Chennai: Nigar Sultana, an entrepreneur, who shops at her neighborhood grocery stores says dal is not on the menu more than twice a week at her home any more. After all, the lentils, especially the popular tur and urad, are as expensive as chicken and fish in Chennai.
With tur dal selling at up to Rs 180 a kilo - up by more than Rs 20 in the last two weeks - she's buying less of it. Instead she's adding more chicken, fish and paneer to her home menu as there is not too much difference in cost.
"Paneer, chicken and fish all fall under the same category now. More than dietary needs it has become about cost needs," Nigar says.
Raja's grocery store that is frequented by lower middle class families at Kodambakkam has seen a significant dip in sales. "Customers who buy 1 kilo now buy only half a kilo due to the increase in prices," he says.
Across India, prices of pulses went up by around 30 per cent last month, government data has revealed.
For many who can't afford the sky-high prices, it is either making do with much less dal or cutting some other expenses in the monthly budget.