In more-than 25 years’ of my outing as a foodie, I have tasted all Indian and international cuisines. I mean almost and among the few that I have not eaten in a restaurant is Sindhi food. However lesser-known it may be for restaurateurs to include in their menu, it has its own repertoire of delectable dishes. And to launch an exclusively Sindhi-cuisine restaurant one needs to have a yen for it in more ways than one, just like Dharmesh Karmokar who of course is not a Sindhi but his better-half is!
Duma Dum Mast Kalandar opened its doors in my vicinity in Chembur and the name itself excited me as I had grown up listening to Bangladeshi singer Runa Laila’s rendition of this song with élan. A bit chaotic on the opening day, I could not gauge the interiors of this place but from what I gathered, it appeared to be one without much frills or flounces.
Sindhi Drinks and appetizers:
We were served the traditional Sindhi cool drink of gulab sharbat (rose syrup) topped with watermelon cubes. Then came appetizers of Kurkura chana chaat – deep fried chana with onion, tomatoes and chillies; Sanna means small and Sanna Pakoras was a plateful of small double-fried onion pakoras to the accompaniments of sweet and sour chutneys. Alu tuk is not just another potato fry as the inclusion of aamchur (raw mango powder) lends a tangy taste and makes all the difference from regular bhajias.
Sindhi Cuisine Main course:
Main course had us tucking into typical Sindhi staple of Sai Bhaji – lentils with spinach and vegetables. We called for the caramelized onion, tomato and spices melded in Bhugga chawal. We tried Sev Tamatar ki bhaji that came with loads of sev (tiny chickpea noodles) soaked in spicy tomato gravy – not much to our liking though. Sindhi Kadhi is a bowl of drumsticks and beans in gramflour-based broth and with steamed rice it is a perfect comfort food for the monsoon weather.
Duma Dum Mast Kalandar Sweets:
The restaurant has recently introduced traditional Sindhi sweets like Sevaiyan ji khirni (vermicelli kheer), Te Seero of sooji, mung dal and dudhi halwas, Tiran jo vado with rose cream (sweet sesame crisps) and srinagar ji mithai (barfi with plain sev). For a taste of this niche cuisine, Duma Dum Mast Kalandar is recommended.