Sunday afternoons are for Sindhi Kadhi, chawal (plain rice) and aloo tuk. There is something so comforting about a meal like this; given how simple it is to cook. A soupy kadhi that’s tangy, hot, spicy and moreish mixed in with rice. For me any curry rice dish must have something fried on the side and Sindhis know that only too well! Aloo Tuk adds the required crisp spicy texture to every mouthful of kadhi chawal. Follow this meal by an afternoon nap and you’ll be hooked forever!
I have so many Sindhi friends who cook an array of dishes from their community and have always been kind enough not just to have me over to sample the food but also share their recipes. Growing up in India, I was lucky to have friends whose mum would be delighted to have us over to devour into a Sindhi feast. From Sai Bhaji chawal to kadhi and biryanis; the food in local homes is brimming with flavour, texture and spices.
I’m sharing a recipe for kadhi which is one I have cooked for year now. It’s a recipe from my friends mum. She adds loads more vegetables though I prefer to add just two or three at the very most. You can also include green beans, drumsticks or carrots. The key for this recipe is to roast the gram flour until it changes colour and gives a nutty aroma making sure t keep stirring so it does not burn. This curry is moreish and you are looking for a balance of flavours with tangy, spicy, sweet and hot all at once with every mouthful. Serve with plain rice and of course some Aloo Tuk or papad/ pickles. As always I say to check your tamarind paste for its strength. If it’s too tangy add a little less than the recommended amount.
Add a tablespoon of oil to a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the okra and fry for 20 seconds stirring to make sure the oil coats all the pieces. Put a lid on and cook for 2 minutes. Take the lid off and shake the pan lightly and put the lid back on for a minute. Turn the heat off and leave to rest until you’re ready to add them to the Sindhi Kadhi.
Heat oil in a heavy bottom saucepan over a medium heat. Add the asafoetida and cumin seeds. Let them fry for a few seconds and add the fenugreek seeds. Fry for 2-3 seconds and add half the green chillies and half the curry leaves. Add the ginger and fry for a minute.
Turn the heat to a low setting and add the gram flour and roast for 3 minutes stirring continuously. Add the powdered spices and fry for a few seconds. Take the pan off the heat and add 500mls water a little at a time. Using a whisk mix well making sure there are no lumps.
Put the pan back on the heat and add the jaggery and tamarind paste. Mix well to blend the tamarind with the kadhi. Season to taste. Add another 200mls of water to thin out the kadhi a bit more and simmer for 5 minutes on a low heat. Stir half way through making sure it does stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the okra/ bhindi and boiled potatoes. Simmer for 2 minutes. Garnish with fresh coriander and the remaining curry leaves. Serve warm with rice and something crispy.