Care for a bite of steamed fish, Parsi style? Image: Thinkstock
It's that day of the year when you nudge your Parsi friend for an invite to their place only to devour delish home-cooked meal to mark the new year, and the first day of spring. It is Navroz day.
It coincides with spring equinox and is a big day for people of Iranian and Zoroastrian origins.
While you wish Navroz Mubarak to all your Parsi friends, might we just suggest some gems from Parsi cuisine you absolutely must try when you visit your friend's place? Or better still, ask them to treat you with *impish winks*
The thing about the flagship Parsi dish and Sunday favourite, the mutton dhansak, is that it is also eaten on the fourth day after a funeral to end a period of mourning during which no meat is eaten by the family. A bit like Bengalis eating fish for 'niyom bhongo' after a period of mourning related vegetarianism after a death in the family Which is why dhansak is never eaten by Parsis on festive occasions like weddings, navjotes or the New Years. That's the time for mutton pulao dar (dal) In keeping with this tradition, we had planned to get our cook Banu to make us some mutton dhansak on the fourth day after Jamshed uncle passed away except that she's been in #BunkinBanu mode for the last couple of days Which is when I realised how difficult it is to get dhansak on the spur of the moment at Bandra. Snack Shack and RTI have daily specials and dhansak was next there on Wednesday they said. Cheron was out of dhansak and offered me Thai Green Curry instead for some reason. Ville Vandre offered dhansak daily but has been shut for a while. Then I suddenly thought of Khar Social and managed to get us mutton dhansak from there Jamshed Uncle used to proudly tell us stories about the dhansak the RBYC kitchen would put together for the annual sail to Mandwa when he was in charge of it He'd also got us dhansak masalas made by an elderly Parsi lady and a dhansak recipe given by his sister The only time I remember having dhansak with him was at the Ripon Club on a Wednesday. He'd often invited me to join him there again but I never made it This is the link to the post I'd written on Jamshed Uncle recently. Our memories of him go way beyond this though Re: the bit on Parsi traditions, I am not Parsi. These are things I've learnt over the years http://www.finelychopped.net/2017/01/remembering-jamshed-uncle.html?m=1 #dhansak #JamshedUncle #parsi #parsifood
Dhan = seed (lentils) and sak = vegetables. Dhansak or mutton cooked in three types of lentils and vegetables with apt amount of spices is one of the most popular and loved Sunday lunch meals. It is usually served with brown rice.
2. Marghi na Farcha (Chicken Farcha)
People have been licking their fingers after having fried chicken, much before KFC made it all about them. Till date, Parsi-style fried chicken is one of the eternal favourites of foodies and the spicy twist will make you go nom-nom in no time.
3. Patra ni Machhi
Steamed fish, topped with chutney, packed in banana leaves — what's not to love? This is sort of a Parsi equivalent for what Bengalis have as maacher (fish) paturi.
4. Kolmi no Patio
You know something is perfect when it reminds you of your first memory associated with it. :D Pulling all my pseudo Parsi roots, this Kolmino Patio reminded me of my first ever teacher who fed me my first Parsi dish ever. - Kolmino Patio @zazieindia #KolminoPatio #prawnspatio #yummy #perfect #awesome #food #parsidish #prawns #zazie #nofilter #nomnom #favourite #restaurant #navimumbai #parsibhonu
This Parsi-style prawn curry is a unique flavour explosion inside your mouth. The spices and the succulent prawns will leave you asking for more, every time.
5. Dar ni Pori
While everyone knows about the Maharashtian Puranpoli, few know about the Parsi Dar Ni Pori. The similarity between these dishes however ends at the use of lentils. Stuffed with toor dar or pigeon pea lentils which are soaked overnight, then pressure cooked, mashed and added with nuts and flavourings, the making of a Dar ni Pori is a labour of love, because after making the filling comes the tough part, making the pastry. So keeping the heart of this delightful pastry intact, I've made the outer shell using puff pastry Do try this recipe for Dar ni Pori Puffs, you will surely love it! Link in bio . . #pastry #puffpastry #darnipori #parsicuisine #lentils #indiansnacks #indiankitchen #recipesofindia #onmytable #f52grams #foodporn #bhg #saveurmag #foodiegram #bitesized #indianfoodblogger #foodies #sweetpastry #snacktime #snackattack #vegan #vegrecipes #dessertsofinstagram #eeeeeats #eattheworld #foodgawker #instagood #instaeats
It's a Parsi snack stuffed with sweet lentils. Like puran poli, but this is like a pastry.
6. Jardaloo Sali Boti
It is spicy, it is tangy and it is delicious. Meat (boti) prepared with apricot (jardaloo) is a dish you just can't forget. The taste stays with you for days. It is served with shoestring potatoes called dalli and we love to chomp on it.
7. Dhan Dar Patio
So @rustomsbhonu served some of the most delicious Parsi feast for me yesterday. Dhan dar patio, jardaloo marghi ma salli, kheema pattice & caramel custard to name a few! Thank you to the charming @kainazc for bringing back old school Parsi food to our plates & keeping it real. #parsi #rustomsbhonu #India
It's basically dal prepared the Parsi way with a tadka of spices. This dal, usually an accompaniment, is something that doesn't sound boring at all.
AKOORI : Parsi style, spicy scrambled eggs. Navroze Mubarak to all my beloved bawis and bawas 😘 #navroze #navrozemubarak #parseebonu #parsi #parsee #festival #spring #eggs #scrambledeggs #food #foodstagram #instafood #foodpics #foodphoto #foodphotography #foodlove #breakfast #vibrant #colours #love #instalove #mumbai #india #akoori
Parsis like their scrambled eggs a bit runny and with spices. And we like them too. It's quite a flavour-packed breakfast option.
A Bohri dessert made from semolina, wheat flour, ghee, eggs and sugar and garnished with nuts, Malido is simply delicious. • • • #EdenGoa #Eden #KitchenAndBar #Kitchen #Bar #BohriFood #Malido #Food #Foodgasm #Foodie #Foodies #Foodlovers #Yummy #FoodLover #Yum #Tasty #Delicious #Nom #NomNom #Instagram #IG
It is the ultimate Parsi sweet served on various occasions, and we look at it and just melt. It is garnished with a lot of dry fruits, and that just makes it even better.
Not even Google, in its infinite wisdom, can spell out what precisely goes into Vasanu, an exotic Parsi fudge. We hear its ingredients -chaar jaatna magaz, baval nu goonder, cummar kakri, jabar jas and karlu batrisu -tease the tongue just as does its potent blend of flavours. . Each of the 30+ ingredients has to be fried individually so as to fully extract its flavour before it’s stirred into chashni (sugar syrup) once it arrives at a single-thread consistency.“ Once all the ingredients are stirred in, the mixture is cooked on very low flame for almost two hours. Elaichi (cardamom), two other herbs and nuts are finally sprinkled atop just before serving,“ Prepared exclusively when the mercury drops, the sweet-spicy “Parsi equivalent of Chyavanprash,“ vasanu is a herbal recipe that fortifies the immune system and energises it, Now of course, most families have long since traded in the tedium of preparing it for the luxury of ordering in. #winterwarmer #vasanu #recipesofindia #thekitchn #indianfoodbloggers #onmytable #mycommontable #parsicuisine
It like an exotic Parsi-styled fudge. Yum! It is usually enjoyed during winter and is something worth looking forward to. Just the way North Indians look forward to gajar ka halwa.
11. Kopra Pak
Kopra Pak aka Coconut Barfi ready to go!! *NO ARTIFICIAL COLOR ADDED. #kesar#saffron#koprapak#coconutbarfi#noartificialcolouradded#natural#homemadegoodness#coconutlovers#mumbaifoodies#bombayfoodies#loveisfood#foodislife#goodfood#sweettooth#traditionalsweets#crazyfoodies#almonds#pistachio#liveforfood#foodielife#indianmithais#yum#nom
This one, loaded with mawa, is like a coconut fudge to satisfy your dessert cravings. Dayam!
And, of course, their custard Ravo, Bheeda Paridu, Kheema, to name a few are equally delish dishes.
We're salivating just by looking at the pictures. Now all we need is to get hold of a Parsi friend. Guess that's your plan, too. Rush!