Cookbook Review: Sindhi Cuisine by Pushpee Moorjani
Julia Child once said, “You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.” Pushpee Moorjani’s cookbook Sindhi Cuisine also reflects the same vibe. Very traditional Sindhi recipes cooked beautifully, infusing those perfect spice blends to die for. This is the reason, for the past few days, I have given my beloved traditional Bengali food and my fusion food ideas a short break. The waft of flavours coming from my kitchen even tells the neighbours that I am all in for Sindhi food! Thanks to this amazing cookbook gifted to me by my blogger friend and author Pushpee Moorjani, who herself is a Sindhi. This book is a collection of her mother’s recipes. Those flavours and masala blends which I had not experimented much, are now a part of my meal. For example, sprinkling garam masala at the end of cooking an Indian dish is very common, but there is this traditional Sindhi masala blend of roasted and powdered caraway seeds and cardamom, which I especially fell in love with. Of course, the Sindhi garam masala itself is full of a magnetic aroma. My newfound passion is trying out Sindhi dishes now: thanks to Pushpee Moorjani’s cookbook, which features more than 100 traditional recipes.
I have loved eating Sindhi curry since a long time. Growing up in Delhi, I had a few Sindhi friends too, who would bring Sindhi curry in their lunchbox. I loved the flavours, though to my surprise, each Sindhi curry tasted different from the other. Trying out Pushpee’s Sindhi Curry recipe, I was transported to my college days of eating a plethora of homemade Punjabi and Sindhi lunchbox dishes together, in that little half-an-hour break we used to get in between the lectures. Pushpee’s nostalgic Sindhi Curry is her mother’s original age-old recipe, and it has a Hyderabadi Sindh influence. Made without adding the dhal, this recipe is a bit tricky though. As Pushpee suggested, the first 10 minutes are very crucial for this dish, as half of the gram flour has to be roasted (with cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and asafoetida) till it achieves the perfect brownish tan. After that, a mixture of gram flour and water has to be added to this. The curry has to be boiled thoroughly, stirring at regular intervals, till all the foam is dissolved. This authentic Sindhi curry with vegetables is tedious, but tastes yum! Pushpee suggested that this curry is served best with boiled moong bhajiyas and sweet bhoondi. Make sure to adjust the salt, chillies and sourness levels according to your preference, though.
When comfort food cravings attack, I make this dish. The Kheemey ji Talebadi is a spicy mince and macaroni bake. Made with minced mutton, the dish is finished with crumbled boiled egg on the top. Have you tried drumsticks flowers? These tiny flowers are now almost a forgotten affair in many Indian kitchens, but this traditional Sindhi recipe for spiced drumsticks flowers (Swanjhrey je Gullan ji Bhaaji) is a treasured one. Although, being a Bengali, I don’t add cardamoms to ridge gourds, I was surprised to see this Sindhi recipe of ridge gourd with cardamoms. Pushpee’s Turri ji Bhaaji Phote mei uses ginger and cardamoms as flavour-enhancers for the ridge gourd. How interesting!
Being a rice lover, I loved the recipe of Chicken Biryani Sindhi Style and Teevar ji Biryani (mutton biryani). But what caught my attention more is the Veshnoo Biryani, a vegetarian biryani with selected veggies and the special Sindhi garam masala.
I made these festive Badam Puris recently for my kids for the festival of Rakshabandhan. The recipe was simple, but I loved the taste more because of the garnish of grated coconut and chopped almonds. These were totally addictive and my family finished the puris in no time. I made two more batches of these puris since then. With Pushpee’s permission, I have included the recipe for Badam Puri, traditionally made in the month of Shravan.
The book has delicious Sindhi recipes, although it would have been better with photographs of the recipes. You can order the book Sindhi Cuisine online through Amazon.com.
- Ingredients for Puri:
- Refined flour: 2 cups
- Liquid orange food colour: 2 drops
- Salt: ½ tsp
- Ghee: 4 tbsp
- Oil: For deep frying
- Grated dried coconut: 2 tbsp
- Chopped almonds: 2 tbsp
- Ingredients for syrup:
- Water: 1 cup
- Sugar: 1 cup
- Cardamom powder: 1 tsp
- For the syrup, heat the water in a pan and add sugar. Cook till the sugar dissolves and the syrup attains a one-thread consistency. Add cardamom powder and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the refined flour, food colour and salt. Add water and knead to a soft dough. Set aside, covered, for 20 min. Make lime-sized balls out of dough and keep them covered for 10 min. Roll each one out into four-inch disc. Brush ghee on the surface, fold in half, and then half again to make a triangle. Press lightly with a rolling pin. Deep-fry on medium heat till golden brown. Remove from oil and immerse in sugar syrup. Remove from syrup and place on a plate. Garnish with dried coconut and chopped almonds.
August 19, 2014 @ 7:56 pm
India has so many wonderful cuisines! I love the variety, and all the flavors. This looks wonderful — thanks.
August 20, 2014 @ 12:33 am
I do not know much about Sindhi cuisine and this book looks like a good place to start.
Nami | Just One Cookbook
August 20, 2014 @ 6:09 pm
I’m new to Sindhi cuisine. But this book sounds wonderful focusing on fresh ingredients! I’d love to try this dessert. 🙂
Curry and Comfort
August 28, 2014 @ 11:52 am
I love cookbooks and this looks like a fabulous one for my collection. 🙂