Wadiyan. The story of a lunch in Mumbai which started in Amritsar

The story of lunch. 

There was a Punjabi couple in Mumbai who gave their Bengali friend some goodies that their parents had brought for them from Amritsar. This included the famous Amritsari wadiya/ wadi.

A few days later the Bengali called them and asked how the wadi should be cooked and then gave instructions based on what he decoded to his cook, a local Mumbaikar, who was not too familiar with the ingredient.

‘Break and crumble the wadi and sauté in oil and set it aside. Fry some onion in the pressure pan and then ginger and tomato too and then add the wadi and cubed potatoes. Add some (seasonal) carrots and green peas and a touch of basic spices - mirchi, haldi, jeera, dhaniya and salt - add water, pressure cook for 3 whistles and then turn off the gas.’

This picture sums up what the beauty of Indian food is all about. Of being soaked in the spirit of love and sharing and of harmony in diversity. Of spices and flavour and of using ingenuity, inspiration, individuality and one’s instincts and every other resource at one’s disposal to prepare a meal that makes one smile and feel thankful.

Pro-tip: The wadi has a strong chilli heat kick so you might want to pair it with steamed rice as I did. 

Uncooked wadi should be kept in the fridge I am

Told. They are crushed and added to dishes to embellish them and can even be added to rice