World Egg Day: What the eeda? Understanding the Parsi love for eggs

From tomato per eeda to fried kera per eeda, we try to analyse the unending love affair which Parsis have with eggs.


A Parsi dish prepared with mangoes and eggs at Soda Bottle Opener Wala. (Source: sbowindia/Instagram)

Eggs play a starring role not just in Parsi cuisine, but in Parsi customs too. In Bapsi Sidhwa’s novel, The Crow Eaters when a newlywed Parsi couple enters their house, a number of rituals are performed and in what is a prominent step, the mother of the bride breaks a raw egg on the floor after circling a silver tray around the girl’s head seven times. Not just at weddings, “a similar practice is performed during Diwali too. An egg is drawn around the main door or entrance to the house” says Kainaz Contractor of Rustom’s Parsi Bhonu. “The use of eggs in a wedding and navjote celebration is mainly to ward off bad luck, calamity or the evil eye and to bring good luck.”

But has it always been the case, or is the Parsi obsession with eggs a recent phenomenon?

Turns out, this egg mania finds its roots in ancient Iran. According to Contractor, “in ancient Iran and in the entire Caucasian region, eggs were seen as a symbol of fertility and new life”, which is the reason behind eggs becoming a key part of Parsi cuisine.

As a practice integral to their customs, Parsis are supposed to observe abstinence on the eleventh month of the Parsi year, Bahman, when they do not eat meat – yet, eggs are allowed at this time. “The month of Bahman is the equivalent of the Christian Lent. Zoroastrians abstain from eating meat. Since vegetables were limited in variety and availability, fish and eggs became the mainstays of the month.” Even if vegetables have long surpassed these limitations with respect to both availability and variety, eggs never left the Parsi plate.

Contractor also believes that from a culinary point of view, eggs are a major part of Parsi cuisine because they are “very strong believers that any dish can be made better with eggs, especially vegetables, making it more appealing to children and hardcore meat lovers. In fact, one of the signature starters at our joint is a crisp-fried egg topped on spicy kheema pao and egg and cheese balls with mashed potatoes and spring onion.”

However, culinary anthropologist Kurush Dalal feels that the very concept of associating Parsi cuisine with (mostly) eggs is what is a classic case of “overgeneralisation”. “Eggs are well packaged and have a good protein content. That is why they find their place in Parsi food. It is nothing new. It is an absolute misconception that Parsis break an egg into almost everything. You will never find eggs in Dhansak or Patra ni Machi”, he explains.

Written by Priyanjana Roy Das

Click here for the original article in Indian Express


Mango: The King of Fruits || Outside and In with The Cooks Cook

Today on episode 4 of Outside and In with the Cooks Cook we explore the Mango! Well known as the King of Fruits it can be used in all sorts of cooking as shown by guest chef Niloufer Mavalvala.

Lassi Recipe:
Pickles Recipe:
Mango Stew Recipe:
Cake Recipe:

#TheCooksCook #ParsiFood #MangoRecipes


Niloufer Mavalvala

Parsi New Year 2018

The Parsi community across India is looking forward to celebrate the Parsi New Year on 17th August 2018. Parsis may be a small community, but they have contributed to Indian culture over the years, alongside other religions and communities

Parsi New Year 2018: Date, Significance, Celebrations And Feast During Pateti

The Parsi community across India is looking forward to celebrate the Parsi New Year on 17th August 2018. In August, Parsis commemorate their arrival and acceptance on their new homeland. Originally from Persia, Parsis follow the religion Zoroastrianism, which was founded by Zarathustra in Persia. This day is also known as Jamshed-i-Nouroz, after the name of the Persian king Jamshed, who is believed to introduce the Parsi calendar. People in India follow the Shahenshahi calendar, which does not take into account leap years, and as a result of which the Parsi New Year is celebrated in India and Pakistan about 200 days after it is observed across the world. Parsis may be a small community, but they have contributed to Indian culture over the years, alongside other religions and communities.


Parsi New Year 2018: Date, Significance And Celebrations Of The Festival


Also known as Pateti, the celebration of Parsi New Year is said to have begun some 3000 years ago. It falls in the month of August, as per the Gregorian calendar. On this day, people pray for prosperity, health and wealth. It is known as the day of remittance of sins and repentance. People clean their homes, decorate their houses with rangoli and flowers, adorn new dresses, and visit Fire Temple to ask for forgiveness for any mistake committed in the past and start afresh. The celebrations also include feasting over an elaborate meal, where friends and families come together and celebrate the auspicious occasion with much fervour.


Parsi New Year: Also known as Pateti, the celebration of Parsi New Year is said to have begun some 3000 years ago

Parsi New Year 2018: Feast Prepared During Pateti

On the big day, people usually prepare delicacies like meethi sev dahi, mora dal chawal (also called dhan daar), machchi no patio, mutton pulao, saas ni machchi, marghi na farcha (crispy fried chicken), patra nu machli, sali boti, berry pulao, jardaloo chicken, kid gosht, cutlets, mawa ni boi, lagan nu custard, et al. Preparations start a day in advance to ensure that all the dishes are prepared perfectly and are full of flavour.

Delicious Recipes To Enjoy During Parsi New Year

1. Sali Boti (Parsi Meat Dish) Recipe

Parsi mutton curry, with prominent flavours of tomatoes, onions, jaggery and vinegar, makes a special delicacy during special occasions like the Parsi New Year. This one’s going to be a star-dish among your family and friends.


Parsi new year: This one’s going to be a star-dish among your family and friends

2. Parsi Mutton Cutlets

Celebrations are incomplete without the much coveted Parsi mutton cutlets. To prepare this dish, you need minced mutton, potatoes, bread crumbs, eggs and a host of spices. Don’t forget to serve it with sliced onions and chutney.

3. Chicken Farcha

Chicken farcha is a delicious Parsi recipe that is a blend of spices and a tang of lemon. It is served with your choice of dip or chutney.


Parsi New Year: Chicken farcha is a delicious Parsi recipe that is a blend of spices and a tang of lemon

4. Lagan Nu Custard

Lagan nu custard is a dessert, which is usually prepared on weddings or Parsi New Year. Made with simple ingredients like milk, eggs, butter and nuts, it is a perfect dessert to celebrate occasions.

5. Patra Ni Machchi

Pomfret fillets coated in coconut chutney, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed to perfection, that’s patra ni machchi for you. Once unwrapped, add a dash of lemon juice to enjoy the tanginess.

6. Kid Gosht

Lamb cooked in a burst of masalas, rich cashew paste and coconut milk essence, kid gosht is a festive special.

Happy Parsi New Year 2018!

PRINTED “Vividh Vani” by Meherbai Jamshedji Wadia

Dear All,

It gives me great pleasure to make available the PRINTED “Vividh Vani” by Meherbai Jamshedji Wadia.
First published in circa 1867, this mammoth cookbooks of two volumes total 1570 pages and has 2180 recipes, of traditional Parsi Indian cuisine, plus Continental Western and British Cuisines. This cookbook is an antique and many Zoroastrian Parsis hold it the dearly as an family heirloom. (including myself). My original copy is now falling apart like a cracker paper, and is kept in sealed plastic bags. Worms are probably eating away the paper! 30 years back I brought this original copy from Ahmedabad, India. It took me 6 months of work to scan these on a paper scanner, print and collate. I made a handwritten index in English so I could search recipes and then read the Gujarati text and cook for my family here in USA.
Through software and amazon services, We have managed to print the “Vividh Vani” in high quality paper . You can now own a brand-new copy of the Vividh Vani in strong paper bound books. These printed volumes are exactly the same antique and original books of Meherbai Jamshedji Wadia. They include photos and letters of the Wadia family. They are a legacy item for the parsi kom that can be preserved another 1000 years and more!
I have distributed the book as a FREE digital download for years on my website atwww.ParsiCuisine.comand now it is available in 2 four inch thick volumes. See photo (attached) and product details below.
Printed Paperback of the Ancient cooking book “Vividh Vani” by Meherbai Jamshedji Wadia
Products from
Vividh Vani. (Volume 1): In Gujarati Language. Volume 1. by Meherbai Jamshedji Nusserwanji Wadia

Vividh Vani. (Volume 2): In Gujarati Language. Volume 2. by Meherbai Jamshedji Nusserwanji Wadia

Price:$25.00 each
Volume 1 Product details
Paperback: 792 pages
Language: Gujarati
ISBN-10: 1724206532
ISBN-13: 978-1724206534
Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.8 x 9 inches
Volume 2 Product details
Paperback: 778 pages
Language: Gujarati
ISBN-10: 1724202332
ISBN-13: 978-1724202338
Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.8 x 9 inches
Best regards,

Rita Kapadia

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.

(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.

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.


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;


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.

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!


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.



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.

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
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) 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 . . . . . Parsi and Irani Food Trails of Pune 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







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)