Category Archives: 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 –(– 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
Contact via Email

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The biskoot story

Not all cookies are buttery — theAchapparn rosecookies are an exception


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.

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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

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

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

“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

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

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


Spreading love through food

The curious thing about the Mishing-Parsi is the name itself. It is an easy conversation starter. The Mishing-Parsi at the moment is a Blog website to initiate conversations around food diversity with an active Instagram profile by the same name The Mishing Parsi.

Our aim is to initiate the same curiosity the Mishing-Parsi garnered for diverse food stories, recipes, ingredients cuisines so that any food enthusiast could benefit. With our own diversity as Mishing and Parsi as our strength, and our common love for food, it was a perfect recipe to spread love of diversity.

The Mishing Parsi began when a Mishing girl met a Parsi boy over food! After several food experiences and taking our taste on a jolly ride, we realized how vibrant were our food memories. It struck us that we still have a lot more food memories to make. We knew then, what we had to do! We had to do better and share our idea with the world and what better way than The Mishing-Parsi!

We co-created this space in an attempt to connect the world through the love of food. We appreciate diverse food habits, culture, fusion, traditional and also share our recipes.

Lina is the Mishing in the Mishing Parsi, a full-time research scholar and loves to cook in her free time. Wherever she travelled, food was her constant interest, always finding new ways to incorporate ingredients in her recipe.


Hanoz, meanwhile is the Parsi bawa, is an entrepreneur who loves to eat. Although he doesn’t get much free time to cook but when he does, he loves to cook as much as he loves to eat.

Together, it is always a riot of conversations, food and recipes exchanged. We quickly realized that there was a need to bring together like-minded food aficionados.

Currently we are looking forward to spreading a word about our love for food through our initiative The Mishing Parsi. You can check out the webpage at

or our Instagram Page



The Parsi chef who wants to introduce Delhi to real Parsi food shorn of cliches!

I am proud to present Kainaz Contractor, Delhi based chef, in this episode of #FoodocracyForHer.
In this chat you will get to hear about how Kainaz studied advertising in Mumbai and then moved into the hotel industry as she wanted to work in food. She did not find what she wanted and became a part of the editorial team of the then newly launched BBC Good Food Magazine. Her next move took her to Delhi where she opened Rustom’s Parsi Bhonu. “The aim was to expose Delhi to day to day Parsi food, shorn of cliches and caricatures,” says Kainaz. She and her partner, Rahul Dua, a sommelier by training ,have run the kitchens and acted as consultants for brands such as Blue Tokai and Cafe Dori. A year back they launched Bhawan Delhi. “The aim is to introduce Delhi to the variety of street food and chaat that you get across India, including non-veg ones,” says Kainaz.
#FoodocracyForHer is a chat show on #FinelyChoppedTV featuring interviews by Kalyan Karmakar of women entrepreneurs in the food and beverage business.
Please share the video so that more people can know about the story of Rustom’s Bhonu and Bhawan Delhi, click on like as it helps the video be discovered and do subscribe to the channel to catch future episodes.

The ‘bawa’ food brands that have survived a hundred years!

These iconic Parsi food labels have survived our colonial past and hipster present

Navroz, the Parsi New Year coming up on 16 August, is not just about good thoughts, good words and good deeds—but also a bellyful of good food. And while dhansak, farcha and lagan nu custard might be reason enough to say jamva chalo ji (let’s go for lunch/dinner), the whole meal is a symphony brought together by a clutch of iconic products.

The distinct flavours of Parsi cuisine have been spurred on by the community’s entrepreneurial spirit and love for the trio of sweet, spicy and sour flavours. From creamy kulfi to a sweet and fizzy raspberry soda; from an iconic grocery store to a special sugarcane vinegar from Gujarat, these are the food brands that have garnered a fan following beyond Parsi households. Here is a look at these century-old Parsi food brands that have endured the test of time:

The vinegar brewers: Kolah’s Vinegar

Jiyo Parsi the bawa food brands that have survived a hundred years

Mind you, this is no everyday souring agent or a synthetically produced vinegar. The specific balance of sweet, sour and umami is what makes Kolah vinegar that coveted “secret” ingredient in Parsi kitchens. From patra ni macchi to signature masalas, Kolah vinegar brings that je ne sais quoi that makes Parsis travel far and wide in search of their monthly supplies. The brand which started off making sugarcane vinegar in Navsari, Gujarat in 1885 by Edalji Kolah, has since grown and now manufactures masalas, pickles and ice cream. The products still make their way to cities like Mumbai and Pune from Navsari and even though the mandate is a 48-hour advance order, Kolah vinegar continues to hold its sway.

The doodh wallas: Parsi Dairy Farm

The soda wallas: Pallonji’s and Duke’s

It is a truth universally acknowledged (at least in Parsi homes) that no sunny afternoon picnic, festive spread or berry pulao meal is complete without a bottle of chilled fizzy raspberry soda. The Parsi affinity to soda dates back to the late 19th century in India. As early adopters of the British ways, soda soon became a fixture among Parsi homes. Most of the early soda-water businesses in Bombay were run by the community and surnames like Sodawaterwalla, Sodabottlewalla attest to the same. Pallonji’s started off in 1865 in Nagpur and remains a local favourite in Mumbai thanks to the patronage by Irani cafes and the Parsi community. Duke and Sons Pvt Ltd was set up in 1889 in Bombay by Dinshwaji Cooverji Pandole.

Their greatest hits were drinks like Mangola, ice cream soda and lemonade, apart from the raspberry soda and they continued to have a strong presence across western India well into the 1990s. Pepsico took over the brand in 1994, but continued producing its greatest hits and retained the name. The lack of any real fruit, lots of sugar and fizz does little to detract from raspberry soda’s almost inexplicable appeal and its worth as a true homegrown classic is the stuff of nostalgia that keeps the fan base growing.

The cake wallas: B. Merwan and Co.

The tradition of Irani bakeries is one that carries the history of the community which was a later migrant group to India vis a vis the Parsis. And the quintessential cup of Irani chai and cake remained a constant even while they were settling into their new homelands. This naturally expanded into establishments that were bakeries, neighbourhood cafes and provision stores rolled into one. Wherever the Iranis went, their bakeries followed suit and by the early 20th century, bun-maska, mawa cake and Irani chai were well known in cities like Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad. B Merwan and Co. on Mumbai’s Grant Road is believed to be one of the oldest such establishments established in 1914. Known for its mawa cakes and khari biscuits that sell out on a daily basis, this is a teatime staple for all Bombaywallas with a sweet tooth.

B Merwan  Co. the 100yearold Irani restaurant and provision store at Grant Road Mumbai. Photo by Abhijit BhatlekarMint...
B Merwan & Co., the 100-year-old Irani restaurant and provision store at Grant Road, Mumbai. Photo by Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint via Getty ImagesMint

The dukan wallas: Dorabjee’s

Pune’s favourite grocery and supermarket began its life as a tin roof shop in the city’s Camp area in 1911. Set up by Dorabjee Patell, this was the shop that introduced western flavours to the city by stocking imported ingredients from across the world—think cheese, cold cuts, mustards, sauces and seasonings apart from distinct Parsi snacks, bakery items and desserts like caramel custard. As the colonial influence and flavours spread across Pune, so did Dorabjee’s fame. Till date, the brand continues to hold its own against modern chain stores and gourmet supermarkets. With only three stores across Pune, it remains staunchly old-world and yet, whether you want Parmigiano-Reggiano or Parma ham, dhansak masala or Maharashtrian Goda Masala—Dorabjee’s is likely to have it all. A wine store, a customized online delivery service and an ever-growing loyal customer base keeps this century-old neighbourhood shop on top of its game.

The Seniors Kitchen: Salli Boti

The Seniors Kitchen: Salli Boti

Salli Boti - The Seniors Today

A well-loved Parsi gravy dish, Sali Boti is a popular recipe in India and other countries across Asia. It is highly nutritious and delectable. It is very easy to prepare and you can do that in the comfort of your home. Persis Mody shows us how.

If you love mutton and love the various ways it can be prepared, you will definitely be partial towards how this meat is cooked in Indian spices and a bit of jaggery as well.

Persis Mody shares her recipe here:

2 Servings

Ingredients of Salli Boti 

  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 500 gm cut into small cubes mutton 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 3 pinches salt
  • 1 cup grated onion
  • 2 teaspoon ginger garlic jeera paste
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 Cup tomato puree
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 cup potato sticks
  • Finely Chopped coriander


Step 1 – Heat the oil in a pan and add onions to it. Fry till they turn golden brown.

Step 2 – Add ginger-garlic paste, mutton strips, red chilli powder and turmeric powder. Mix it well.

Step 3 – Now mix in the roasted coriander powder, cumin powder followed by tomato puree and stir again.

Step 4 – Add a little sugar and vinegar. Add garam masala and salt, mix well

Step 5 – Reduce the flame and cover till cooked for about 15-20 minutes.

Step 6 – Add chopped coriander and give it a final stir.

Step 7 – Garnish it with more coriander leaves and top it up with lots of Salli (potato strips).

What better way to enjoy Parsi New Year!

Serve with hot rotis and enjoy!

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The Seniors Kitchen: Salli Boti

How to make Parsi Style Mawa Cake

Mawa cake recipe: An ‘Indianised’ version of moist cake, the primary ingredient in this dessert is mawa or khoya

The very idea of an Irani café reminds us of chai, bun maska, keema pav etc. If you have tried the Irani cafés in the by-lanes of Mumbai, then you surely can relate to it. With its unique flavours and aroma, each of these Parsi dishes leaves a strong impression on our palate and mind. Another such popular recipe is mawa cake. An ‘Indianised’ version of moist cake, the primary ingredient in this dessert is mawa or khoya – an ingredient that is popularly used to prepare desi mithai. This cake is popularly served as a tea-time snack with Irani chai and bun maska by the side. You also relish it as a post-meal dessert.


The best part is you can make it at home with minimum ingredients. All you need to do is mix, flour, mawa, eggs, milk and make a smooth batter. Transfer it in a mould and bake. The recipe is actually as simple as it sounds. However, if you explore you will find the recipe of mawa cake is customised as per palate. While some like to keep it simple with its basic flavours, others add nutmeg, dry fruits etc to it to make the cake yet more luscious. You can also find the cake moulded in different shapes and sizes.

However, we bring you the simplest mawa cake recipe that can be made in the muffin moulds you have at home, that too in just 40-45 minutes. Take a look at the recipe:

Step 1. Take maida in a bowl and add mawa, powdered sugar, baking powder, vanilla essence and butter to it.

Step 2. Mix everything together and add eggs to it. Mix again.

Step 3. Add milk and mix again and create a smooth batter.

Step 4. Now transfer the batter in muffin moulds.

Step 5. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes.

That’s it. And soft ad spongy mawa cakes are ready in no time.

What are you waiting for? Bake mawa cake today and enjoy with your evening tea.

Watch the video here –

Somdatta Saha


Lagan nu custard is a baked custard which can be translated to ‘wedding custard’ and is an essential part of a Parsi wedding feast. Traditional lagan nu custard is also regularly eaten at Parsi homes to reminisce good times and to conjure up cheer on a weekend or mid-week as a dessert. You can make flawless Parsi custard with this easy recipe that explains each step and is simple to replicate.

To check out the complete RECIPE and METHOD, visit:

Find all ingredients and method of how to make Parsi Lagan Nu Custard with preparation and cooking time at home along with nutritional value and calories. Lagan Nu Custard | Parsi Wedding Custard Recipe | Baked Custard 


1 liter milk (4 cups full-cream or whole milk)

150 grams sugar (about ¾ cup granulated sugar)

¼ teaspoon nutmeg powder

¼ teaspoon green cardamom powder

4 eggs

250 ml cream

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

25 grams almonds (about 3 tablespoons) plus 1 teaspoon for garnish, soaked overnight and finely sliced

25 grams pistachio (about 3 tablespoons) plus 1 teaspoon for garnish, soaked overnight and finely sliced

25 grams charoli (chironji),

about 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon for garnish

½ teaspoon butter to butter baking dish

To check out the COMPLETE RECIPE and METHOD, visit:

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