Mom has a collection of Oomda, Dalda containers from nearly 40 years back. She gave me some when I got married and Krishnan managed to take the cover off one of them along with the neck 🙂 These are plastic containers.
Oomda and Dalda were brands of Vanaspati or the now dreaded hydrogenated vegetable oil. It tasted like ghee and was cheaper and used liberally to make food. Dalda became synonymous with the category like Xerox with photocopying. Nobody thought anything about making food with Dalda and the whitish layer that got deposited on foodstuff cooked in Dalda after they cooled was considered cool ..
In the 80s there was a shift to oils, especially to Sunflower oil and at home we stopped buying Dalda altogether. And then the 90s came and I got married at the start of the 90s and my mother-in-law only used refined oil but no Dalda, so I forgot all about Dalda. Then came the Transfat and other interesting details about hydrogenated vegetable oil and we anyway got off all fried stuff, because I just don’t like fried food. In Delhi-NCR we had two encounters with Dalda. First, we went hunting for the Jalebi wala in old Gurgaon and bought Jalebi from him but saw the big 10 kilo tins of Dalda 🙂 ate just a single piece and gave away the rest.
The second encounter happened on Friday, the 27th, when we reached Gurgaon. We were hungry and ordered Biriyani from Deez, a favourite of ours. This time somehow, the Biriyani came fully done, not piping hot as it usually is and then when we washed our plates, the Dalda just stuck to it. Had to use hot water and soap to rinse it off fully, hands got sticky and then we realised the it was the after taste of Dalda that was so terrible. Deez is banned forever !! Maybe earlier too they used Dalda but because the Biriyani was piping hot it may not have stuck to the plate as much, but I doubt it. I think they switched from either Ghee or oil to Dalda and the taste is just bad.
Am sure Dalda or other brands of vanaspati get used across India and many parts of the world and cause a lot of damage. Its important for us to stay away from unnatural products and stick to natural food. There is no need for vanaspati or ghee or oil to cook food, its just taste that has created the whole obesity epidemic. Stick to natural food – vegetables, fruits, grains .. cooking is unavoidable in many cases, but there are new ways of cooking that preserve the nutrients.
Everything else that we lose can be gained back – money, fame, position, career, but two things need to be safeguarded – relationships and health. Very difficult to get back to the old position on both. In the process of progress and improving taste we have probably let go of health… need to reclaim that.