Category Archives: Food

Daar ni Pori Recipe

Ingredients: – 340g Toor Daal – 1 Teaspoon Anise – 550ml Water – Pinch of Salt – Cooking Oil – 360g Sugar – Cardamon Powder – Nutmeg Powder – Javentri Powder – 40g Almonds – 40g Pistachio – 40g Charoli – 40g Sultana – 40g Broken Cashew Nuts – Ice Cream Essence – Maida

 

Persian Gaz

 

🌿💕😋Persian Gaz – Nougat with pistachio 🌿💕😋

For those who wish to make this Festive sweet for Nawroz

 

Craving for something sweet? We bring you this unique Parsi dessert recipe you cannot miss on. Persian Gaz is a delicious Iranian nougat. It is called ‘nougat’ because it has ingredients like sugar, egg whites, and roasted nuts. They are prepared on the occasion of Persian New Year (Nowruz). It can be prepared at home using minimum ingredients like eggs, rose water, corn syrup, sugar, butter, and pistachios. You can even use roasted almonds instead of the pistachios to garnish the dessert. Nuts are an important part of this Gaz. It has a crunchy texture and is quite a popular new year dessert. Persian desserts always have a tinge of rose water which makes them even more delectable. You need to follow the steps carefully to get this dessert right. It can be served at kitty parties, potlucks and game nights. You can serve it as an evening snack with the beverage of your choice. So, try this recipe now and enjoy it with your loved ones.

Ingredients of Persian Gaz

6 Servings
2 egg whites
2 cup corn syrup
1 cup pistachios
2 teaspoon rose water
2 1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoon water
2 tablespoon butter

How to make Persian Gaz
Step 1
To prepare this delicious dessert, start by making the Meringue. Beat the egg whites in a mixer until soft peaks form. Keep it aside. Meanwhile, in saucepan roast the pistachios/ almonds.

Step 2
Next, in a vessel boil the 1 cup sugar, 1/ 2 cup of corn syrup and water over a medium flame. Make sure the sugar dissolves properly. Once done, turn off the gas knob.

Step 3
Pour this hot liquid mixture over the beaten egg white and mix it properly. Beat this mixture until it becomes firm. Transfer to another bowl.

Step 4
Next, to prepare the syrup, take a pan to combine 1 and half cup corn syrup and 1 and half cup sugar and bring them to a boil. Let the sugar dissolve properly.

Step 5
Once done, pour this hot syrup over the Meringue and blend them using a ladle.

Step 6
Add butter and rosewater to this mixture. Then finally add the roasted pistachios/ almonds.

Step 7
Transfer it on a prepared pan and let it chill. Slice and serve.

https://recipes.timesofindia.com/us/recipes/persian-gaz/rs68111681.cms

India’s Highkey Obsession With Parsi Food In Mumbai

Years ago, local and international gourmets in search of ethnic fare did not come back from Mumbai raving about Parsi food. More often than not, its home, the Dadar Parsi Colony—a neighborhood in the midtown Dadar-Matunga region—found itself on the back of brochures as the world’s largest and only ungated Zoroastrian enclave in the city. Historical accounts of community migration from Persia scribbled on commemorative plaques would garner some eyes, but the slow-brimming culinary wizardry inside their kitchens wasn’t a part of tasting menus just yet.

Back at home, returned travelers could always find al fresco vada pav, akuri on toast, baida roti, and the Bombay sandwich in scores of Indian restaurants, inevitably reducing a diverse food scene to handful items on the menu. But in the last decade, a rise in gastronomy tourism, conversations around the appropriation of food cultures and the trend of seeking unfamiliar experiences led to the discovery of Parsi food as a standalone cuisine. With menus rooted in Middle Eastern spices, a throng of restaurants and cafes in the city are sharing a piece of India’s west coast beyond the well-known crowd-pleasers.

Yazdani Bakery, a cafe in Kala Ghoda, takes a page from Mumbai’s ethnic adaptation and doesn’t shy away from showcasing tea through the Parsi lens. The extra-rich cream is an ode to its native homeland of Iran while platters of bun maska—a warm Parsi bread, slightly sweet, slathered with salty butter—is a perfect accompaniment for dunking. Make your way up the Bandra East locale, and a popular plateful from the verdant northern Iranian hill awaits in SodaBottleOpenerWala. The establishment is a contemporary ode to the colonial era when Iranian cafes were a dominating subgroup among restaurants, hailed for its fesenjan—a Persian pomegranate and walnut stew. Near Ballard Estate, Ideal Corner holds the ground with lip-smacking platters of Persian fried chicken or chicken farcha.

“In the early 2000s, when Mumbai’s iconic summer season would bring in the world to revel in its charm, Parsi food establishments, even though popular among the locals, were non-existent to the foreign eye,” says Sharime Khani, a British-Irani chef and Dadar resident. “Today, everyone from backpackers to business travelers appreciate and acknowledge the historical significance a Parsi meal can bring to their journey.”

In the mid-7th century, Persia (modern-day Iran) was home to a majority Zoroastrian population until the Arabs started the Islamic invasion. The first migratory wave brought 18,000 settlers to the small town of Sanj in Gujarat where they formed a strong agricultural community and spent more than 800 years before moving to the capital during British imperialism.

“The state of Maharashtra has been a multiethnic society for more than 1,200 years. The food reflects those influences, with dishes such as caldo verde (a type of Portuguese cabbage soup), Iranian “jeweled rice” (rice made with fruits and nuts) and custard-creamy British bread and butter pudding on the menu,” says Aram Khan, a third-generation Parsi and food guide in Mumbai.

“The only way to understand Parsi food is to split an order of bun maska or mutton cutlets with a native storyteller.”

But learning about the unfamiliar cuisine can be overwhelming, even for descendants of the original migrants in Dadar Parsi Colony. “Growing up, I would occasionally stumble upon Sali Boti or Dhansak during backyard lunches with family. Farcha, or what the young ones would often mistakenly call fried chicken, used to be a household favorite, but we were naive to never understand their origin or significance,” says Meher Anvari, a history major at the University of Mumbai.

When her parents immigrated to Dadar from Ahemdabad, Gujarat, in 1979, they brought with them their sukka boomla no patiyo (pickled dried fish), gorkeri nu achar (tangy mango-jaggery pickle) and countless spices. Many of the recipes were adapted to accommodate local ingredients. Her mother, for instance, used coconut milk instead of water because it was widely used in the recipe around Mumbai. But even with evolving flavors and variations, the foods were a source of comfort.

While the Parsi way of cooking heavily borrows from Iran’s native fare, its evolution from Gujarat to Mumbai during the British rule is key to understanding the definitive Indian spin. Even today, bonafide Parsi recipes are hard to come by outside of Mumbai and parts of Maharashtra.

“That’s a shame because the Parsi cuisine, from distinctive loaves of bread, curries, seafood recipes and vermicelli-based desserts, are as vivid as they are flavorful,” says Raghav, owner of a Persian eatery in Colaba Causeway.

“It’s about sharing our heritage and sharing a part of Mumbai.”

By Sneha Chakraborty

https://www.pastemagazine.com/food/food-travel/mumbai-parsi-food/

Tanaz Godiwalla Brings “A Parsi Affair” Line of Condiments to North America

Condiments are based on secret heirloom recipes and bring the taste of Parsi food into kitchens around the world. Branded as “A Parsi Affair,” she will begin with two varieties of condiments based on recipes perfected and handed down from generation to generation since 1969.

New York, NY February 21, 2022 –(PR.com)– Acclaimed Parsi culinary legend and entrepreneur, Tanaz Godiwalla, also known as the “Queen of Parsi Catering” in India, today announced the foray of her products into the North American market. Tanaz will be partnering with TGFPL USA, Inc. owned by Cashmira Sethna (Director), who will be the sole distributor of A Parsi Affair’s ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat delicacies in the United States and Canada. These coveted condiments can now be used by everyone, in their own way, to bring the delectable taste of Parsi cuisine into their kitchens.

Commenting on the launch, Tanaz Godiwalla said, “My culinary journey began more than 30 years ago, when I took over the reins of Godiwalla Catering, today a household name in the Parsi community. Soon, I realized there was a definite market for Parsi condiments that could be easily incorporated into home cooking. With that in mind, I launched ‘A Parsi Affair’ and it was an instant success in India and in the UK. I’m now delighted to be able to share the unique taste of Parsi cuisine to the sizeable Indian and Parsi community in the United States and look forward to increasing the range of our offerings soon.”

The first product that will be available is the Gajar Meva Nu Achaar, a traditional Parsi carrot sweet and sour pickle that incorporates raisins and dried dates. The second is the Gor Keri Meva Nu Achaar, the unique Parsi raw mango pickle. Vegetarian and with no added preservatives, the flavors are a game-changer in the market as they are the first to include premium dry fruits and nuts like cashews and dates. A dash of red chili pepper, ginger, and mustard powder add some spicy notes while the sambhar masala boosts the aroma. Each of these condiments uses wholesome ingredients such as ginger, garlic, chilies, jaggery, cinnamon, and turmeric — all of which possess scientifically proven health benefits as well as contribute to the distinctive flavor that makes Parsi food so famous. They are addictive with chips and stand out on charcuterie boards. Endlessly versatile, they can be paired to rev-up rice, roti flatbreads, naans, parathas, sourdough, crackers, garlic bread, and everything from theplas (flatbreads that are made with spices) to khakras (thin crackers).

Both condiments will be on retail shelves at select Patel Brothers retail locations in February, 2022. Patel Brothers are the largest Indian American supermarket chain in the United States with 57 locations in 19 states, primarily in New York and New Jersey. The condiments are expected to become available on Amazon in July 2022. They will be priced accessibly for all that are looking for a simple yet sumptuous way to add true Parsi zest to their meals.

About Tanaz Godiwalla
Tanaz is the most celebrated Parsi caterer in India, beloved for her mouth-watering feasts. Her extraordinary career has been featured in Conde Nast Traveler, The New York Times and Upper Crust India to name a few. As the second-generation owner and an award-winning chef, she has been running the business successfully for more than three decades. She is the go-to chef for Mumbai’s Parsi community, and her awe-inspiring banquets burst with color, flavor, and texture. Over the years, she has catered for hundreds of events, sometimes being booked years in advance. She also runs a cloud kitchen that does food deliveries across Mumbai in India and has launched her catering services in the United Kingdom in the Spring of 2021.

Contact Information:
A Parsi Affair
Cashmira Sethna
917-692-8921
Contact via Email
aparsiaffairusa@gmail.com

Read the full story here: https://www.pr.com/press-release/855541

The biskoot story

Not all cookies are buttery — theAchapparn rosecookies are an exception

Nankhatai

Pistachio Almond biscuits

While historians believe that cookies were a technique that came with the colonial settlers, the credit for transforming them into our beloved biskoot goes to the Parsis. The crumbly tradition continues with chai, writes Monalisa Kar

An inseparable part of our chai experience, the saga of the Indian cookies is a delicious ode to the many influences that anchored on our shore, and into our culinary legacy. Biskoot for most of us, perfectly weaves and wafts nostalgia with a sense of familiarity. Come to think of it, the one half of the chai-biskoot pair is perhaps the best satiating introduction to any city’s culture. That explains why every part of India has its own signature biskoot, even if that means adding its own flavours and twist to one that has travelled to the place — like the nankhatai. While all written documents credit the Dutch Koekje to be its inspiration that led Faramji Pestonji Dotivala of the Dotivala Bakery to create the Farmasu Surti Batasa (butter cookies) and which led to the many versions of nankhatai we have in the country including the mused version called the Osmania Biscuit loved by the Nizams, was it how cookies journeyed into India?

By all historical accounts, the Dutch are credited for taking the art of cookie making to the world. In India, more so, as they were the first ones to arrive and settle as traders, after the Arabs of course. Hailing from societies that were adept at cookie making (and eating), it was one of the collaterals used as barter. It worked. What gave the Dutch an upper hand to the British who had the Tudor-designed hardtack sea biscuits to exchange was that Koekje was made with flour, oil, warm water, and sugar, had this crumbly texture that was addictive. It was, as port accounts would say, what arrived in the ports of Surat, which soon overhauled the double-baked biscuits’ market that came earlier with traders from Middle East. The fact that it could be made with wheat and had sugar in it made these earlier versions the perfect morning nosh before workers set about their day in the dock.

But that was until Dotivala began to rework the wheel to create the crumbly, soft, buttery, and spiced version we know as nankhatai today — a better version of the double-baked naan. But were Dutch solely responsible for creating the cookie range of India that today has the rose cookies called Achu Murukku, the Hyderabadi special Roat, the Karachi Biscuit, Thine’s Shrewsbury biscuits, indigenous Thekua, the unique range of wheat-based coin biscuits and many more? While historians believe that cookies were a technique that came with the colonial settlers, the credit of transforming them to our beloved biskoot goes to the Parsis, and, as per culinary revivalist Chef Sabyasachi Gorai, “to the Arab travellers and the Armenians who made India their final homeland.” The reason for this, says Chef Gorai, “is not only the fact that these communities, thanks to their immigration patterns, knew the skill of both bread making and of baked goodies, but were the original bakery owners as well.” A fact that is corroborated by the bakeries in Udavada and Sanjan where even today Parsi bakers produce not just the good batch of sea biscuits but the finest coconut macaroons as well in ovens that easily date back to the early 19th century. In fact, adds culinary researcher Chef Sharad Dewan, “much of the bakery history that happened around industrialisation, and the trendmakers were immigrant communities whose contribution to our modern culinary chapters were an array of baked goods and especially the biskoot.” What lends credence to Chef Dewan’s view is the prevalence of many iconic bakeries in India that began around the time of industrialisation and have been instrumental in laying the foundation of all things baked that we as Indians like today — be it the pao, the slice bread, the Iyengar cake or the biskoots.

Chef Dewan adds that, “sugar, thanks to the Tudors and the Sassanid Empire had become an affordable commodity and it just sky-rocketed the fortune of cookies or biskoot, which turned to be these affordable treats that the British eventually picked to promote the concept of tea not just around the city, but also in Railways where it was served as a combo.” The sweet-loving India palate fell hook, line and sinker to this marketing strategy, and as the chai stalls became a norm, so did the classic combo of chai and biskoot (now not free). It wasn’t the commoners who found this quick snack invigorating, but royals too. As a result, many versions of the cookies spewed over the years. While most, says Chef Gorai, “were basic butter cookies, a recipe perfected by our early bakers, there were a few tweaks in terms of spices and definitely in the lyrical romantic story behind.

Take for instance Pune Shrewsbury. While for many it would be a good buttery cookie, for most denizens, this cookie that bears the name of a quaint little English town in the county of Shropshire, is about the fragrant grass that grows there that many old-timers would insist used to be infused into the milk from which the cookie would be made.”

But not all cookies that formed the Biskoot-land were buttery, some like the South Indian achappam are an exception. Made of a thin batter of rice flour, eggs, whole milk, and sugar, the rose-shaped cookie was fried and a stencil was used to give it that shape — a trick that existed in India when the Muziris were populated by the Arab traders. Of course, many believe that it is the Indian version of Buriuelos de viento, which was learnt by the Anglo Indian cooks from the French chefs who came to India during the colonial times. However, the existence of cookies like the Thekua points to the other theory where it could be a technique that came from the court of Persia. According to Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, the art of buttery cookie making began during the reign of the Sassanid Kings who were extremely fond of food and played a key role in developing techniques for refined sugar. It was in their court that the oldest iteration of sweetmeats was designed and called Ron Khwartig. Translated as a sweet pastry, it led to the creation of Pa/udag, a pudding made with refined sugar, flour, cornstarch, and apple/quince juices; and Khush Kananaj; a drier version that is said to be the oldest cookie.

Persia, which for a long time remained the melting pot of culinary cultures and the receptor of the finest ingredients in the world from where new dishes and techniques travelled the world, also gave the world cookies.
Like most dishes that have travelled to India, the cookie too underwent changes before arriving on our ports where it eventually transformed into the biskootthat partnered the chai, a tradition that was introduced by the Britishers who loved their afternoon tea ritual with a plate full of crumbly goodness.

Read more at: https://www.deccanherald.com/sunday-herald/sh-top-stories/the-biskoot-story-1056876.html

Winning hearts with Bun Maska, Irani Chai and Parsi family recipes

Two UAE-based Indian expatriates, a Parsi and Indian-Iranian, share culinary secrets

Bun MaskaImage Credit: Shutterstock

Until a decade ago, I didn’t even know about the irresistibly delicious buttery Shrewsbury biscuit. Yes, I got introduced to Parsi food rather late in life and try to make up for the lost time by looking around for the most authentic dishes and the fables behind them.

From nostalgic references of every day and festive food in books by Parsi author Rohinton Mistry to Netflix movie Maska, what I’ve realised is that food holds a special place for Parsis and Iranians based in India. Perhaps slightly more than many other cultures due to their steadily dwindling population. There is almost an intense desire to protect the legacy, history and traditions through their food. On the bright side, however, there is a sense of revival of that bygone era through food served at cafés and restaurants run by the new-generation Parsis and Indian-Iranians not only in Mumbai but across many parts of India and the UAE as well.

How travel influenced the Parsi cuisine

parsi-cuisine
A recipe will vary from one family to another only based on tolerance of spice levelImage Credit: Supplied

Over 1,200 years ago a group of Zoroastrians landed at Sanjan in Gujarat, marking the arrival of a population who came to be known as Parsis. These are people from the Pars province of modern-day Iran who came to India by boat. Unsurprisingly, travel has had a strong influence on the Parsi cuisine. And the beauty of Parsi food lies in its mild flavours, every spice perfectly balanced, quite like blending love and warmth into food.

“There is a strong Gujarati and Koli [fishing community] influence in our food. The infusion of meat with lentils and vegetables is reflective of how the Parsi cuisine has evolved in India. Papri Ma Gosht (broad beans with mutton), Masoor Ma Gosht (red lentils with meat), Chora Ma Gosht (black eyed peas with meat) are all non-vegetarian versions of vegetarian Gujarati dishes,” explained Roshni Mithaiwalla Siddique who along with her brother Zubin Mithaiwalla runs a Parsi restaurant in Dubai called Café Funkie Town.

Sweet is another distinct flavour in Gujarati food, which has also influenced many Parsi dishes. “Our Prawn Patiya (prawn dish made with onions and tomatoes) and Gravy Cutlace (chicken/mutton cutlets in tomato gravy) have a distinct sweet flavour. While a lot of our fish-based dishes have a strong Koli influence. However, besides these cultural influences we don’t really tweak the authentic Parsi dishes. A recipe will vary from one family to another only based on tolerance of spice level,” Siddique added.

A tribute to the Indian-Iranian or Irani origin

parsi-cuisine
Irani cuisine bears a testimony to their mountainous origin and travel from the Yezd region in Iran to IndiaImage Credit: Shutterstock

With subtle differences, the Irani cuisine bears a testimony to their mountainous origin and travel from the Yezd region in Iran to India [many years after the Parsis arrived] mainly by foot and on mules.

Stressing on the cultural nuances, Anahita Gustapi explained, “Being Zoroastrians, we strongly believe in … the purest forms of Nature. As such, we also respect seasonality in the way we cook our food. Having beetroots in summer and cauliflower in winter modifying our dishes according to seasons. From the days of grinding spices to perfection using stone mortar and many challenges went into developing our cuisine. What we see now is the developed form.”

Iranis are the pioneers of quality and consistency, Gustapi added, who is a chef by profession. Things like baking Pav (bread) and Khari (puff pastry biscuit) must be done in a consistent manner using the same quantity of ingredients and at the same temperature. “You couldn’t experiment, especially back in the days when measuring scales were not much in use. While some recipes have remained true to the origin, some have been modified according to the local flavour and culture. For example, I believe Patra Ni Macchi (fish cooked in banana leaves) is one such dish influenced by the Gujarati culture due to availability of coconut and banana leaves. Of course, we too eat meat like Parsis, as grilling and barbecuing have been an integral part of the food culture in Iran.”

Over the generations, as Iranis settled in Mumbai and adjoining areas, there has been a beautiful blending of cultures and cuisines. For example, Gustapi talked about how she is learning to make pickle from used lemon and lime skin with ginger-garlic paste, jaggery and vinegar. Something that her aunt learnt to make from her Maharashtrian housekeeper.

Large families bonded over food

Akuri pav recipe
Akuri Pav or Parsi style scrambled eggs recipe calls for a hearty breakfastImage Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

Try imagining a brass cooker with different dabbas (steel tiffin boxes) placed in a manner where dishes that needed maximum time and heat were placed at the bottom with ones on top that required less cooking time. One of Gustapi’s childhood memories is of her Bapaiji (paternal grandmother) cooking for the family in a traditional brass cooker. “My early childhood was spent in a joint family based in Mumbai. The whole family lived in the same building and every afternoon the children and women of the household spread out on the floor and had lunch together at my paternal grandmother’s place.

“Coming from the mountainous region, lentils play a key role in our cuisine. My mamaiji (maternal grandmother) used to educate us about the healing properties of vegetables and how produce should be consumed. During summer, masoor daal would be cooked with beetroot for its cooling properties, and we’d have it with cutlace or sauteed shrimp on the side. As such when I was growing up our everyday meal would comprise Vani (vegetable) and Roti, Chawal (rice) and Rasso (gravy) along with salads made with mint [for its digestive properties], spring onion and so on. My mother fed us a lot of vegetables, compared to what traditional Irani and Parsi families normally consumed,” Gustapi added.

“My fondest memories are of Meheryaan, the Irani equivalent of Eid Al Adha. We performed the sacrifice after sunrise and consumed freshly slaughtered meat on the same day. A large portion of the meat would be roasted, and the family consumed it with Sauzi containing mint, spring onion, boiled eggs, boiled potato, chilies and fermented Irani naan.”

Old homes and their cuisines

parsi-cuisine
“My grandmother was a gifted cook who ensured that we grew up knowing and appreciating an authentic Parsi meal…”Image Credit: Supplied

Siddique also reminisced about their sprawling ancestral house in Mumbai and how her joint family of 18 members ate together at the “big dining table with two family dogs always around”. Regular meals included Papeta Ma Gosht (mutton curry with potato), Dhansak (yellow lentils cooked with meat, served with white rice, cucumber salad and lemon slices on the side), Dhandar (yellow daal), Prawn Patiya with rice for lunch and pav for dinner [preferred over roti] with a lighter curry and fish fry.

“My fond childhood memories are of savouring every bit of the delicious Keema Pav served in a quarter plate at the legendary Yazdani and Kayani cafés,” Siddique fondly recollected. “Although I must say that having grown up in a rather large Parsi joint family where my grandmother and great grandmother were in the catering business, we already had access to delicious food every day. The duo at one point delivered thousands of dabbas (meals) every day to the Parsi community. Their dabbas typically included a starter like Keema Patties (cutlets made with boiled potatoes and minced meat) or Chicken Farcha (Parsi style fried chicken), Kathor (pulses), mutton curry, rice and roti or pav. So, our home meals also used to be quite elaborate.

“We Parsis don’t understand the concept of pure vegetarian meals,” she continued. “If there’s no meat, there will be egg. And some of our favourite egg-based dishes are Sali Par Eida (eggs on potato straw), Bheeda Par Eida (eggs over okra), Bhaji Par Eida (eggs poached over a bed of sautéed greens), Tamota Per Eida (eggs cooked with tomatoes), Papeta Par Eida (eggs are cooked over thinly sliced potatoes sautéed with lightly spiced onions and tomatoes) and of course the popular Akuri Pav (spicy scrambled egg). My grandmother was a gifted cook who ensured that we grew up knowing and appreciating an authentic Parsi meal.”

Traditions kept alive through food

parsi-cuisine
Food is at the core of all celebrations for Parsis and Iranis be that Lagan (wedding) or Navjote (initiation ceremony)Image Credit: Supplied

Like most cultures, food is at the centre of all celebrations for Parsis and Iranis be that Lagan (wedding) or Navjote (initiation ceremony). Anyone who has ever attended a Parsi Lagan will acknowledge the grand nature of the feast. A six-course meal called Patra Nu Bhonu is served on banana leaf, said Siddique. This includes all the popular dishes such as Chicken Farcha followed by Patra Ni Macchi. Then comes Lagan nu Achar (Parsi style pickle) with roti, followed by Sali Marghi (Parsi style chicken curry served with potato crisps), Mutton Palao Daar and finally the famous Parsi dessert Lagan nu Custard (caramel custard).

“Today the world knows Parsi cuisine through Sali Boti (Parsi style mutton curry served with potato crisps), Dhansak, Akuri Pav and Keema Pav but there’s much more to our food than these,” Siddique stated.

“For example, during a Parsi birthday or wedding anniversary there’s always Dhandaar Kolmi No Patiyo comprising white rice, yellow daal, prawn cooked in a tomato gravy and fish fry. It’s our celebratory food, simple yet so special. On festivals like Nawruz (Iranian and Parsi new year) our home-cooked festive meals include Palao Daar with mutton or chicken, Dhansak Masala Daal (without meat) with fish fry or Sali Boti and Sagan Ni Sev (dry vermicelli made with ghee, sugar and dry fruits) for dessert. Importantly, every recipe that we cook now has been passed down through the generations, from my paternal great grandmother to grandmother to my father and now to us.”

Weddings and funerals

parsi-cuisine
Dhansak is often avoided during communal affairs like weddingsImage Credit: Shutterstock

Among Iranis, too, wedding is a big communal affair with an elaborate menu for the feast, excluding Dhansak. “In our community when someone passes on, we mourn for four days praying for the departed soul. On the fourth day prayers are offered before sunrise and then Dhansak is cooked with fresh meat for a feast where the family gets together and eats non-vegetarian food together for the first time in four days. That’s why Dhansak isn’t served at weddings,” Gustapi explained.

Parsis too don’t serve Dhansak at their weddings for the same reason. “However, without the meat the same dish is an amalgamation of lentils and vegetables that’s served at weddings,” she added.

Commenting on how traditions are kept alive through food, Gustapi talked about how her maternal side of the family shaped her culinary understanding and skills. “My maternal grandmother Mitha and her sister Banoo were legendary for their culinary skills. They would make things like freshly baked Seerog, a traditional but largely forgotten Irani bread. And when their other sisters would come over from Iran where we still have family, they would have serious conversations on how recipes can be perfected and passed on to the next generations.”

Highlighting another largely forgotten traditional Irani dish Gustapi shared, “Since we believe in utilising by-products and leftovers, my grandmother would make various dishes with the offal. One such dish is Ghepu made of tripe scrubbed clean and cut into pieces, stuffed with soaked rice, small meat cubes along with whole spices such as cumin, black pepper all stitched it up in small pouches. Then the animal head is boiled in a big pot for 12 hours along with stuffed tripe. The resulting nutritious soup is consumed with pav. Ghepu is one of the forgotten [non glamorous] Irani dishes that showcases the origin of a cuisine, marked by consumption of various soups as we came from the mountainous region.”

Try out two Parsi recipes to making Parsi patra ni machhi and Oash-e-Berenj at home. Share your recipes with us at food@gulfnews.com

https://gulfnews.com/food/winning-hearts-with-bun-maska-irani-chai-and-parsi-family-recipes-1.1636350395231

 

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