Is this woman rewriting the future of the cookbook?

A 25-year-old chef’s book may change the way recipes are served up to readers in India.
Is this woman rewriting the future of the cookbook?

“When I entered I got the aroma of jasmine flowers. So I told my mum, we’ll dry a batch of jasmine and put it in a bottle to use in gin cocktails the next time we have a party.”

For publishing companies, cookbooks are a regular ingredient in the year’s mix. But whipping up a smorgasbord of stories, history and recipes has almost become a formula, with not much effort being put into innovating on firm.

A forthcoming book by chef Anahita Dhondy, who’s all of 25, may change that. To be published by HarperCollins, the book is closer to the novel (and film) Like Water for Chocolate, in which the young heroine turns to cooking when her mother forbids her to marry the man she loves.

Of course, it’s still a cookbook, made all the more poignant by the fact that less than 70,000 Parsis remain in India. And the recipes, obviously, are from the family vaults. “Handwritten recipes get handed over one generation to another, but food runs in every bawa’s blood. It’s always about what the next meal is going to be.”




We try to wear

What’s in fashion

Regardless of where

Its made

India Korea China

Phillipines or Bangladesh


Labourers sweat on
Pennies a day

Cramped together

like sardines

Toiling away from

Sunrise to setting of sun

In harsh ill-ventilated conditions

On making clothes

So that we look

Primp & proper everyday!


They work their fingers

To the bone

Sweat covering rest

Of the body

Inhaling stale dirty air

Day in day out

So that their loved ones

Cannot breakfast lunch

Or dinner do without


Innocent lives were lost

Some even lost their precious limbs

For what?

So we can shop from

High end stores!!!
Greed is our form of sin

The more one has

The more one wants

In these circumstances

It’s the innocent victims

Unaware were caught


Our children are

Well fed  well clad

With  no care

In the world

The thought of

Poor innocent children

Running around hungry & bare!








“My Mother Used to Say”

 “My Mother Used to Say”–Great gift for Mother’s Day


Dear friends
The 2nd (and updated) printing of this delightful book is now available (the first printing sold out in a couple of months just by word of mouth).  They make great gifts for family and friends.  Order now to get in time for MOTHER’s DAY.
Roshan and Dinaz

Parsi and Persian Quotations and Vignettes
of their Inimitable Language and Lifestyle

Roshan Rohinton Rivetna and Dinaz Kutar Rogers
Illustrations by Kaizin Pooniwala
Hardcover, published by FEZANA, 2015.
(Shipping in USA: $4 for the first book plus 50c for each additional book)
To order contact FEZANA Office, Zenobia Damania,
or purchase at

This delightful compilation captures and records — lest future generations growing up in the West forget — priceless heirlooms, including over 1000 Parsi and Persian quotations and fun phrases to timeless words of wisdom, ingenious home remedies for all ailments, and nostalgic memories of growing up in Parsi ‘baugs.’ It is a great way to remind and regale those who grew up on the Indian subcontinent and Iran about a part of their heritage they left behind.  New generations born and raised in the Western Diaspora will be enlightened and entertained, and all readers will appreciate the wisdom our parents and grandparents dispensed in their own incomparable way.

The Perfect Calendar

Finally some one has recognized the truth and called the spade a spade.
In the month of February I noticed that the ancient Mazdayasni calendar was recognized as the most perfect calendar that needs NO correction for 110,000 years but they had called it the Iranian Hijiri calendar.

I wrote to them and drew there attention to the fact that Islam did not exist in 2000 BCE. They have now recognized the perfect calendar as the PERSIAN CALENDAR OF 2nd MILLENNIUM BCE.   (3754z)

Hope one day the Zoroastrian community will officially adopt the Mazdayasni Calendar as their own. Till then each one of us can individually use what was our own and is today considered as the only perfect calendar that has ever existed. 
The proof is in Bundahishn 25:25: the ‘vehizaki’ month Frawardin, the month Ardwahisht, and the month Hordad compose the season of spring.
The month Tir, the month Amurdad, and the month Shahrewar are of summer.
The month Mihr, the month Aban, and the month Adar are of autumn;
and the month Day, [211] the month Vohuman, and the month Spandarmad are of winter.

please NOTE: Spring has 92.8 days Summer has 93.6 days Autumn has 89.9 days and Winter has 88.9 days.

With Regards

Fariborz Rahnamoon


FEZANA Academic Scholarship Applications for 2016-2017 are now open

Applications are invited for the following FEZANA ACADEMIC SCHOLARSHIPS (in alphabetical order)

  • DOWLET MINOCHER VESUNA / WZO Canada Endowed Scholarship for academic excellence and proven financial need to an undergraduate student.
  • Dr. MINOCHER RUSTOM VESUNA / WZO Canada Endowed Scholarship for academic excellence and proven financial need to a graduate student.

All scholarships are open to Zarathushti applicants who have obtained admission for attendance at institutions of higher learning (accredited degree-granting colleges or universities) in USA or Canada.

Scholarships for the academic year 2016-2017 will be awarded in September 2016.

To Apply online and for more information go to  


Marketing isn’t for the faint hearted says Marriott’s Khushnooma Kapadia

It wasn’t easy trading her stellar grades in finance for a role in communications. Khushnooma Kapadia’s passion for marketing and media led her to abruptly switch (all for good reason as she would later discover) from an outperforming job at Arthur Anderson to a career in hospitality. As the marketing head of Marriott India, her journey has been rewarding and complete with surprises at every bend.

When she interviewed for the job at Marriott, she was four months pregnant and nearly certain she wouldn’t get it. Witty and focussed, Khushnooma holds to her credit the successful launch and running of 20 out of 23 Marriot Hotels across India.

She speaks with Divya Mody about being career woman, the challenges she faced and the choices that shaped who she is today.

Palkhivala and The Constitution of India

Posted in LEGAL LUMINARIES by NNLRJ INDIA on February 21, 2010


by Soli J. Sorabjee    Cite as : (2003) 4 SCC (Jour) 33

Nani Palkhivala

Nani Palkhivala

On 16-1-1920 was born a child in Bombay whom his parents christened Nanabhoy. It was not an earth-shattering event at that time. In later years, he was known as Nani Palkhivala—a household name, not only amongst lawyers, but throughout the length and breadth of our country. What was the constitution of this man who became an authority and a guardian of our Constitution in later years? What was his background?

Physically he was not impressive. A young, slim boy measuring about 5 feet 7 inches in height and not having many kilos to carry. Nani Palkhivala was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He hailed from a humble Parsi middle-class working family. His ancestors were in the profession of making and fixing “palkhis,” namely, palanquins, to be fitted to horse carriages of those times. Hence the surname Palkhivala, which like many Parsi surnames, is associated with a particular calling or profession.

Nani Palkhivala’s schooling was in Master’s Tutorial High School in Bombay. He was a brilliant student and did extremely well despite his initial handicap of stammering which he overcame by sheer willpower. After matriculation he joined St. Xavier’s College, Bombay and completed his MA in English Literature. In younger days, he did take to music and played the violin reasonably well. But the spell of Apollo was short-lived. Music was not one of his passions in later life.

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Dhansak with goat meat kababs and caramelised rice at Rustom’s Parsi Bhonu

I spent a week with my younger son in Delhi and got back yesterday. One of the culinary highlights of this trip was trying out the cuisine at Rustom’s Parsi Bhonuin South Delhi. With Parsi cuisine I have only had the occasional home-cookeddhansak and the thought of eating home-style food in a restaurant appealed to me.
Parsi food is more famous for its non-vegetarian dishes but the co-owner of the restaurant Kainaz Contractor has introduced vegetarian dishes from time-tested recipes from her family. One is a cauliflower dish that is cooked with coconut milk. But that evening we didn’t try that one out.

Patrani machchi

We started with the Patrani machchi, which was tilapia fish with coriander/mint chutney and steamed in banana leaves. These were little packets from heaven!!
The mains of dhansak with caramelised rice and goat meat kababs along with lentils with some meat pieces was just right.

A bit of the tasty kachumbar can be seen here

According to Wiki, dhansak is a popular dish among the Parsi Zaraostrian community. It combines elements of Persian and Gujarati cuisine. The dish is made by cooking goat meat with a mixture of lentils and vegetables and a combination of spices known as dhansak masala. This is served with caramelised brown rice which is rice cooked in caramel water to give it a typical taste and colour.

Inside the restaurant

We also ordered plain rice with spicy Parsi fish curry in coconut milk but this was a bit of a disappointment as it wasn’t spicy enough for me. But theaccompaniments of kachumbar, prawn pickle and raisins and carrot pickle were absolutely delicious! Kachumbar is the term for a simple onion, cucumber and tomato salad mixed with spices. It goes well with any Indian meal. More ingredients can be added in this side dish.

Accompaniments: (r) raisin & carrot pickle (l) prawn/garlic pickle

My son’s favourite was the Patrani machchi!
Out of the dessert options I chose laganu custard which translates to ‘wedding custard’ and is served at weddings. Made with milk, eggs and nuts, it’s a perfect ending to a meal.

Laganu custard

After the dinner we chatted with Chef Rahul Dua, the other owner of this restaurant. The food, the ambience and the courteous staff …all made it worthwhile. The best part was having a meal that one would have in a Parsi home. So delicious that I’d definitely want to be there on my next visit to Delhi.