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.

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