This winter GB recommends, ‘Eat Like a Sindhi!’
Sindhis are not only great hosts and love their guests, they are also food loving people. The Sindhi cuisine covers a wide variety, which caters to everyone’s taste. Right from nutritious meals to ones those tickle taste buds. I know by now you must be thinking of papads. Yes, we love our papads too.
One of the most popular Sindhi delicacies is the Sindhi Kadhi. Unlike kadhis made by other communities, ours doesn’t have curd. It has a wide variety of vegetables, cooked in a thick besan gravy, tamarind pulp, jaggery, fenugreek seeds and tomatoes. It is nutritious, wholesome and most importantly, lip-smacking. You can enjoy it with rice, meethi boondi and boiled moong (flavoured with salt and dry spices).
Another tempting delicacy, called daal pakkan/pakwan, often makes our Sunday’s special. Simple channa daal, with a spicy tadka, is served with crispy pakkan, which is like a bigger version of papdi. We often relish it with chutney, papad, aachar and mohan-thaal (a sweet).
Lotus stem (kamal kakdi) occupies and important place in the Sindhi cuisine. We add it to our kadhi and a number of other dishes. Bheeh- patata is a special preparation with lotus stem (which we call ‘bheeh’ in Sindhi) and of course potatoes. They are cooked in thick gravy prepared with onion and tomatoes. Bheeh- bhugal or roasted lotus stem, flavoured with dry spices serves as a common side dish.
Not a spinach lover? Finding it difficult to convince your children to have spinach? Try Saai- bhaaji - the Sindhi preparation with spinach and chana daal. It can be enjoyed with a variety of rice or even with roti or koki, a unique crispy form of Sindhi roti. It can be best enjoyed with aaloo ja tuk, potatoes fried in a special way. Can Indian food ever be complete without sweets? Giyar is a unique sweet, which is somewhat like a king size jalebi, but much crispier and tastier. Mohan-thaal is a popular Sindhi sweet made in many households with besan and khoya (milk solids). Churi ja laddu (churma laddu) are often made as prasad and so are a variety of crispy chikkis, which we call laie.
So, if your mouth has already started watering, befriend a Sindhi because Kolkata is yet to have a restaurant which serves Sindhi cuisine. Sad but true!
Recipe for Saai- bhaaji
• Just drop washed tender spinach leaves (300g), few dill leaves (suaa), peeled and chopped onions (2), potato (1), carrot (1), lauki (optional), tomatoes (2), green chillies and half cup of soaked chana daal in a pressure cooker.
• Add some water and pressure cook till 2-3 whistles.
• Once done, mash the contents, add salt and cook till it turns into a semi dry consistency.
• Prepare a tadka with red chillies (2), minutely cut ginger and garlic and turmeric powder. When ginger and garlic change their colour, add this to the pressure cooker and cover the lid upside down, so that it retains the flavours of garlic and ginger.