June 27, 2017

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Hospitalist Dr. Anjali Dahiya Brings a Taste of India to Willmar

Dr. Anjali Dahiya, ACMC-Willmar Hospitalist

Dr. Anjali Dahiya on a recent visit to India with (left to right) her mother, son, mother-in-law, and father.

Just last year, ACMC hospitalist Dr. Anjali Dahiya made the long trek to her hometown Karnal, India, with her then six-week-old son to visit her family.  Her parents, both retired teachers, and brother, a physician, still live there.

“It was great to get the chance to visit.  I love our home here in Willmar, but there is something about getting back to my roots, visiting India that invigorates me.  Perhaps it’s the spicy food,” Dr. Dahiya joked.

Though Willmar, Minn., is a long ways from her native country, Dr. Dahiya and her husband have brought a little bit of India to her home in Minnesota.  She wants her young son to grow up embracing their Indian heritage.

“My culture is very important to me,” she said.  “Our home really embodies the way we grew up. Though my husband and I are both fluent in English, we use our native language at home. I love listening to Indian music.  We follow the traditions of India, and even though we don’t make them as well as they do in India, we love cooking Indian food—the spicier the better.”

Mom, Doctor, Artist

Just as Dr. Dahiya has brought India to Minnesota, she’s enjoys bringing pieces of her life in Minnesota to India. When she manages to find spare time, Dr. Dahiya enjoys expressing herself through painting.   And on her recent trip to India, she shared some of these paintings with her family in India.

Hospitalist Dr Anjali Dahiya, ACMC-Willmar

“Ever since I was a child, I’ve known two things. First, I was going to become a doctor.  Secondly, you’ll never be able to keep a paintbrush out of my hands,” Dr. Dahiya laughed.  “I’ve always loved scribbling and drawing things and eventually that led me to painting.  It relaxes me and gives me a sense of peace and happiness in a way that nothing else can.  It’s nice that I can share that with my family back home.”

Eventually she wants to be able to express her creative side by learning to play the Indian music she loves to listen to so much.  She plans to enroll herself and her son in guitar lessons.  It’s just one more way Dr. Dahiya and her family will incorporate the Indian culture into their home.

“Some days it seems like my life in India is worlds away.  But I have my own special piece of India right here in Willmar,” said Dr. Dahiya.  “It’s the best of both worlds.”

My favorite Indian dish is chole (chickpeas). It can be served with rice or Indian bread.

Chole or ChickpeasIngredients

  • 2 onions – chopped
  • 2 TBSP chana masala powder (mixture of various spices available at all Indian grocery stores)
  • 2 TBSP coriander- cumin powder
  • 1 C chick peas
  • 3 TBSP cooking oil
  • 2 tomatoes – chopped
  • 1/2 TSP black pepper powder
  • Salt to taste

 

Directions

  1. Soak the chickpeas in water for at least six hours and then drain.
  2. Cook chickpeas with some water in a pressure cooker until soft. (takes about 20 – 25 minutess on medium heat).
  3. Heat cooking oil.
  4. Sauté onions till pink.
  5. Add tomatoes and sauté for few more minutes.
  6. Mix in the coriander- cumin powder.
  7. Add boiled chickpeas.
  8. Add salt.
  9. After five minutes, add chana masala powder and continue to cook for 10 minutes.
  10. Serve with rice and enjoy!