Sev Ni Kheer (Sweet Vermicelli in Saffron Milk)

Here is a comfort dish made from wheat vermicelli and saffron infused sweet milk with nuts as garnish.

Have it for breakfast hot or warm or serve it as a dessert!



1 litre milk (full fat)
1 big pinch of saffron
5 tablespoonful of sugar (Add less sugar first and adjust to your taste)
2 handfuls of roasted fine vermicelli or plain vermicelli
Handful of nuts: chopped cashews, slivered almonds, pistachios.
1 small handful of raisins (optional)
½ cup grated fresh paneer* (optional)
3 pods of cardamoms
Little bit of mace (jaiphal) to grate on top of kheer
Roast the nuts in little ghee till they become slightly toasted.
Add raisins and roast
Keep the nuts and raisins aside
Add the saffron to ¼ cup water milk to infuse colour for about 10 minutes
In a wide pan, heat milk, add sugar, cardamoms and saffron milk.
Keep on stirring till it boils then lower heat and stir for another 10 minutes
Add the grated paneer, roasted Sev, and 1/3 of the nuts and raisins.
Cook for a further 5 minutes then remove from heat.
Grate a bit of jaiphal (mace) on top
Serve hot, warm or chilled with a sprinkling of the nuts and raisins on top.
Note as it cools down, it thickens so add a bit of milk if you want to when serving.
*{Make paneer by splitting ½ litre milk by adding little vinegar in hot milk and straining the solids}

Posted By Aban to My Food and Recipes

Pervin Todiwala – the First Lady of Britain’s Indian food scene

Posted on March 24, 2014 by  


…………………………   One woman I’ve always regarded with wonder is Pervin Todiwala, or, to afford her the full title she so fully affords, ‘Pervin Todiwala: Marketing Whiz, Charity Champion, Honorary Dame d’ Escoffier and TIAW 100 World of Difference Award-Winner’. Someone so humble would never introduce themselves with such fanfare; her lack of trumpet-blowing making it all the more imperative you understand that this lady is a legend. ………………………..


Click here for more


Khichri Saas


Unlike most Indian and Parsi curries that depend heavily on spices; the Parsi white curry ‘Saas’ (in my knowledge, Saas is a linguistic diversion of the word Sauce) boasts of only two spice elements: fresh green chili peppers and whole cumin seeds.

But the part that really makes this fish curry stand out from its curry-peers, is the use of an egg-sugar-vinegar mixture, added at the end of the cooking process, to create a curry emulsion with magical taste.

Often served at Parsi weddings and events, the Saas ni Macchi is also a popular home-cooked meal, generally accompanied by Basmati rice Khichri (recipe below,) which is Parsi cuisine’s take on the well-known Indian rice-n-lentil Khichdi.

Click Here for the details and the recipe

Adar nu Parab and Ava nu Parab with Daar ni Pori

Parsis in India and elsewhere would  be  celebrating  the Atash nu Par-hub , Ardar Mahinoo / Ardar Roj in a few  days.. The wood or coal burning “chew-lo”  in the olden days, 640during my time it was given a good clean-up and new coat of plaster or  paint. Words from the Zoroastrian scriptures would  hand written on the  wall  with  thick paste  either of tumeric (haldi) and flour or in red with  “kuku and flour”. Flowers and fruits  and a lit ghee-no-divo would be placed in the thalli.  Sometimes sweet dishes like Ravo, Sev or  Malido were also specially made for the occasion. We  kid in North India  were told it was “chew-la nu var-as” (stoves birthday).

But what I liked best was the “Ava Roj nu Par-hub” that precedes the Atash nu par-hub by a month or so. Why?  Because in Delhi the  Ava Roj   Jashan was by the fast flowing  Jumuna River where  we boy could  float  paper boats and where my favourite  Daar-ni-poeree was offered. The “Daar-nee-poeree” used to be a special, very yummy and rare treat that we as kids eagerly looked forward to.  That was some 75 to 80 years ago.

Wonder if  this practice is  still followed in India particularly outside Mumbai? While I  don’t  know if it is appropriate decorating the electronic cooking range in  the U.S.A for the Atash nu par-hub, but I did attempt  making the “Daar-ni-poeree” and since it  came out  fine, I am happy to share this family recipe with any  or “Parsi, Irani, Zarathushti All Under One Roof” readers, who  would like  to make their own poe-rees for any forthcoming blessed occasion or simple eating pleasure.



A Late Villy Sorabji,  Recipe.  

(With short cuts by Rusi)

  1. Daar  toovar                   1,000 grams

  2. Ghee / Butter                   125 grams

  3. Sugar           200  to 250  “   according to you  your tastes  keep aside 50 gr to add later after  tasting.

  4. Almonds   sliced   4 Table Spoons.

  5. Charolee                  “    “       “

  6. Pistachios   chopped 2 Tbsp

  7. Rasins, Sultanas, Cranberry, dried cherries,  2 heaped Tbsp each.

  8. Orange peel   3 Tbsp.   or to taste

9.  Water  for boiling Daar.  4 to 6 cups .

  1. Flavorings:

Elaichee(cardamom powder)  2 Teaspoons (tsp)

Nutmeg powder  2 tsp

Rose water quarter cup & Rose Essence 1 tsp    Or Alternately only one third  cup  Rose water
or Kavera.

Vanilla essence  2 tsp.

  1. Covering . Dough

Atta 3parts  Sooji one part…….  All-purpose flour 3parts  & Semolina 1 part.  Total  400 gr dough.

Atta half a cup for  rolling the  dough into thin covering for the Pooree.

Ghee or butter  3 to 4 Tbsp.
Salt  2 tsp.

Egg One. Well beaten.

Water for making the dough.  One cup.

Muslin cloth to keep the  outside of the dough moist.


Clean, wash and soak the Toovar daar  in a bowl  filled with water. Daar should be totally submerged in it. Let it stand for  half an hour. Take a  big  pot with a  lid to boil the  Daar. Draining the  water away  pour the daar in the pot  add 4  or 5 cups  fresh water cups and cook on  high flame, stirring  frequently till daar is soft. If necessary add remaining water after  heating it in the micro for 30 seconds. Add Ghee/ butter and stir  while  mashing the daar  beads with a long handle  wooden spoon. Be careful of the spits of the hot  daar  jumping on your  hands. Once it is mashed and about to  thicken lower the flame and stir in the sugar, cardamom and nutmeg.

Mix in the fruits at  4  to 8. And let it  cool. Mix in the rose water and essences

Note: If Orange peel is out of season, like in California where it is only available during the pre-Christmas season,  use Marmalade which contains mostly tangy  thick  peel. I used an 18 ounce bottle.  Taste the mixture and if you like it more “tangy”  add more rinds from marmalade, taking care  that it does not thin down the “daar” or make it  sticky.   (also see note below)


WP_20140404_004Dough for  covering:

In a large bowl mix the atta, sooji i.e,  flour & semolina, ghee and salt  add half-a-cup of water.  Mix well if need be add a little more water till the  dough  comes  clean off the sides of the bowl. Cover  it with  a damp muslin cloth and put it aside  for at least half an hour.

Then making 4 inch( 10 cm) size round balls roll them into about 10 inch round  or square sheets,  “rotlis” or “chapattis” ( like Mexican tortillas ) no more than one-eighth of an inch  ( 3 cm.) thick. Spread the “Daar” in the center,  little more than   half an inch (15 mm)   high and fold over on all sides covering the “daar”  completely,  then pinch-sealing  the edges  with beaten egg. Flatten the edges. Bake the round discs  either in an oven or on the griddle. Oven at 400 F for  about 6  minutes then flipping it  over on the other side  for another 5 or 6 minutes until light golden. Since ovens come in different sizes and atmospheric conditions affect the cooking differently, it is recommended to  keep an eye of the baking and flip it over no sooner the top appears light golden.

Alternate method:  For  a large party,  Since making  the round “poori(s) as above  requires skill  and practice besides being  laborious and time consuming, I experimented making it in a rectangle  and  10 inch round aluminum pie dishes. (Please see pictures 006 & 7 above) .

Layering the dish with the rolled out  rectangular dough,  stretching it a little and making sure it covers all the 4 side walls of the dish up to  one inch. Fill it up with enough “daar” so that the layer is  a minimum half inch thick.

To evenly flatten the “daar”mixture in the pie dish, I used a  coffee mug since rolling pins can’t be  operated within the dish. (Please see pictures 003 & 004 above)

Cover the surface of the “daar” with the rolled sheet of dough. Pinch the edges from the side wall dough  after brushing over-laps / joints with egg  to make a good seal. Use a fork to press the edges or  scratch designs on the surface.  Bake at 400 F (205 C) for about 12 to 15 minutes. Keeping an eye on it  after  10 minutes.


WP_20140404_007If you intend to serve the poe-ree soon after baking or if you like a rich golden crust, lightly brush it  with the egg.

Note:   To save time  & effort I used  the commercially available readymade frozen puff pastry sheets.

Should you prefer to use it  too,  this is  what needs to be  done.  After taking the pastry out of the container cover with a damp cloth and let it  thaw for at least 30 minutes.  Then dust some dry flour on a rolling surface and carefully  place the pasty sheet.  Powder lightly  the top of the sheet and  using a rolling pin thin it down as  stated above.

A word of caution.  Do not try to unroll the frozen sheets until they  thaw, they will break into pieces.


Someone once asked, “How long can we  keep the Dal-ni-poe-ree ? ”  Meaning what is the shelf life. I don’t  have the answer, but Parsis visiting Bombay usually carry them  home and  even after the  long journey plus the days or weeks in their  refrigerators, they  probably taste just as good when offered.

I put the same question to the manager of the Parsi Dairy Farm’s restaurant which is on the National Highway approaching Udwada, his typically Parsi never to be forgotten  reply was;

“ If you eat it  today or  tomorrow, it is like  being with your new young girl-friend,    after that  it is  like being with your  wife.”  

    (I really could not fathom out what he really implied? )


Rusi Sorabji

PS:  To make the DNP extra BAWA special. Not for  kids. Take a half a cup of your favourite Brandy, Rum or Vodka, soak the Rasins, Sultanas, Cranberries and Cherries for a few hours before adding  it to the mix.


How Salli Became An Integral Part Of Parsi Cuisine

Most of the city’s Parsi food-serving Irani restaurants are around Fort, and fried foods and sweets shop Camy Wafers has a sound and solid reputation among them for the quality of their salli, the well-loved, deep-fried and salted juliennes of potato often used in Parsi food. Indeed, Britannia’s 91-year-old Boman Rashid Kohinoor Irani said he only buys his stock for the 91-year-old restaurant’s salli boti, salli kheema, and salli chicken from the Camy Wafers shop on Colaba Causeway. When I visited this outlet, the manager briefly paused in the middle of their frenetic mid-afternoon business to inform me that that they sell about ten kilos of salli a day on average, not counting festive occasions. The biggest buyers are Irani joints and Parsi restaurants, as well as Parsi and Sindhi folk who come from nearby Colaba and from as far as Hughes Road.

A few years ago, I had spent a few weeks in Iran, where, leave aside salli, potatoes barely figure in the cuisine and meals are typically a spread of beautiful leaf-thin “berg” kebabs; barberry-, saffron- and fried onion-laden meaty “polo” (a biryani-like rice dish, related to pilaf and pulao); “fesenjan” or duck cooked in a nutty-tart sauce of walnuts and pomegranate molasses, and the fizzy minty yoghurt drink “ayran”. The Persian influence in Indian Parsi food is evident in the community’s love for meat and their propensity to combine it with dried fruit, as in jardalu salli boti. But the Parsi proclivity to to put these crisp fried potato sticks on their gravied dishes seems to be entirely their own. (We Sindhis eat salli as a snack, sprinkled with red chilles and salt, with our tea, while Maharashtrians make a sweet-salty and very delicious chiwda with them.)

Dalal offered the most plausible explanation for the Parsi love of salli. Potatoes, among other produce, were brought to western India by the Portuguese (via Spanish explorers who brought them from the Andes in South America, where the potato originates) in the early 16th century. The Parsis, being an adaptable and integrative community, adopted some Portuguese ways. Vinegar (“sarka”, part of Parsi pork vindaloo, and many other dishes) and potatoes are Portuguese influences on Parsi food, and have nothing to do with Persia.

It’s still hard to say which ingenious Parsi cook decided to put salli over spicy mince, over chicken and apricots, and under eggs (salli par eeda), but Dalal points out that its explosive crunchiness apart, this textural joy also has a very practical use – during bhonu (meals), it prevents the gravy of the dishes it covers from running all over the patra (banana leaf). Dalal says that to be most effective, salli has to be cut just right – too long and it starts curling. It also needs to be fried just right – the best salli has a definitive snap, and is also very pale, cream in colour, with a flush of gold. Before mandolines and potato-cutting machines came along, all salli was manually made, and it was all tediously hand-cut jaadi (fat) salli. Dalal has memories of going to Golden Wafers on Grant Road as a kid and watching the workers hand squeeze brined potato sticks in a cheesecloth that had gone grey from all that starch.

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Pali naka’s Parsi pride

Pali naka’s Parsi pride – Roxanne Bamboat


Karan Johar’s mom, Hiroo digs the dhansak. But that’s not why you need to make a call to Ashmick.

For burb residents who whine about Parsi cuisine joints opening shutters in SoBo, Ashmick’s Snack Shack at the chaotic Pali Naka junction is the place to visit.

No more than four tables and chairs backed by a kitchen, it has no ambience to boast of, but its VFM bawa specialities more than make up for ‘mood’.

Owner Minoo Pavri (yes, we too went looking for an owner called ‘Ashmick’ but realised the name is a mix of ‘Ash’of Arohar – the winged guardian angel Parsis consider holy – and Pavri’s pet name ‘Mick’y. He has hand-picked dishes traditionally cooked in Parsi homes, and added a few snacks to beef up what’s a modest but deliciously simple menu.

Their mutton dhansak (Rs 240) is available only on Thursdays and Sundays (filmmaker Karan Johar’s mothyer, Hiroo, we hear, orders in often) but the patra ni machchi (Chak de! India actor Vidya Malavade is a fan) is yours to unwrap, sniff and tuck into all through the week.

Pavri started out in 1996 with no training in hospitality, and at a time when eating out wasn’t trendy. The recipes are his own, tweaked gently to cater to the new palate. His sali boti (Rs 220) for instance, usually a sweet-sour oniontomato gravy freckled with chunks of meat and topped with fried potato slivers, is a spicier version. Every dish that comes out of the kitchen where chefs trained by him operate like clockwork, must pass his tastetest. “Good food is top priority,” he says, like any true blue Parsi.

His biryanis are worth a try, especially for those who don’t enjoy having their lips greased with each bite. But the modest stunner, we say, is his prawn curry rice (Rs 200); it tastes just like it would in any Parsi home. A runny, balanced-with-flavour curry that supports a generous portion of succulent shrimp, it’s available only on Tuesdays and Fridays, and is worth the weekly wait.

Although seemingly out of place, Ashmick’s list of snacks (sandwiches, rolls and puffs) have their own fans from around the neighbourhood. From the roaster, we vote for the signature Ashmick burger (Rs 90) that packs in chicken, ham, egg, cheese and coleslaw (they have a mutton boti burger option too).

It has taken him a while to become the takeaway joint Bandraites love to visit (including John Abraham’s family and actor Nauheed Cyrusi), but at the moment, Pavri does seem the man to uphold Parsi culinary honour that side of the Sea Link.

Ashmick’s Snack Shack, Pali Naka (11 am to 10 pm). Shut on Wednesday. Call 26005010

Dar-ni-pori Bake-a-thon

Mark your calendars to come join us on Sat., March 8 for our annual Dar ni pori Bake-a-thon to make “dough” for our ZAH Maintenance Fund.
We’ll start at 10:00 a.m. and make and bake our poris till we’re done, should be right around tea time! We’ll also plan lunch and tea/snacks for all our volunteers, of course.
How would you like to help and participate?
Please call Roshan Engineer (281-545-3467) or Nargis Cooper (713-937-4441) and let us know what you’d like to contribute by way of ingredients, materials, lunch or tea time items, etc… as also your help with the making and baking; and yes, do place your orders, too.
Come join us in this fun community project and let’s keep this tradition going in observance of Avan Mahino, Avan Roj – our auspicious Parabh!

Date(s) – 03/08/2014
10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Zoroastrian Association of Houston



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