Growing up in Mumbai, my closest neighbours were people who had fled Sindh in Pakistan after the partition and came to India as refugees. They were a joint family of four brothers and their families and the children in that family and me and my sister grew up together. Our front doors faced each other and growing up, the doors were only closed in the afternoons and at night. We were in and out of each other’s homes all the time and so food became one of the things we shared. Avial, sambhar, Idli, Dosai etc were favourites from our home to theirs and Samosas, Koki (a type of parathas), Sai Bhaji etc were our favourites from their home. I learnt to make many dishes from the aunties in that home and my mum learnt to make Sindhi Kadhi, which is a gravy dish from them too.
Over the Chinese New Year weekend, when I was wondering what to make for a sudden lunch invite to S’ uncle and aunt, I decided to make this version of Sindhi Kadhi. I didn’t exactly remember how my mum made it, so I turned online to source for a recipe. I used this recipe from Sanjeev Kapoor as my guide but played with it a bit. The main ingredient, as I remember used to be okra or ladies finger, but since I didn’t have that, I omitted it and added other vegetables.
- 4 tsp gram flour or besan
- 1 drumstick
- 2 potatoes
- 2 carrots
- 7-8 beans
- 1/2 tsp asafoetida
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds or methi
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 6-8 curry leaves
- 3 tbsps oil
- 2 tomatoes
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 lemon sized ball of tamarind or 2 tbsp tamarind pulp
- Salt to taste
- In a large bowl, add the tamarind and pour hot water into it. Leave it for 20-30 mins and when cool to touch, squeeze the pulp and remove it. Strain the tamarind water and keep aside.
- Chop all the vegetables into largish cubes and cut the drumstick into around 1.5-inch sticks.
- Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan and stir fry the vegetables for a few minutes and aside.
- In the same pan, heat the remaining oil and add the asafoetida, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves to the pan and sauté until fragrant.
- Then add the gram flour and sauté until fragrant. Do not allow the gram flour to burn. When you smell a nice aroma from the gram flour, add around 1.5 cups of water and whisk well until the mixture is very smooth.
- The mixture will thicken very quickly so you can add another cup of water to thin it. Add the sautéed vegetables.
- In a hand food processor, crush the tomatoes or grate or chop them into very fine bits. Add this to the gravy which should be bubbling away by now. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt and mix well.
- When the vegetables are almost cooked, add the tamarind juice or pulp and let them blend well. If the gravy is too thick, you can thin it with some water.
- Check for seasoning and add what is missing and serve hot with rice.
- I served this with my Caramelised Onion Pulao and a raita