Because what kind of a Parsi would I be if I wrote 26 letters to you and didn’t talk about eggs?
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).
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
A Parsi talks about the tradition of tea in their community, shares a recipe, shows off a family heirloom and gets us talking with 90 year old Nergis about chai times from a bygone era. Sweet!
This is a video from Chai with Lakshmi, India’s first award-winning online talk show.
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!
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)
Measure the flour
Rub the butter and water in the flour
Drain 2 cans of chick peas
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
Cover the filling in the pasty and shape it like a round disc
Let the poris cool down
Posted By Aban to My Food and Recipes at 3/24/2018 11:33:00 AM
City-based software tester and home chef Rashna Engineer tells us about growing up in Ahmedabad, where she learnt how to cook the centerpiece of a Sunday Parsi lunch: Dhansak
A meal of dhansak and rice easily takes about three hours to cook. The mutton needs to be marinated for about an hour in ginger-garlic paste, red chilli paste and salt, and we’re not even counting the four hours of soaking time needed for the three kinds of dals that go into the dish. The caramelised rice that dhansak is served with needs one’s full attention — a goopy pot of rice can send your appetite straight to hell.
IT professional and home chef Rashna Engineer remembers that her mother, a school teacher who taught Maths and Science at Mount Carmel High School in Ahmedabad, had patience for her family’s dhansak cravings only on a Sunday. “She had to leave home early in the morning every day,” recalls the 46-year-old, “But I don’t remember a Sunday when dhansak was not cooked at our home in Shahibaug.” Along with caramelised rice, dhansak is also served with a salad of finely chopped onion and tomatoes, with a dash of lemon, and garnished with coriander leaves.
By the time she was 16, Engineer had learnt how to make a luscious dhansak, which is also one of the most popular dishes on Rashna’s Parsi Kitchen’s menu, a food service that she launched with her husband, Percy, in 2015. “My husband does the marination of the meat and I do the final tadka to the dal,” says Rashna. Percy, 47, who also worked in the IT industry as a system administrator, got his culinary training a decade ago during a three-month stint in Tokyo. “I was teaching him how to cook on Skype,” says Rashna, laughing at the memory. “All those teppanyaki carts in Tokyo were great and there’s a lot of non-vegetarian food there, but I couldn’t eat out every day. I learnt all the cooking I know from Rashna. Cooking is an essential survival skill.” Their 15-year-old daughter Perzeen, who wants to study hotel management, is happy to have inherited recipes from both her grandmothers. “She is a complete bawa and loves her food,” says Percy.
Every household makes dhansak differently, he adds. “Some like it with a pinch of jaggery, some add a lot more jeero (cumin seed), some add more dhano (coriander seed) and some don’t like it with methi (fenugreek leaves).” But there are few that can rival the dhansak made by the Engineers — silken bits of brinjal, a hint of sweet pumpkin, a note of bitter from the fenugreek leaves and some tamarind for a quick sour punch are flavours that seep into the thick dal and succulent pieces of meat. Like Percy says, there’s only one thing left to do after a dhansak lunch. “You have to sleep. You can’t move.”
Dhansak with caramelised rice
What you need
SERVES – 2 TO 3
250 gms Tur Dal
50 gms Masoor Dal
50 gms Moong Dal
250 gms Rice
500 gms Mutton
1 Potato, medium-sized
3 Onions, medium-sized
2 Tomatoes, medium-sized Brinjal, small
½ cup Pumpkin
20 gms Methi / Kasuri Methi
20 grams Coriander
2 tsp Ginger-garlic paste
2 tsp Red Chilli Garlic & cumin paste
1 tsp Dhano-jeero powder (Coriander-cumin seed powder)
1 tsp Parsi Sambhar (Home made/Mangal brand masala)
2 tsp Dhansak masala (Home made/Mangal brand masala)
1 tsp Chilli powder
½ tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Jaggery (optional)
1 tsp Tamarind pulp (optional)
3 tsp Oil
2 tsp Ghee
2 tsp Salt
1.5 ltr Water
How to make it
■ Wash and soak dal for 4 to 5 hours.
■ Wash mutton and then marinate with ginger garlic paste, red chilli paste and salt to taste.
■ In a pressure cooker add dal, peel and cut potato, brinjal, pumpkin, methi, turmeric powder, ½ tsp chilli powder,
1 tsp dhansak masala, salt and 750 ml of water. Pressure cook for 20-25 minutes.
■ In a pan, add 2 ½ chopped onions and stir fry in oil for 10 mins
■ Then add ginger-garlic paste, red chilli paste and stir for a while.
■ Add ghee, 2 finely chopped tomatoes and continue to stir.
■ Add all above mentioned masala and stir for another five minutes.
■ Add mutton and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes.
■ Add jaggery, tamarind and cook.
■ Now add dal to this mixture and again pressure cook for 15-20 minutes.
■ Heat a pan, add sugar and caramelise it. Then add ½ chopped onion to it and fry for a minute.
■ Stir for a while and add rice to it.
■ Add water, 1 tsp oil and salt. Steam the rice till required
█ I don’t remember a Sunday when dhansak was not cooked at our home in Shahibaug. My brother demanded that the dish be made every weekend
Why people keep coming back to this 140-year-old institution.
Old is gold: Darius Dorabjee at the restaurant’s kitchen. (Source: Arul Horizon)
Thanks to home ‘ordering and delivery’ start-ups such as Zomato and Swiggy, today food is accessible at the click of a button. Most people will presume it’s quite easy to lay your hands on the rarest cheese in town. However, if you’re in Kolkata, it might be a tad more difficult than you think. It’s no wonder then that Viloo Batliwala, 73, has such a dedicated client base. The only one in town to make Topli Na Paneer-a Parsi take on the Italian buffalo mozzarella cheese, Batliwala makes fresh batches of the product only on Tuesdays and Fridays.
While Batliwala’s three grandchildren don’t fancy the cheese much, it’s a major hit with the city’s youngsters. Sienna Store and Cafe in South Kolkata use Topli Na Paneer in their salads. Batliwala insists, “it’s good to just have it on its own, maybe on toast with salt and pepper.” At Ripon Street, by appointment only Tel 22294808
Hi There, My name is Anahita Irani, I am the author at Sweetannu.com. A pre school teacher, social media influencer, lifestyle & food blogger. Added hobbies are travel, movies and fashion, going for events, socializing, networking and making new friends. Check out her interesting blog at https://sweetannu.com
Food : Authentic Bhakra Recipe – Click Here
I can proudly proclaim to be married into a bhakra loving family as l clearly remember my mother-in-law making bhakras in her Dahanu home every Sunday, cooling them and packing them in a big stainless steel box for her son. It was a ritual every Sunday evening, once all the other household work was done it was time to make Bhakras. A big thali was taken and all the ingredients were mixed with a heavy hand. My mother-in-law would instruct the maid to knead with a heavy hand and add according to the recipe in her head. She never used measured proportions yet the bhakras turned out delicious every time.
Travel : Visit Deolali – Click Here
Just opposite the Netarwalla Sanitorium and Agyari compound is the Dr.K.N. Bahadurji Memorial Sanatorium. The Sanatorium was inaugurated on 15th August 1902 and is specifically for Parsi/Irani community. It is spread over 12.5 acres of land, such a picturesque and sprawling property, once I enter I feel like Alice in Wonderland.
And Much More in Fashion, Lifestyle, Education……
It was love at first bite. It was at the hallowed, hundred-year-old Parsi members-only Ripon Club that I got my first taste of Parsi food. This was almost four decades ago when I had just moved from dreary Delhi and fell wildly in love with Mumbai and with Parsi food. Sadly there are only a handful of Parsi restaurants and so I wait for lagan nu bhonus at weddings. However, when a Parsi restaurant does open, I do a joyous whoop and go cartwheeling to lunch there. Like I did at the three-month-old Cheron.
Please ignore all those social media comments – Cheron does not have a sea view. Sure it is daylight bathed, is charming, cheery and no frills. It’s seriously small. Glassed in counters with shelves of food complete the decor.
All the food is served in takeaway plates and containers. Snacky (wraps, rolls, sandwiches) as well as one-dish-meals. My awesome foodie friend Kunal Vijayakar swears by the Patra ni Machi here. Snuggly wrapped in banana leaf and vibrant with chutney and gently steamed, the “Pamplet” is a must try. As is the plump pao with boldly spiced succulent kheema and the somewhat greasy but tasty mutton lacy cutlet. Moist and tangy Berry Pulao, lustily spiced Mutton Salli Jardaloo. `Flaky puffs baked with a filling of chicken (vegetarian options too). Velvety firm Lagan Nu Custard delights
No table bookings. No alcohol. No ice. Some of the dishes miss the mark and could do with more punch like the Dhansak and the Mutton Mince Potato. Oversweet desserts (Kit Kat, German chocolate).
I love the fact that this small, cheery, open through the day cafe is the result of four decades of a family’s passion. Baker and poultry pioneer Khoram Zorabian founded Bandra’s Gondola and Perizaad, his lovable actress daughter is equally passionate about it. His son Sohrab’s Cheron has been catering Parsi food. Casual and value for money has always been the guiding ethos. No frills, straightforward preparations and food served in takeaway containers. It encourages a basic kind of gluttony. Happily!
Average meal for two : Rs 600
- 25, Carter Rd, Shirley, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050, India