I still remember our Hyderabad days, when we used to often visit Sindhi Colony, for the chaats, food, clothes etc. There was something about the Sindhi Colony, which attracted us there often. In Bangalore, I have not had the opportunity to visit Sindhi Colony in that way. I have just seen the address written in a couple of stores, on my way to Frazer town, that’s all. A couple of years back, Sindh Kitchen caught my attention with their palak patta chaat and few others, which I now remember faintly, in a night market in JW Marriott premises. This year in the month of May, at world on a plate, they caught my attention when they bagged the award for their fruit salad with a twist. Soon after, I visited their Indiranagar outlet and tried a few North west frontier dishes like chapli kebab, naan Baluchistan etc, but I always had a wish to have a proper Sindhi meal.
Finally, this month, on a Sunday afternoon, my wish was fulfilled. This is very close to the Mantri Mall. Even this is inside a hotel, however, this is not in the ground floor, and the lift opens to this quaint place.So accessibility wise this is taken care of. If one decides to take elderly parents or others, this is a nice place. They have an extensive North Indian menu and an entire page dedicated to Sindhi specialties.
Our attention was on the Sindhi Specials. We started with two chaats – palak patta chaat and sev puri chaat. The palak patta chaat won all our attention with this crispy yet “chatpata” deep fried spinach leaves. The sev puri chaat with a dash of lemon has its mild charm. Then we tried the traditional “Daal Pakwaan” and “Alu Tuk”. The Daal Pakwaan was good, I wish the daal was a bit spicy or the imli chutney added a special touch, I asked for green chilly to add my own spicy touch. The alu tuk was amazing – when explained, I understood old potatoes are first boiled, mashed and then given shape and double fried to make these crispy snack, it was served with a dash of chilly or spice, and I missed it for the next few days. This reminded of the Bengali aloor chop, without the batter or the aloo tikkis outside my school, definitely, this was way more crisp, fresh and I will remember this for a long time.
In the mains, we tried Sindhi Kadi Chawal (the kadi is very different and not the curd based kadis I have known so far, this had lot of vegetables too) with meetha boondi, this was a very new experience for me to try the tangy kadhi chawal with meetha boondi, it created a symphony which lingered for a long time. I can say this was a palate cleanser for me, but I can have a small portion only. Then we tried the Sai bhaji with buga Chawal (onion flavored rice with cardamom & cinnamon). This was the first time I had sai bhaji, and the number of vegetables which goes in, really makes it so interesting. In fact, I took a few bites of koki paratha with this and liked it. What I understand now Sai is green and bhaji denotes vegetables, so this mixed veg is a must in all the special occasions and days in Sindhi custom. We also tried Koki with curd. In non-vegetarian we tried only Photey ka gosht (elaichi lamb) and a Sindhi Chicken curry. Others also tried the khamiri roti and sathpura. Personally, I think the vegetarian dishes remain etched in my memory more than the non-vegetarian dishes.
I was too full after the starters and mains, so I barely managed to nibble the dessert Sindhi “Pragri with rabri”. Pragri is again a traditional must have for the Sindhis and its preparation requires a lot of patience. The duet marked the perfect ending to a nice traditional lunch experience.
As this was my first Sindhi meal experience, I shall always remember this lunch. Now, if you ask me, will I revisit, yes, there’s lot more to try.