I often think I must have been a Sindhi in my last life because I simply love their food and feel most at home while eating it. But I feel equally at home eating Chinese food, Italian food, English food, French food, Punjabi food …….hey I can’t be remembering food memories from so many lifetimes so I think I’d better accept the fact that I simply LOVE FOOD.
Well, there are lots of people like me in this world (you included , dear reader or you won’t be reading this!) and I love trying out new recipes from old ingredients. By this I don’t mean re-cycling food but trying out new dishes from ingredients that have been around for centuries like drumstick and brinjal and cluster beans and yam and pumpkin etc etc. These vegetables are seen often enough in the market but I’ve always given them the go-by till one day I saw Sindhi Curry Mix on the Big.Basket web site.
Now being a busy grandmother leaves me with very little time to actually do my weekly vegetable shopping and grocery shopping with the horrendous traffic and even more torturous wait in the check out lines has me running to my computer in the middle of the night and all else is still to check out my supplies online. Local Banya, GreenCart and Big Basket are so far my most used sites though I am toying with the idea of going to Reliance and Nature’s Basket.
I know I’m digressing but the point being that something made me click on this photo especially when Pampa my cook at the time suggested making Sindhi Tomato Curry as an alternative to our usual mixed vegetable curries.
Pampa has long since deserted me but the taste for this yummy curry hasn’t. So I had to scour the net for various recipes of this dish that is particularly great to have on a rainy Sunday afternoon. I finally amalgamated a few recipes and came up with this. To start with I collected all my vegetables together and kept on hand the following ingredients:
For the tempering
- 1 tbspn oil
- 1/4 tspn methi seeds
- 1/4 tspn mustard seeds
- 1/4 tspn cumin seed
- 1/2 tspn turmeric powder
- pinch of asoefetida
- 2-3 curry leaves
- 1/2 inch piece of ginger finely chopped
For the curry
- 3 tomatoes
- 2 heaped tspns chick pea flour
- 1 green chilli
- salt to taste
1 packet of Sindhi curry mix failing which you can use
- 1 drumstick
- 1-2 baby brinjals
- 1/2 cup cluster beans
- 1/2 cup okra
- 1/2 cup yam
- 1/2 cup red pumpkin
Here’s what I did :
1. I coarsely chopped the tomato and put them with a little bit of water to cook in the pressure cooker for 2 whistles. I let this cool before pureeing it in the blender to a fine paste.
2. In the meanwhile, I washed the vegetables and lightly peeled the drumstick taking off the coarse outer layer. If you don’t use the ready Sindhi Curry mix, make sure the vegetables are cut into large bite sized chunks.
3. In a deep steel pot, I heated the oil and added the spices for the tempering.
4. I lowered the heat and added the drumstick and yam and stir fried before adding the chick pea flour.
5. Just before the flour began to burn I added some water so that the flour becomes a thick paste. To this I added the tomato puree and allowed the mixture to come to a boil.
6. I then added the rest of the vegetables, lowered the heat, covered the pot and allowed the vegetables to cook .
So this is how I made my Sindhi Mixed Vegetable Curry. I know traditionalists will balk at this easy recipe but I assure you that the taste is authentic.
End Note :
Most of the recipes for this dish will have more oil and will advise the addition of tamarind pulp but since we like to use less oil and avoid the extra sour foods, I often give this a skip like today when the tomatoes were already sour. But if the tomatoes are ripe and sweet, you’d do well to introduce the sourness with tamarind pulp.