Parsis absorbed various cultures’ cuisines and made them their own
On a cool, gray San Francisco morning, Niloufer Ichaporia King, the author of My Bombay Kitchen: Traditional and Modern Parsi Home Cooking, was driving to the Alemany Farmers’ Market, an outdoor venue offering an incredible selection of moderately priced fruits and vegetables grown on small farms in the area ….. More with some interesting recipes……..
Parsi culture is about 3,000 years old and goes back from India to Persia. UNESCO’s Parsi Zoroastrian Project estimates only 75,000 Parsis remain, and it has begun an effort to salvage what’s left of the culture — its clothing, traditions and food. UNESCO projects that by 2020, only 25,000 Parsis will be left. King is also known for her ritual celebrations of Navroz, the Parsi New Year, on the first day of spring, when she creates an elaborate, ceremonial meal based on the auspicious foods and traditions of her vanishing culture. Often she and the chefs of Alice Waters’ legendary restaurant, Chez Panisse, collaborate on this ritual feast together. On that night, the restaurant is decorated with garlands of gardenias, tuberose and fragrant flowers in the doorways. Rice flour stencils of fish and other auspicious shapes are powdered onto the sidewalk and steps of the restaurant to bring good luck. King cooks while her husband, biochemist David, chalks the stencils and designs and illustrates the menus.