Sindhis are an ethnic group of people that hailed from Sindh (a province in present day Pakistan). During the partition of India and Pakistan, many Hindu and Sikh Sindhis chose to settle down in different regions of India in hopes of starting a new life. One of the largest Sindhi communities in India is in the city of Mumbai.
My mom who is a Sindhi grew up in Mumbai. During my childhood days in India, I spent every summer vacation in Mumbai. My mom’s side of the family all lives there, and summer would be the only time that we would get to visit them. Once school was out my mom would pack our bags and take my brothers and I on a two day train journey to Mumbai. We use to have so much fun on the train playing games, getting off at different stations to try exciting snacks, and just spending time with each other. After a long journey, we would finally reach Mumbai and would always go straight to our nani’s (my maternal grandmother) house to enjoy a delicious Sindhi vegetarian feast.
Sindhi cuisine is very distinct (in my opinion) from other cuisines of India. Sindhi food is not overly spiced, it is quite simple, it is a little sour, and at times sweet. I am only familiar with vegetarian Sindhi cuisine because my nani is a vegetarian and so my mom only learnt vegetarian dishes. I grew up enjoying Sindhi delicacies such as Seyal maani (Indian flatbread cooked in a Sindhi style green pesto), Saibhaji(vegetarian curry made of lentils, various healthy greens, and vegetables), Sindhi Khatti Dal and so much more.Sindhi Khatti Dal is made using toor dal (pigeon peas) which is first soaked and then pressure cooked till it’s of a mushy consistency. The well-cooked dal is blended into a smooth paste and then simmered with tomatoes, ginger, curry leaves and green chili. Tamarind paste is added to give a lovely sour taste and tempered spices such as fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds are added at the end to complete the dish.This recipe is my mom’s way of making Sindhi Khatti Dal and I absolute adore it. This dal is very thin in consistency and is best enjoyed with some hot rice. At my nani house Sindhi Khatti Dal was always served along with rice, sweet boondi (little fried balls made of sweetened chickpea flour), and papad (crunchy lentil crackers).
I hope to share more Sindhi recipes with you in the future, but for now I do hope you give this recipe a try.
If you enjoy Indian cuisine or want to try it out, give these recipes a go: Mom’s simple chicken curry, upma, palak paneer, chickpea stew, egg curry, and aloo keema.
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