a recipe by Nani
a film by Natasha Raheja
1h | 4-6 people
1h | 4-6 people
- 10-12 okra* (ends chopped off and slit in the middle)
- 10-12 cluster beans (ends chopped off)
- 1 small cauliflower (cut into florets)
- 2 drumsticks (cut finger length)
- 2 lotus roots (cut into 1/2 inch chunks)
- 2 baby eggplants (cubed)
- 2 green chilies (thinly chopped)
- 1 medium tomato (diced)
- 2 medium potatoes (cubed)
- 3/4 cup gram flour
- 6 cups water
- 1 tablespoons tamarind paste, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
- 1-2 teaspoons salt, to taste
- 10-12 curry leaves
- Vegetable oil
- 1 handful of cilantro leaves
- 1 handful of peas
- *More or less of any vegetable, as per personal preference
1. Separately shallow fry okra, cauliflower, potatoes and eggplant and keep aside. Separately boil lotus root until tender and keep aside.
2. In large pot, heat 4 tablespoons of oil, and then add 3/4 cup gram flour. Stir regularly for 3-5 minutes to avoid clumps. When the flour turns golden brown, slowly add water while continuously stirring.
3. Add turmeric powder, salt, green chili, and red chili powder, and tomato and simmer for 8 minutes.
4. Add potatoes and boil for 5 minutes. Then add cluster beans and boil until potatoes and beans are almost tender. Add boiled lotus root and the slightly fried okra, cauliflower, and eggplant to the pot. If needed, add more water. Curry should be runny but not watery.
5. Finally, add drumsticks, green peas, and tamarind paste and simmer for 5-7 minutes, until cooked.
6. Heat 1 tbsp oil in separate small pan, and add asafoetida, cumin seeds, after a few seconds, add fenugreek seeds, and then curry leaves. Let the seeds splatter in the hot oil for a few seconds. Then add the tempering (oil and seeds mixture) to the curry in the large pot.
7. Garnish curry with cilantro leaves and serve hot with rice. Optionally, sprinkle boondi (sweet fried gram flour balls) on top of curry.
Nani is the mother of seven and grandmother of eleven. Born in Sindh, Pakistan, but not quite sure exactly when, Nani has been approximately 80 years old for a while now. Pictured besides Nani is her husband, Nana. Nani and Nana posed for this photo in a studio in Bombay in the 1960s. Nani remembers how her in-laws didn’t appreciate Nana’s arm around her, “as if she were running away!”
One of Nani’s eleven grandchildren, Natasha is an anthropologist and filmmaker born in Texas and now based in New York. Her work explores themes relating to borders and belonging.