Khao, Piyo, Maja Karo: Explore the Parsi mantra with Kunal Vijayakar


#MaskaMaarke: There’s a lot more to Irani Parsi food than bun-maska and berry pulao. This is a rich cuisine that retains its delicious Levantine roots.

Irani,Chai,Bun-maska
(HT Illustration: Sudhir Shetty)

Which community in India celebrates three birthdays for each person and four New Years per annum? It’s the Zoroastrian Irani Parsi community. Every Irani Parsi (and I am going to refer to them as such) celebrates ‘Roj nu Birthday’, which is the Zoroastrian calendar birthday; the Irani calendar birthday; and a regular birthday by the Gregorian calendar.

As if celebrating three birthdays each was not enough, they also celebrate four New Years — Jamshedi Navroz, the Shehenshahi New Year, January 1, and the Kadmi New Year, which has just gone by on July 18.

Kadmi is the Iranian New Year. It’s got something to do with the respective calendars and some wrangling over months or dates. But none of that matters to the Irani Parsis, if it means one more reason to celebrate!

Most Irani Parsis migrated to India in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They came bearing such time-honoured, euphonious and rhapsodic surnames as Shirazi, Khosravi, Faroodi, Kermani, Dehmiris, Yezdani, Kayani and Jafrabadi. Some of these names you may recognise from Mumbai cafés instituted by members of the community. Cafés named romantically after Iranian traditional surnames, like Yazdani and Kayani, some christened out of obsequiousness to the British like George V, Edward VIII and Britannia, and some made to sound exotic and non-Indian like Cafe De La Paix.

These bakeries and boulangeries that once served French style buns with butter, English mutton sandwiches, samosas, chicken puffs, cream puffs, mawa cakes and tea are now few and far between. Some still stand tall, like Sassanian Bakery and Boulangerie, Kyani & Co (who still makes patties and samosas), Yazdani Bakery who are master bakers, and B Merwan & Co who still bake their world famous mawa cakes.

The Khoresh-e Anjeer ,or chicken stew with dried figs, on offer as part of an Irani festival menu cooked up by Perzen Patel and Subhashree Basu.

Today, the most Mumbaiites know of Irani food begins at bun maska-chai and ends with berry pulao. But there is so much more to the cuisine. Irani Parsi food is vastly different from the Parsi food we are familiar with. The cardinal distinction between the two cuisines is that Parsi food, with its spicy Dhansak, Salli Boti and Patra Ni and Saans ni Macchi, blends Persian, Gujarati and British influences, while Irani Parsi food is milder and meatier, with elements such as eggplant, dry fruit, saffron, beans, and lashings of yogurt, that reflect its Mediterranean and Levantine roots.

Iranian food is essentially a repast of bountiful kinds of Kebabs, Kaftehs, Breads, and Oosh or Ash, which are slow-cooked, thick soups. Khoresh-e Fesenjan (the stew of kings) is the national dish.

I often go to Colbeh, an Iranian mom-and-pop joint, whenever I’m in London. On a wet chilly morning in Porchester Place, a hot roti straight out of the tandoor with chelo khoresh fesenjan, a portion of tender melt-in-the-mouth Kabab Koobideh (chargrilled minced lamb kababs) and a bowl of chilled Mast-O-Khair (strained yogurt dip with cucumber and mint) feels like a warmhearted hug.

Unfortunately, none of the Irani cafés in Mumbai does Iranian food; it’s just a lot of Bread and Breakfast. Even the Berry Pulao at Britannia is eventually little more than some version of a Biryani sprinkled with zereshk or sour berries. Café Universal, another Irani-owned eatery, serves two Persian dishes — Ghormeh Sabzi (vegetables, kidney beans and dried Iranian limes with chicken, mutton or veg) and Gheimeh Bademjan (brinjal and mutton kheema in a tomato sauce), and that’s where it ends.

For the recent Kadmi New Year, Patel and Basu’s takeaway enterprise, Greedy Foods, was also making ‘Land & Sea Koofteh’, meatballs stuffed with seafood, cashews and raisins.

But two women have decided to buck the trend. Perzen Patel (half Irani and half Parsi) and Subhashree Basu (not Irani at all) have been experimenting with Iranian food for a couple of years. At their takeaway enterprise, called Greedy Foods, they have produced Irani festival menus quite successfully. In celebration of Kadmi New Year, they’ve introduced a Persian-influenced menu. Mind you, they are far from traditional, but they do bring together the heart and wisdom of Iranian cooking and the taste and bite of change. If I tell you what they’re cooking this season, you’ll hate me for finishing most of it.

Their menu includes Ash-e Reshteh (also known as Osh-e-Meer, a thick and hearty noodle soup with slow-cooked lentils, greens, mutton and spaghetti); Land & Sea Koofteh (lamb meatballs stuffed with tangy seafood, cashews and raisins); Khoresh-e Anjeer (chicken stew with dried figs) and an Irani Berry Pulao (pulao layered with meat, kebabs and zereshk).

So, I spent the Irani New Year with my Irani friends, Boman Irani and his family, with a song on my lips and a prayer in my heart that they celebrate even more New Years and many more Birthdays, with even more food.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/khao-piyo-maja-karo-explore-the-parsi-mantra-with-kunal-vijayakar/story-eV07g49ZpRuSLv9jV4YKON.html

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Bafaenu — Ripe Mango Pickle Quick and Easy Recipe


Here is a Quick and easy recipe for Bafaenu, in the event some friends find the earlier recipe too cumbersome and elaborate. However, this Bafaenu may not stay well for as long as the Bafaenu from the first recipe. It would last at the very least for four to six months; though I have known it to stay well for much longer. You may also refrigerate the pickle after the first four, if you so desire.

INGREDIENTS:

25 ripe but firm mangoes about the size of your palm,

2 kg approx (2 Ser) jaggery;

900 gms (1/2 seer) mustard powder, preferably ground at home;

260 gms kilo (1/4 seer) garlic coarse paste;

750ml (1 seer) vinegar, preferably Sugar cane vinegar;

250 ml (1 pav) a *cooking oil of your choice;

60 Gms (5 Tola) salt;

Coarsely ground:

60 Gms (1 chatak) Red Chili powder;

60 Gms (1 chatak) turmeric powder;

METHOD:

Wash the mangoes, towel dry, and boil;

When fully cooked and soft, remove the mangoes from the vessel;

Spread them out to dry;

Mix the mustard in half the quantity of vinegar and whip;

Let the mustard mature in the vinegar;

Once the mustard is mature add the rest of the vinegar and the turmeric powder, and chili powder;

The mangoes should by now be dry, check for any remaining moisture (the slightest moisture will cause fungus to form and ruin the pickle);

Place the mangoes in a jar Of China clay or in a glass jar;

Pour the vinegar mixture over the mangoes, sprinkle the salt and pour the oil over it;

DO NOT MIX OR STIR IN ANY FORM WHATSOEVER. It is likely to break the mangoes and destroy the pickle;

Close the bottle with an air-tight lid;

Tie a piece of cheese clothes or Muslin cloth on the lid;

For a few days, open the jar Every 2 days and bring the bottom-most mangoes to the top;

Thus evenly marinating and pickling the mangoes;

Then let it rest for a further 15 days to complete the pickling process.

The pickle is now ready to eat.

Please DO NOT ATTEMPT TO HASTEN THE PROCESS by using a stove to cook the mangoes in the vinegar marinade.

This will destroy the vinegar marinade and may even turn bitter.

 

  • Then they used home drawn unrefined peanut oil.

http://www.mumbaiblogg.com/old-parsi-recipes/bafaenu-ripe-mango-pickle-quick-easy-recipe/

Ambakalyo — Parsi Ripe Mango Sauce Quick and Easy


Ambakalyo is not a preserve it is a recipe for a Parsi Ripe Mango sauce quick and easy sauce recipe.   Ambakalyo is a delightful, light and happy dish to be served in the heat of summer , the height of the Mango season in India. Ambakalyo is delicious; eaten with red/white rice or any bread — whether baked in an oven or cooked on a griddle including tortillas, chapattis, corn bread and pita . The bright orange colour of the finished dish of the Mango Ambakalyo only adds to its appeal. Ambakalyo, by itself, makes for a popular meal in a Parsi household and saves the mother from long hours in the grueling heat of the kitchen.

Ambakalyo also makes a scrumptious sauce for all roast meats and fowl — especially Roast Chicken and Pork; if you are so inclined to use it.  The sweet and slightly tart-chili tang of the sauce goes a long way in enhancing the flavours of your dish. Visually too, the translucent orange colour , reminder of scenic sunsets, and the thick consistency of the sauce is tremendously appealing.

Mango is the traditionally accepted fruit to make an Ambakalyo and the name itself “Amba” meaning ‘Mango’ in Gujarati and ‘Kalyo’ meaning ‘Grated, Shredded, made into a Paste’ suggests that the dish is essentially made from Mangoes cooked to the consistency of  a thick paste. In Filipino the word “Kalyo” still exists but the meaning has declined and is used to denote ‘a Shredder’.

If you are inclined to innovate, like I am, you may add oranges or other citrus fruit, or pineapple or green apple or passion fruit (yellow or purple) any tart fruit of your choice to the recipe at the stage where you introduce the sliced Mangoes into the melted Jaggery/sugar mixture.

Replacing Mangoes, altogether, with another tart and fleshy fruit or a combination of fruits would give you a Orangekalyo, Citrouskalyo, Pineapplekalyo, or green-applekalyo or passion-fruitkalyo or Kalyo of your choice. The entire Recipe will remain the same except that the Mango will be added onto or replaced by another fruit. This would make an equally delicious sauce and a seasonal sauce, at that!

INGREDIENTS:

6 Ripe Mangoes (Alfonso or Pairi preferred; but you may use your favourite);

250 Gms (½ lb) pearl onions (can replace with small red onions or diced regular onions. The taste with each will differ but all taste good);

250 Gms Jaggery as per original recipe;  (or Sugar, if you prefer. In which case take 200 Gms of sugar);

3 cloves;

1 inch piece of cinnamon;

Juice of 1 lemon;

1 tsp chili powder;

A pinch of Turmeric powder;

1 clove Garlic;

¾ inch piece of Ginger.

 

METHOD:

Peel and slice the Mangoes (you may also use the seed),

Slice the Ginger and Garlic,

If using large onions, quarter them,

Fry the onions lightly and place aside,

If using small onions fry them whole,

Now, boil the jaggery/sugar in 2 spoons of water,

Add chili powder, Turmeric Powder, Ginger, Garlic, Cloves and Cinnamon.

Boil till all the jaggery/sugar has melted,

Then, add the mangoes and onions and cook boil for 5 minutes,

Simmer for another 20 minutes or until mango and seed orange and translucent.

Your Ambakalyo is ready to eat.

SERVE: Hot or cold with chapattis, preferably made of rice flour.

http://www.mumbaiblogg.com/old-parsi-recipes/ambakalyo-parsi-ripe-mango-sauce-quick-easy/

Mawa Cake  With Pistachios, Rose and Saffron Cream


This is my version of the Mawa cake and I am sure you will find many versions online. It is a rich dense cake bursting with flavour -so it’s just-once in a while indulgence!

Ingredients for the cake
3 and a half cups of white flour
6 eggs
*Mawa (sweet) 1 cup
1/2 cup milk warmed with 1 pinch saffron
3/4 cup melted butter
Dash of salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp rose essence
1 tsp vanilla essence
100 grams pistachio, chopped
For the saffron cream
1 big pinch of saffron
2 dsp warm milk
1 and 1/4 cup chilled thickened cream
1 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp rose essence
Method
Sift the flour in a bowl with baking powder and baking soda and salt.
Beat eggs gently in another large bowl.
Add the butter, mawa, saffron milk and sugar and essences to the eggs.
Add the sifted flour and mix gently to the egg mixture.
Grease a round baking pan and pour in the batter.
Sprinkle with the pistachios.
Bake in a moderate oven (about 180 C) for 45 minutes.
Check if the cake is done by inserting a tooth pick in the middle.
It should come out clean, if not cook the cake for a further 5 to 7 minutes
To make the cream
Whisk the cream,saffron milk, rose essence and icing sugar in a chilled bowl till thick
Cool the cake down completely before cutting it from the middle
to sandwich the cream between the 2 layers.
Put the cake in the fridge after it has been creamed.
This recipe serves about 12 people
*Mawa is milk evaporated till it becomes thick and leaves the sides of the cooking pan
It can be store bought or homemade
I made it by cooking down 2 cans of evaporated milk and 1 can of condensed milk or you can make it by cooking down a liter of milk till it thickens
then add 1 cup of sugar and cook till it leaves the sides of the pan
(Pics courtesy- my friend Jasmine Bhatia)
www.MyFoodAndRecipes.com Please Share Like and Comment

 

Parsis and Iranis are the two communities that fall under the Zoroastrian religion. But, their cuisine falls under only one religion, i.e., Sheer Deliciousness . . . . . https://truetravelandfoodblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/22/parsi-and-irani-food-trails-of-pune/ Parsi and Irani Food Trails of Pune truetravelandfoodblog.wordpress.com Parsis and Iranis are the two communities that fall under the Zoroastrian religion. But, their cuisine falls under only one religion, i.e., Sheer Deliciousness


Parsis and Iranis are the two communities that fall under the Zoroastrian religion. But, their cuisine falls under only one religion, i.e., Sheer Deliciousness

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https://truetravelandfoodblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/22/parsi-and-irani-food-trails-of-pune/

 

Delhi Parsi Food Festival


From Dhansak to Chicken Farcha: Delhi is ready for the Parsi Food Festival

It’s an opportunity no one should miss

 

Are you ready to taste these yummy dishes?

Did last month’s Navroz (Parsi New Year) feast leave your mouth watering and your belly craving for more? Well, you are lucky, for you have another chance to dig into those delicacies. Delhi’s Jaypee Vasant Continental is all set to host an authentic 10-day-long Parsi Food Festival, April 20 onwards, at their restaurant, Paatra.

Think Dhansak or Akoori, Berry Pulao or Chicken Farcha, and you will know exactly why these flavours have found favour with the ever-evolving Indian food lover. And this festival is a celebration of just that with a lavish ala cart menu, carefully curated by chefs Vaibhav Suri and Rahul Gaur.

“The heartwarming Parsi community has always enriched our social and cultural fabric. Parsis have beautifully integrated into the Indian societies and have introduced its sublime cuisine to various parts of the country. Their dishes use up a lot of local ingredients and spices to create unique flavours,” read a statement from the hotel, and we cannot help but agree. Just look at what a breakfast staple the humble mawa cake has become over the years.

So if you’re looking for a take two at some delish Parsi food, here’s where you need to be:

Where: Paatra, Jaypee Vasant Continental, New Delhi

Date: April 20 to 30, 2018

Time: 12:30pm to 2.45pm and 7.30pm to 11:30pm (Lunch and Dinner)

 @nanda1das

http://t2online.com/lifestyle/from-dhansak-to-chicken-farcha-delhi-is-ready-for-the-parsi-food-festival/cid/1.96553

Nan Khatai


Nan Khatai
(Indian Shortbread Cookies)

 

Nan Khatais or Indian Short bread cookies are one of those melt in the mouth cookies
They are easy and quick to make.
Ingredients
1 cup all purpose flour (Maida)
1/2 cup icing sugar or you can use caster sugar
1/2 cup melted ghee (cooled ) or you can use unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cardamom powder (optional)
1/2 tsp. rose essence (optional)
1 pinch salt
Method
Preheat your oven on 170 C
Line a baking tray with baking paper or foil.
Mix flour,sugar,salt,baking and cardamom powders in a bowl.
Add the ghee and rose essence and make a soft dough.
Make small balls and sightly flatten them.
Place them on the baking tray and bake the biscuits for 15 minutes.
Switch off the oven and leave the cookies in the oven to cool for 1/2 an hour
by leaving the oven door sightly open.
This will sightly crispen the cookies
Remove the cookies and let them cool outside for a further 1/2 and hour.
Put them in a cookie jar or air tight container.
Enjoy them with your tea!
www.MyFoodandRecipes.com Please comment, share and like!

10 Life lessons from Eggs


Because what kind of a Parsi would I be if I wrote 26 letters to you and didn’t talk about eggs?

 

Dear Son,

Today I am writing to you about a strange topic. Eggs. After all, what kind of a Parsi caterer would I be if I didn’t try to squeeze in our favourite ‘Eedu’ into just about any conversation possible.

Right now the only kind of eggs you have tried is in a tomato omelette but I am hoping that your Parsi genes will awaken and soon you will want to try every kind of eggs possible. So here is a list of 10 different kinds of eggs you must try and also life lessons you can learn from them (I am a parent now so it is my prerogative to teach you something at any given point of time even though it may seem totally random and meaningless at the time).


  1. Sunny Side Up — When cooked perfectly, this egg is crispy and firm at the edges but the yolk is soft and runny. Similarly learn to be firm and stick to your decisions once you make them but also still stay fluid to change and filled with warmth at your center.
  2. Parsi Akoori — Nothing beats a good morsel of creamy Akoori served on top of Brun pav. However, take the same ingredients and overcook it and you will not get Akoori but Bhurji which tastes rubbery and dry. Similarly, if you overthink a decision for too long you are going to ruin it. Instead, remember to combine what knowledge you have, think over it a bit and then just take action!
  3. Poached Eggs — While a lot of people like eating poached eggs, many are scared of cooking them because you have to be so gentle with it. Don’t be scared to be gentle and tread lightly when the situation demands it son because the rewards are always proportionate to the risk taken.
  4. Salli per Eedu — I make Sali per Eedu the same way for you as my mummy did and she uses the same recipe her mummy did. There is value in experience and doing things the traditional way. In a world that is fast changing it is easy to discount tradition for ancient ideas but remember to question yourself on the reason why someone is still doing it the way they were 50 years ago before you go ahead and change for the sake of it.
  5. Cheesy Omelette — Did you know the first word you spoke was not Maa or Daa, but ‘Cheesh’ (I was so proud). A good cheese omelette needs only two things — cheese and eggs. Most days if you use a salted cheese you won’t even need seasoning! Remember, that the good things in life don’t need to be overly complicated. On most occasions if you have love and honesty by your side, you are sorted.
  6. Tarkari per Eedu — We Parsis have an innate ability to take any leftover vegetable, add an egg on top and turn it into an entire new dish. Be versatile like this dish because there are many different versions of the ‘perfect you’ and if you can keep tweaking and adjusting to whats needed, you will always be in fashion.
  7. Baked Eggs with Truffle Oil — Sometimes all you need is a small quantity of something special to make a common dish spectacular. Try to be this ‘Truffle Oil’ in life which adds a sparkle to the everyday hustle. All you need to do for this is think a little out of the box (and ofcourse then go ahead and implement it).
  8. Egg Curry — I am not a big fan of egg curry but your Mamaiji has spoken to me of many days as a child when her parents couldn’t afford meat and so dinner would be egg curry. Above I spoke of taking adding small amounts of ‘something special’ but sometimes even that is not needed and just a humble egg can also make an ordinary meal special. So, while fancy is great you don’t always have to wait for inspiration to strike, simple can also be good enough.
  9. Mayonnaise — There are two secret ingredients in a good mayo fresh eggs and lots of patience while the eggs emulsify with the oil and work their magic to create a creamy sauce. I know you may think me hypocritical by telling you not to overthink yet preaching patience. It’s important to not mix the two. Good things take time and if you have a dream you deserve to give your dream the benefit of time to come true.
  10. Chutney Eeda Pattice — When you’re old and in a job with kids of your own you may feel on occasion that life has become boring and mundane. At those times remember that you don’t need to make big changes but just add small elements of suprise. Just like finding a yummy piece of boiled egg inside a chutney pattice can spark a smile, spending some quality time with your kids outside the house or saying a few kind words to your wife may make a big difference. So before you go all out, just try a small surprise first.

That’s all the gyaan I have for you today. I hope when you grow up you appreciate how difficult it is to write an entire letter on life lessons based on eggs and love your mom more for it. Until then, I part for today with the wise words of BawaTips, “When in doubt, break an Eedu on it”.


This post is part of the annual #BlogChatterA2Z Challenge .When my son was born I promised myself I’d write him love letters as often as I could as this challenge is part of that promise. E is for Eggs and the Life Lessons they Impart. Do follow P for Parenting for more articles in this series.

View story at Medium.com

Dar Ni Pori


Dar Ni Pori or Dar ni Poli is a Pastry stuffed with a Sweet Lentil Filling
A favourite tea time snack enjoyed by Parsis all over the world!

Dar in Pori is typically made from Toor Dal a lentil (also called split pigeon peas)
In my version of this delectable treat I have used a short cut method of making it with canned chickpeas!

Ingredients

Pastry
2 Cups of Maida or Refined Flour
6/7 cubes of cold butter cut in cubes
Ice cold water
A little melted Ghee to brush on the pastry
A dash of rose water

For the filling
2 cans of drained chickpeas mashed ( I used a food processor)
1/2 a cut of chopped nuts and dried fruits ( I used pistachios, almonds and cranberries )
Optional nuts are chironji or charoli  and fruits are raisins
2 tsp rose water
3/4 cup jaggery ( or  you can use sugar)

Method
Measure the flour

Sift it

Add the butter cubes

Add iced water and rose water

Rub the butter and water in the flour


Make a smooth dough and portion it in small balls
Cover the balls with a damp towel and let them rest

Filling

Drain 2 cans of chick peas

Chop up fruts and nuts

Add the mashed chickpeas , a little ghee, jaggery and the fruit and nuts to a thick bottomed pan
Add a couple of spoons of  rose water

Cool the filling then make portions

Flatten on portion of the pasty and put the filling in it

Cover the filling in the pasty and shape it like a round disc

Brush with a little melted ghee

Preheat oven to 180 C and put 2 poris in a baking tray lined with foil(brush the foil with little ghee before putting the poris to bake) and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown on both side

Let the poris cool down


Cut and serve with tea!


Posted By Aban to My Food and Recipes at 3/24/2018 11:33:00 AM