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|Cheese and eggs at Smokehouse Deli|
|At Smoke House with my Bawi girls|
|Bhaji per eendu. Our cook Banu had made spinach so my mom in law made her add an egg to i|
‘Eggs are oxygen to Parsis’, says uncle J.
Every evening after school I would go to the corner roll shop and buy an egg roll before going out to play with the money my mother left for me. (I remember buying egg rolls at Rs 1.50 in the mid ’80s in Kolkata)
I had just begun to cook before I left Kolkata for Mumbai. I remember making omelettes with elaborate stuffings with even liver occasionally for my mom and brother on weekends.
Talking of eggs and Parsi do check out this e book on eggs put together by Perzen the Bawi Bride, and Rhea, a Bengali married to a Parsi.
In case you are wondering why my mother doesn’t blog anymore here, it is because she her own blog now. This is her latest post on how her blogging came into being thanks to a computer operator named Raju.
Red Fork in Indiranagar offers a range of contemporary items. Though it provides great breakfast options, burgers and salads, it is mainly known for the delicious Parsi food it serves.
The menu here is carefully curated to capture the seasonal produce from organic, zero pesticide farms. Even the in-house breads, desserts, compotes, dips and ice-creams are completely fresh. Chef Xerxes and his team come up with innovative presentations too.
Run by a Parsi family, the place used to be called Daddy’s Deli before it was given a new identity.
The elaborate breakfast menu consists of a spring onion pancake with smoked salmon and poached egg; breakfast bruschetta with pork; big breakfast with a choice of fried, poached or scrambled eggs; a choice of chicken franks or bacon served with rosemary mushrooms, hash cake and choice of bread, green eggs and ham. There is a wide range of salads available from beetroot, walnut tamarind dressing with house marinated feta to pear parmesan and almond salad.
The filling burgers include chicken Bondi burger with apple tzatziki salad; bacon and cheese and beef patty with cheddar, bacon, jalapeños, spanish onion jam, gherkins, mayo and barbecue sauce.
Some of the delicious dishes offered here are beef tenderloin with Thai style salad and Miso-glazed pan-fried fish on a bed of sesame rice.
The mouth-watering desserts here include orange semolinacake with Cognac ganache and vanilla ice cream; carrot cake with sugared almonds and mascarpone sorbet; baked white chocolate cheesecake with toffee and spiced poached pears. Red Fork is located on 12th Main, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar.
Some of the most popular pages on the Zoroastrian Heritage website and blog are the ones relating to Nutrition – in particular the monograph, “Nutrition – Were Ancient Zoroastrians & Aryans Vegetarian?” In addition to seeking answers, the monograph broadly addresses Zoroastrian principles and values.
Complete and abridged pdf versions of the monograph are available for download at:
A previous monograph, “Farohar/Fravahar Motif. What Does It Represent? Use of Icons & Symbols in Zoroastrianism” can be downloaded at:
Complete: http://www.heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/reference/FaroharMotif-Eduljee.pdf (64,426 downloads to March 26, 2015)
Abridged: http://www.heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/reference/FaroharMotif-Eduljee-Abridged.pdf (24,203 downloads to March 26, 2015)
K. E. Eduljee
Zoroastrian Heritage website (www.zoroastrianheritage.com)
Zoroastrian Heritage blog (http://zoroastrianheritage.blogspot.ca/)
Courtesy : Dolly Dastoor
Simple tea biscuits which have a long history and a wonderful legendary story.
The Dutch had left the shores of the West Port City of Surat, India in the 1700’s where a flourishing bakery was handed over to Faramji Dotivala. This baker continued to produce the breads for the local British community left behind. Once the Brits too lessened in numbers, the bread’s popularity diminished and the wasted bread was soon distributed to the local poor. Having the advantage of being fermented with an ingredient called Toddy, there was little chance of the bread ever catching fungus, prolonging the life of this staple yet making it harder to eat. One thing led to another and the local doctors suggested that this stale bread be given as a convalescent food to patients as it was easy to digest and filled their stomachs. Dotivala started producing smaller specially dried bread buns, and ‘ batasas’ were soon produced using the same toddy, flour and water! They were round balls of dough made to be eaten with a cup of sweet tea. They were hard enough to be dunked into the tea and not fall apart.
Years later, the Batasa was changed to a richer version with an addition of butter and or ghee/clarified butter. With alcohol prohibition taking place, Toddy was replaced with yeast or even completely omitted in the recipe.
Besides the cities of Surat, Navsari and Pune where Batasas are rivalled to be called their own, it was and still is a staple sold in Irani Tea Houses in Mumbai and until recently in Karachi. Sadly it is all dwindling down in numbers as many of the owners and bakers have moved to other pastures. Let’s hope we can soon walk through the doors of the first wonderful Chai House in North America!
Click Here for more and also the recipe !
Courtesy : www.NiloufersKitchen.com
So, a return to the story of amalgamation, in brief. When a group of Zoroastrians from Persia arrived as religious refugees in Sanjan, on the coast of Gujarat, they were seeking local king Jadav Rana’s approval. Having fled the Muslim Arabs invading Greater Khorasan in the eighth century, they wished for a safe haven to practice their religion. Rana wondered how a people so distinct in culture and language would live around the locals in harmony. He presented them with a glass spilling over with milk – a symbol of his prosperous land brimming with people, and no room for conflict. The Parsis asked for sugar. Tossing in a spoonful without any spillage, they spoke of seamlessly blending in with Rana’s folk, while adding a tinge of sweetness.
Udwada, a seaside town 200 km from Mumbai (and 30 km from Sanjan), is the seat, both, of Zoroastrianism (it houses the Iranshah Atash Behram – one of nine fire temples globally, holding the oldest, continuously burning ritual fire-temple in the world) and Parsi food traditions.
The Parsis kept their promise. Their food, moons away from Persian eats, is closer to local Gujarati coastal cooking, featuring indigenous fish, lentils and curries, all accompanied by Indian carb staples – chaval and rotli.
It’s a taste of this that awaits you on any leisurely weekend in Udwada, which you should kick off with a stroll on the beach and walk through its winding alleys, some of which house century-old structures in ruins.
Udwada has nothing to offer tourists, except a bright sun, cool sea breeze, quiet afternoons and smiling locals who serve gher nu bhonu.
Breakfast at Ahura
In true Bawa tradition, you must celebrate food enroute, too. Break your journey for a breakfast of eggs at Ahura. We recommend the Parsi kheema (Rs 155), spicy and beautifully paired with freshly baked pav. The Parsi poro (masala omlette; Rs 60) or akuri (bhurji; Rs 70) are other must-trys, but we give our vote to the salli per eedu (eggs on potato vermicelli; Rs 90).
Lunch at Parsi Da Dhaba
Well, you have two options. Either you grab lunch en route, or at a hotel in Udwada. If it’s the first you are thinking, make a stop at Parsi Da Dhaba. They serve a robust Parsi menu together with tandoori items, and a fair vegetarian spread. Doodh na puff are available, but only in the mornings (Rs 55/glass). Call: 088062 79379
At The Globe Hotel
It’s one of Udwada’s older outposts, and its quaint cottages are popular for an overnight stay with Mumbai’s Parsis. Established in 1924 by Kekobad Hormusji Sidhwa, originally its caretaker, it’s now managed by third generation Sidhwas. Even if you don’t intend to stay on, it’s a good pit-stop for lunch (Rs 500 per head; good enough for two). Their only request – call in advance to book a table. Don’t go looking for a menu. They decide what you’ll eat, and it’s almost always delicious. Order a fried boi – a crisp exterior holds tender, sweet flesh within. Parsis also love their curry, and if you are beside the sea, it has to be machhi ni curry. Globe’s version is fiery and served with kachubar (diced onion, cucumber, tomato and coriander, sprinkled with lime juice) and rice or rotlis. Globe’s rustic roast chicken is what you should order if you want a taste of non-lagan nu bhonu. Call: 0260 345474 / 09879817333
At Hotel Ashishwang
Lunch at Ashishwang is synonymous with a drive here, so grab a seat early. Unlike Globe, this one is a two-story modern structure, but since it’s closer to the shore, it enjoys lulling sea breeze. There’s a garden play area for kids, and the food is homestyle. Order mori dar (plain dal), chawal and patio (usually fish or prawnbased tomato-onion gravy), and a side order of tareli boi (fried mullet), best eaten with fresh rotlis. They also do a mean Parsi version of roast chicken (tarela papeta ni murghi). Fried potato crescents and chicken chunks swim in a mild, creamy gravy of onion. Lunch is priced atRs 450, and good enough for two. Call: 0260 2345700
At Sohrabji Jamshedji Sodawaterwalla Dharamsala
It’s 12 rooms are rented out at nominal rates to Parsis looking to stay, but its canteen welcomes the hungry from all communities. They offer both, set and ala carte meals. The mutton dhansak here is a dream. The dal is luscious and thick, littered with chunks of soft meat, served with fragrant caramelised rice. If it’s a chapati meal you crave, order them with salli boti (sour-spicy chicken in tomato gravy sprinkled with crisp potato straws). While Globe and Ashishwang skipped dessert when we were there, Sodawaterwalla’s lagan nu custard and raspberry jelly were a perfect end to a hearty lunch. Call: 0260 2345688
Sunta Cold Drinks: Sunta is a local cold drink brand, difficult to find elsewhere. Flavours available – masala, raspberry and ice-cream soda (Rs 25). Don’t order lunch without it. Available at Parsi museum, Ashishwang and Globe.
Sancha Ice-cream: It’s not a brand. Sancha refers to the technique used to make handchurned, home-made ice-cream, usually served from the backseat of a rickshaw that makes the rounds of most hotels. The flavours are seasonal, so it’s mango (Rs 20/2 scoops) you should be asking for right now. Custard apple and strawberry are available throughout the year.
Doodh na puff (milk froth): This pearly white, frothy concoction is made with cardamom-laced chilled milk, and best had early morning. Local women come around to hotels and dharamsalas carrying trays lined with glasses. It’s best to ask hotel staff to keep a tray (or two because no one can have just one) ready for you the previous night.
MAKE SURE YOU TAKE HOME
Hormuz Bakery bites: Right outside the entrance of Iranshah is a man selling touch-andcrumble bhakras (a tiny doughnut that’s a teatime favourite) and nankhatais (Rs 200/kg). The bakery is housed elsewhere, but this pop-up is easy to find.
E. F. Kolah Pickles: Every store in Udwada stocks sweet and savory pickles from this age-old brand. Gor-keri (jaggery-mango) is our favourite (Rs 100/400 gm).
Home-made masala: Every shop outside Iranshah stocks Parsi masalas. But a gentleman in a neat salt-and-pepper braid, hawking masalas out of his car, just beside the Hormuz Bakery cart, is the guy to sniff out. You can choose from dhansak powder, parsi curry (Rs 160/200 gm) and vindaloo masala. He also stocks vinegar and sukka boomla no patio (pickled dried Bombay duck).
Peppermint and papads: Women from around the seaside town gather in its alleys with baskets stacked with fresh peppermint, thin-as-air papads (Rs 80/packet), sarias (sago wafers bets eaten with laga nu achar at weddings), fresh garlic (toss some in your scrambled egg) and limes larger than you find in Mumbai.
Anahita Dhondy is a Chef Manager at the very famous SodaBottleOpenerWala. Being a Parsi herself, she brings in the trademark flavours of Parsi food at two restaurants of SodaBottleOpenerWala in Delhi(Khan Market) and Gurgaon (Cyberhub).
Being a Parsi, it isn’t difficult for me to cook and teach the cuisine I’ve grown up eating. There are however many hurdles that have come in the way as it’s a completely new cuisine for the general public to accept and enjoy. To maintain the authenticity of the cuisine, I have to personally check on all the dishes in the morning, and tasting is the only way to assure that. When we just opened our doors, I used to check every single thing myself, now my chefs have understood the cuisine, so they do the checking and I overlook.
I come from a family of creative people, my dad’s into advertising and marketing, and my mum is a home-baker and has been catering Parsi food from home for the past 25 years, much before anyone used to sell it in Delhi. My palette was exposed to the most different kinds of cuisines cooked at home, and travels, in India and abroad. By the time I was 10, I started helping my mum ice cakes, cook along with her, and that’s how I kept building my passion. Ever since then, there’s been no turning back. From the best tiffin in school, now it’s something the entire city is enjoying.
Click Here for the full interview