Cooking a full English breakfast can be a hard enough juggling act at the best of times, with several pans on the go, trying to get those egg yolks just right, the bacon crispy, and that's not to mention the timing on the toast.
That is until we saw Tom Daley cooking up a storm in an all-in-one segmented frying pan this week. In fact the beloved British fry up entered into the heart of a heated debate following a record breaking Instagram post from the British Olympic diver having posted a selfie, slaving over a hot stove cooking up breakfast for two, with said pan.
An innocent posting, of what looked like Daley cooking a full fry up to impress his American fiance on a Sunday morning (the picture was entitled Sunday morning full English breakfast for the American) instigated over 46,000 likes on social media as well as a whirlwind of feedback on the cooking pan of choice and some serious cases of pan envy.
Feedback ranged from unconvinced fans relentlessly hounding the poster boy with questions about the efficiency of the pan, including suggestions that cooking at different heats would give him a parasite infection, to concerns about general practicality, like fitting the unwieldy pan into a dishwasher. An optimistic Daley remained undeterred and responded with “It cooks everything at different heats, so it all finishes.”
Inspired by Tom's apparent success with the unusual segmented pan The Guardian newspaper launched their own pan trial to assess if it really is possible to succesfully cook scrambled eggs, rashers of bacon, baked beans and four sausages in the same frying pan all together, at the same time. The results were disparaging but they don't detract from Tom's efforts.
Dal is one of those recipes that goes all the way back to the Indus Valley Civilisation. Unlike dishes such as biryani, brought to India by the Moghuls, it is one of those foods that has always been there. It is therefore a building block of Indian culture.