The Sindhi pop-up at Rocksalt promises dal pakwan, aloo tuk and other favourites
You’d think tucking into a Sindhi feast in a city that boasts a burgeoning gastronomic scene that includes cuisines ranging from Japanese and Korean to Mexican, Italian, Greek and more, would be a cake walk. But besides a handful of restaurants, there’s really nothing to do justice to the cuisine of the region. With an aim to popularise Sindhi food in Bengaluru, food critic and a Sindhi himself, Suresh Hinduja, teams up with celebrated chef Abhijit Saha for a week-long Sindhi food festival, at Rock Salt, the latter’s restaurant on Museum Road.
We visited the restaurant for a tasting of the menu, which was accompanied with Suresh’s tales of growing up in a Sindhi household, his many food escapades all across the country and his experiments with cooking. Borrowed from his grandmother’s cookbook, the recipes are tweaked to make them a bit more modern, but he assured us that the flavours are all intact. We started with the Sindhi breakfast staple, Dal Pakwan. Dal is cooked and served over a pakwan or crisp fried flatbread and topped with a tangy and spicy tamarind chutney. The tanginess accentuated the subtle flavour of the dal and the crisp pakwan added texture.
Take a sip
We then sampled the Bhee-Dhingri-Patata Tikki made with minced lotus root, Afghan mushrooms and potatoes. Crisp and golden, this one is delicious but a little on the spicy side, so you best pair this with the cleverly named Shiela Kijwani — a cocktail that uses sandalwood extract, saffron, passion fruit, lime and vodka.
For mains, opt for the Teevarn Mutton, a spicy and tangy curry that goes best with the flaky and comforting Sindhi Phulka or the Sindhi must-have, Koki, a paratha made with wheat flour and chopped onions. Here, instead of cooking it on a pan, the paratha is made in the tandoor, which calls for precision, and the results were impressive. The Seyal Murghi is a traditional chicken curry that brings together chicken, tomatoes, onions and yoghurt. The yoghurt and tomatoes introduce some sour elements into the plate for a well balanced dish.
A must-have is the Sindhi-style Biryani, which we were informed is flavoured with Afghan plums, which give it a sweet and sour edge. However, the highlight was the Aloo Tuk, a double fried sliced potato dish. Crisp and flavoured with chilli, turmeric and coriander powders and other spices, this one makes a crunching sound as you bite into it. Let go of your inhibitions, because it is truly worth it. We wrapped up our Sindhi meal with a thandai pudding, which replicates the traditional thandai in a mousse-like dessert, saffron, pepper and all.
With a focus on home-style recipes and honest flavours, this festival takes you on a delectable journey into Sindhi cuisine.
Rs.750++ upwards. Until Sunday. At Museum Road