Sindhi Kadhi - Vegetable Curry

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's always interesting to cook dishes I grew up with, because as I chop, mince and sauté my way through a recipe, I can't help but be mentally time-travelling to those times where I have enjoyed this particular dish in the company of family and relatives. I recall Sindhi curry episodes with my grandmother, my aunts and uncles, and my brothers and their families. It's those spices I tell ya ... every memory, food memories for sure, can be jogged back into recall with your nose ;)

The epitome of comfort food, Sindhi style. This vegetarian curry encompasses all range of flavours ... fenugreek and cumin give it a pronounced earthy and umami flavour, then we have tamarind and palm sugar, which balances it nicely with its sour and sweet notes. Oh ... it also has my trio of favourite veggies ... carrots, corn and okra.

I'm making this curry in the throes of winter, especially appropriate given it's hearty and warming nature. And of course, it is a sell out and there are no leftovers. Why? Probably because the kids almost 'drink' the thick gravy, even without the veggies. The gravy and rice alone is a comfort food.

Thank you, Aunty Viveeta, for this wonderful recipe :)

4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp fenugreek seeds
4 tsp cumin seeds
4 red chilies, thinly sliced
2 tbsp minced ginger
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
3 green chilies, thinly sliced

1 cup mung besan (milder) or channa besan (stronger flavor)
12-16 cups water

6 carrots, cut lengthwise
4 ears of corn, cut into 1 inch pieces
3-4 potatoes, diced
6 stalks moringa or vegetable drumsticks (singhi), cut lengthwise
8-12 pcs dried tamarind (asam gandis)
12-16 pieces okra

2 tbsp turmeric
15-20 curry leaves
1/2-1 cup tamarind juice
1/4 cup palm sugar (gula jawa), or to taste
Salt to taste
1 cup coriander leaves

1. Heat oil in a pan, then add fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red chilies, stirring to release aromas. Then add the ginger and garlic.
2. On a low heat, stir in the besan till browned
3. Add water, a cupful at a time, stirring throughout, until thick, and free of lumps. Whisk it in...
4. Now add the vegetables: corn, carrots, potatoes (okra last) and moringa, with the dried tamarind
5. Stir in the turmeric and curry leaves and bring to boil for 5 minutes
6. Finally add the tamarind and brown sugar with the okra, give it another few minutes until okra is done.
7. Turn off heat and stir in coriander leaves, serve while steaming!

Try the bhuga chawal (rice cooked with onions) with this hearty curry. Don't forget the papaar! OMG so yummy!

I usually overeat when it's curry day, good thing it's usually on Sundays when I can take a nap soon after :)

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