During my recent visit to my eldest sister’s house, I remembered to take photos of a couple of tasty curries she had made for lunch with my phone camera. I am bringing one of her curries, chickpea curry, to the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck #10.
Over the last few months, I have enjoyed sharing some Sri Lankan and Indian music together with the recipes. I have decided to continue with a musical journey around the globe with the food recipes. Therefore, as today’s music selection, I am sharing a couple of clips from the two I consider the best Sufi singers of this half-century : Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (1948 – 1997), also referred to as the Shahenshah (meaning King of Kings) of Qawwali and Abida Parveen, who is also known as the Queen of Sufi music.
During my teen years in the U.A.E, I once accompanied my parents to a concert. When the guest singer, who was introduced as Pakistan’s finest musicians starting singing, I immediately recognized the song as the favourite of my Pakistani friends at my new school and which they kept playing repeatedly during lunch breaks. The song was Dam Mast Qalandar Mast Mast and it was Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s concert. I admit back then I was not fond of qawwali music and it took a while to grow on me. I think I learnt to appreciate it after hearing them sung at Sufi shrines. The atmosphere creates an enhanced listening experience. It is only fitting that I share here the first qawwali song that I was introduced to.
A few years ago, during a brief trip to Delhi, I took a Sufi heritage tour with India Offtrack. Nirad Grover, part of the company’s core team, travel writer and my guide during the tour, recommended that I listen to Abida Parveen. I did that soon after and I have been impressed with her powerful voice since. This clip has been uploaded on youTube by Epic flo films and includes a summary translation of the lyrics at intervals.
Do share your memory of your first introduction to qawwali, if you enjoy listening to Sufi music. And, do let me know if you try out this chickpea curry!
- Chickpeas – 2 cups, boiled
- Cashew nuts – 4 or 5
- Cinnamon – 1” piece
- Garlic – 3 or 4 cloves
- Onion – 1
- Curry leaves – 1 sprig
- Salt – 2 tsp or adjust to taste
- Turmeric – ¼ tsp
- Curry powder – 3 tsp or adjust to taste
- Tamarind juice – ½ cup
- Potato – 1, boiled and mashed
- Tomato – 1, chopped
- Coconut milk – 1 cup
- Lightly fry the cashew nuts with crumbled cinnamon and transfer to grinder.
- Add the garlic cloves to the grinder and blend the mix to a coarse paste.
- Chop the onion and lightly fry the onion together with curry leaves.
- Add the coarse cashew nut paste, salt and turmeric to the pan and mix well.
- Add the boiled chickpeas and curry powder to the pan. Mix well.
- Then, add the tamarind juice and let the curry cook for a couple of minutes.
- Next, add the boiled and mashed potato to the pan and mix.
- Add the chopped tomato together with ½ cup of water and cook for a min or two.
- Then, add the coconut milk and cook till the curry consistency is right.
- Serve warm with rice or roti.