Tinda (apple gourd) 500g, cut into wedges
Asafoetida 1/2 tsp
Tomatoes 4 medium to large tomatoes
Green chillies 2
Ginger 1 tsp full
Coriander 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Curry leaves 8-10, divided
Chopped garlic 1 tbsp
Salt 1 tsp, plus to taste
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Kashmiri Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1 1/2 tsp
Atta 1 tbsp + 3 tbsp water to make a smooth slurry
Ghee 1 1/2 tbsp, dividedMelt half of the ghee in the pot of a pressure cooker and add the asafoetida and half of the curry leaves followed by the tomatoes, green chillies and ginger. Add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, salt. Cook till the oil starts to separate from the sides. Add the tinda and half of the coriander and close the lid of the pressure cooker and stir-fry the gourd for 2-3 minutes, add 1 to 1/2 cup water, bring it up to a boil before closing the pressure cooker. Remember that the tinda will release its own water so you have to account for that. Pressure cooker for 3-4 whistles, depending on the thickness of your wedges. Treat it like you would for potatoes.Once the pressure releases, put the pot back on the flame on low flame. Add in the slurry and increase the heat slightly and keep stirring. (If you have ended up adding extra water, just adjust the thickness by making more of the slurry). Next up, prepare the tempering. In a small tempering pan, add the remaining ghee. Add the mustard seeds and when the seeds start popping, add the garlic, curry leaves and pour the tempering over the prepared gravy. Cover immediately and let the flavours of the tempering seep into the gravy and finish with the remaining chopped coriander.
You can also buy dried drumstick flowers also called swanjhro at the Sindhi grocery store. This is to be soaked overnight to refresh in water, then boiled the next day till tender. Add the cooked drumstick flowers to a whisked raita of curd, cumin powder, salt, sugar, ginger and green chillies and set it aside for an hour at least in the refrigerator. Serve alongside this meal.
This is one of six dishes from A Sindhi summer maani. Ankiet Gulabani of Belly Over Mind dishes details about this exclusive menu for Nicobar here. Find him on Instagram here, or head to his website here.