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Rustom’s Parsi Bhonu


Home-style Parsi food, like your friend Dhun’s mummy used to make it.

There’s a sudden flood of appreciation for Parsi food in Delhi, and I’m not at all surprised. With its abundance of meaty fare, decadent curries, and fried potatoes, there’s no easier cuisine for the meat-loving North to get stuck into. But this isn’t the food of Bombay’s Irani cafés. Nope, Rustom’s Parsi Bhonu is going where no Parsi restaurant has gone before: straight into the home recipes of the Parsi community.

Run by former food writer Kainaz Contractor, and partner Rahul Dua (of Café Lota fame), this tiny twenty-seat restaurant in Adhchini is primarily aimed at home deliveries, and if our first sampling of their menu was any indication, they’ll be doing roaring trade once the full menu’s in effect.

Contractor’s dipped into her own family’s repertoire to put together the menu, supplemented by other Best Of’s from friends and family, and there’s more than just dhansak on the menu, thank heavens. Personally, that meat-and-lentil stew’s always been my least favourite, paling in comparison to things like prawn patio, with its tangy tomato gravy (Rustom’s excellent version is Rs 495, and comes with yellow dal and rice), or the rich jardaloo marghiu ma salli, with ghee-fried apricots and topping of crisp, fried potato straws (Rs 395).

The kheema pattice (Rs 298) come in a pair, are ginormous, and divine. With mutton mince encased in potato, topped with egg and fried, there’s not much that can go wrong here, but Rustom’s version is so, so right that I’d be tempted to just order multiple rounds and make them my meal. They’re a little reminiscent of the ‘chops’ served in Bengali homes, but just…better. Classicists never fear, there is dhansak, and you can choose between the trad mutton (Rs 495) or even give a veggie version a spin, with spiced aubergine kababs (Rs 395). Definitely order the malai na paratha (Rs 80) to mop it all up; they’re unbelievably pliant and, when wrapped around one of those keema pattice, make one of the best rolls I’ve ever had.

Work’s still underway on the restaurant, so the kitchen is currently operating only for deliveries. We’re told that a longer menu will emerge once the place opens, but until then, their current list encompasses all that is good about Parsi home-cooking, and is on the menu for dinner tonight.

Sadeh Celebration by Iranian Zoroastrian Association

The Iranian Zoroastrian Association (IZA) will be celebrating the ancient Iranian Jashan of Sadeh on Saturday February 07, 2015.  Due to the construction of the new Darbe Mehr in Pomona New York, this year’s event will be held at the Patough Restaurant in Bayside New York (in Queens New York close to the Long Island border).

Sadeh is the celebration of the discovery of fire and the start of the human civilization. The jashan will be slightly modified this year due to the location of the event.

You are invited to join us for this celebration!

The event starts at 5:00 PM and the program is as follows:

  • Niyayesh by Mobed Noshir Hormuzdiar
  • Speech by highly regarded scholar, Dr. Houra Yavari
  • Live music by well-known artist, Shahrokh Vafa, dancing
  • Appetizers, dinner, dessert by Patough

The price of the admission is as follows:

  • Adults and Children over 12  –  $45
  • Children under 12                –  $35
  • Price with no reservation      –  $55

Cash bar is available.

Patoug’s  address is:

Patoug Food
220-06 Horace Harding Expwy
Bayside, NY 11365

Parking is available behind the restaurant.

Please rsvp by email to no later than February 4th


Bollywood Funk Class

Zoroastrian Association of Greater New York (ZAGNY)

As part of next week’s Adult Lecture series during the Prayer Class Sunday, we will be having a Bollywood Funk Dance Class.

This class shall be conducted by Zenobia Dotiwala. More about Zenobia below.

Note: All participants are requested to wear comfortable/gym clothes And definitely comfortable footwear conducive to dancing :)

 Zenobia works as a project manager at a healthcare consulting firm, but contributes a large part of her time to her passion, dancing and teaching dance. Bollywood and dancing have been Zenobia’s interests for over 20 years now and she thinks dancing is the best form of fitness [for her, at least:)]. Zenobia moved to the US in 2008 and now calls NYC her home. Zenobia’s mission is to spread awareness of Bollywood dancing wherever she can and make sure people have a great time discovering it. Zenobia dances at Bollywood Funk NYC, a premier Bollywood dance school in NYC and has performed at iconic locations such as Times Square and Madison Square Garden.


Live Encounters Magazine February 2015

People of the Good Faith: A brief history of the Parsis by Aryaa Naik, Parsi cuisine by Peri Avari and introspection from Adi Patell on the dwindling tribe of  Parsis (Zoroastrians).

Live Encounters February 2015

Click Here for the coverage of Parsis at Live Encounters Magazine – Free Online Magazine from Village Earth

Why Tata’s founder was ahead of his time

I admire Tata primarily for his three last projects. He conceived them late in life. He must have known they could take decades to complete. A truly visionary entrepreneur builds for succeeding generations, not just the initial public offering. In the case of the power and steel projects, it is hard to disentangle whether he conceived of them out of a sense of duty to his country or out of sound, long-term business sense. Often, opportunities for business coincide with the needs of a country, but it takes vision to find them.

Tata aspired to the hard-to-achieve. He did not choose the easiest paths to greater wealth. Finally, he believed in people. His use of professional management and his investment in scientific education and research in India are testament to this.

Click Here for the full article by Sunil Kumar


How a lack of vultures threatens Mumbai’s ‘Towers of Silence’

In exclusive Malabar Hill, the city’s dwindling Parsi community continues with the Zoroastrian tradition of disposing of dead bodies by exposing them to scavenger birds. How much longer can this 3,000-year-old tradition survive?

Dokhmenashini originated in ancient Persia, the homeland which the Parsis fled, circa 900 AD, to protect their ancient faith from an emerging Islam. The practice survived in pockets such as Yazd, but Iran’s dakhmas were declared a health hazard and illegal in the 1970s because urbanisation had marched upon these once-desolate ‘sky burial sites’. Mumbai’s Doongerwadi broods on despite its luxe location. But the towers are now far from silent.

The threat hasn’t come from the health department of the municipal corporation or external protest. It has arisen from the dokhmenashini system’s chief accessory. India’s vulture population had seen a steady decline due to habitat destruction caused by that omnibus aggressor, urbanisation. But it precipitated thanks to the livestock version of the drug Diclofenac, developed in the early 1990s. It proved toxic for the vultures feeding on bovine carcases. The drug was banned in May 2006, but by then it had decimated 95% of these birds. And plunged the towers of silence – and an aging community – into seismic controversy.

The Towers of Silence in Mumbai (and places such as Hyderabad) have found an alternative in powerful solar concentrators which desiccate the corpse admittedly not in the half-hour that a hungry flock of vultures accomplished, but which still keep to Zarathushtra’s injunction not to defile the elements. The solar-concentrator option has mercifully retained the religious relevance of the real estate goldmine of Doongerwadi. No Parsi would want the mystic eye of the vulture to be replaced by the rapacious one of the land shark.

Click Here for the full story from the Guardian

Karachi Parsi Institute

A recreational establishment founded in 1893, stands today in the crowded landscape of Saddar Town offering a truly enchanting perspective of Karachi’s rich heritage.




Click Here for more pics in this pictorial history collection


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