread (chapaati, roti, naan, paratha, pau) and rice, dal is the most common eaten food (me thinks!)

A desi NYCer speaking to NY1 puts fourth his views on the rising costs…

It’s known dal in India, and lentil in America. But these days you can just call it expensive.

“It used to be very low, but now it’s sky high,” says one man.

To be honest, the price of dal has shot up. And if you consume it everyday, the price of dal is going to pinch where it hurts…a.k.a the pocketboot.

“You used to buy it for $2, $3, and now they’re talking about $7 or $8,” says a Queens resident. “All of a sudden it shoots up so high.”

Unlike the rising prices of gas, war is not to blame for the rising costs of lentils.

The prices jumped after India, one of the world’s major suppliers, banned the export of the seed in June. It’s one of the ways the country is trying to keep lentil prices down inside its borders.

In the U.S., many South Asian Americans buy the seeds because it’s a major part of their diet. It’s used to make curry meals, soups and other dishes, so many say they can’t go without it.

This could be an attempt by the Indian Government to safeguard the interests of Indian farmers, against the onslaught of US trade and agriculture. Cannot substantiate it, but just me thinking aloud.

However according to a grain dealer, the prices will come down temporarily in the coming months. This is all because of a loophole….damn we Indians. Trust us to find loopholes in every thing.

The one glimmer of hope for the jingoistic side of my nature is the fact that lentils bought from other countires does not taste as good as the Indian ones.

“Mera Daal Bhaat Mahaan”

7 Comments

  1. Manish August 9, 2006

    I’m getting dal inexpensively, but what about your delish dhansak?

  2. arzan August 9, 2006

    You are on for dhansak anytime u r back in NYC.

    Lets have another get together when you get back.

  3. Mitesh August 9, 2006

    Mumbai, Delhi among world’s cheapest, but high working hours and few vacations….
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060809/ts_nm/life_cities_dc

  4. Mitesh August 9, 2006

    Mumbai Delhi among world’s cheapest…
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060809/ts_nm/life_cities_dc

  5. Greatbong August 10, 2006

    Let me try to understand this.

    The prices jumped after India, one of the world’s major suppliers, banned the export of the seed in June. It’s one of the ways the country is trying to keep lentil prices down inside its borders.

    You say:

    This could be an attempt by the Indian Government to safeguard the interests of Indian farmers, against the onslaught of US trade and agriculture

    But the way I understand it, it is exactly the opposite. The aim of the GOI is to prevent the farmers from getting international rates on their products by prohibiting them from selling their pulses on the international market. This is so that they are forced to sell inside India, thus driving prices inside India down. Ergo, this is against the interests of Indian farmers.

    I would understand what you said if the GOI had banned the “import” of pulses.

  6. arzan August 10, 2006

    Cannot substantiate it, but just me thinking aloud.

    Well I did somehow convey that I hadnt figured it all out. Guess I really had’nt.

    Greatbong thanks for explaining so simply.

  7. Mitesh August 20, 2006

    My experience with buying dal at an Indian store:
    http://miteshvasa.blogspot.com/2006/08/managing-business-desi-style.html

Comments are Disabled