The best way to describe Parsi cuisine is through this phrase-Made of Sugar and Spice and everything nice. It is, therefore, a confluence of subtle but a variety of flavours, from strong to mild. The Parsis are ethnically from Persia, now Iran and this community escaped this West Asian country after the Arab invasion in the 17th Century. Eventually, the Parsis managed to reside along the west coast of India especially in Gujrat and Maharashtra. Over the decades they managed to develop a unique cuisine of their own which was a perfect mixture Maharashtrian, Gujarati and British flavours adding to India’s rich culinary heritage. The Parsi cuisine has two most distinctive features; first its subtle but unique taste, and secondly the potent use of common spices blended in the dishes. It is also a wholesome, nourishing cuisine cooked with ingredients nutritious to health. Dry fruits, cumin, berries, rose water are catalytic elements for the enhancement of flavours in many of their recipes. Let us now explore the multi-dimensional dishes which this cuisine has to offer:
One of the traditional Parsi recipes having its roots in Iranian staple dishes of meat and rice but now embedded in Gujarati spices. It is a recipe guarded with secret. The dhansak is a rich, stew made with lentils, vegetables, and meat with an intriguing blend of flavours. This delicacy is accompanied with caramelised brown rice and diced salad called Kachumber.
A boneless mutton delicacy portraying the Parsi way of blending hot and sweet flavours. It is prepared in onion and tomato gravy along with apricots and garnished or served with potato strips.
3Marghi ni Farcha:
A mouth-watering, light appetiser of a large chicken piece battered in bread crumbs and deep fried.
4 Patra ni Macchi:
Another traditional Parsi dish which means; fish wrapped in a leaf; is one of the well-liked delicacies served in weddings. It is prepared by marinating the fish fillets in a chutney made of mint, coconut, green chillies and lemon juice and is then creatively shrouded in banana leaves and steamed to absorb the complex flavours.
Egg or eeda is an important dish for the Parsis. Akuri is a breakfast dish of mildly spiced scrambled eggs usually served with toast or salad.
6 Mutton Cutlets:
Mutton Cutlets are the typical Parsi snacks and are made by mixing mutton, potatoes with ginger and turmeric and then deep fried and is accompanied with chutney.
7Saas ni Macchi :
Another interesting Parsi dish which means fish with sauce. This fish curry is unique as it innovatively combines the flavors of green chillies, peppers and cumin seeds along with the egg and vinegar mixture as the base of the fish transforming it into a delicious curry served with basmati rice.
8Sali par eedu:
An eclectic combination of Parsi and British breakfast combination. It comprises of deep fried shredded potatoes garnished with eggs and baked beans on top and served with toast.
9Kolmi Papeto Tetralo (Prawns and potatoes):
A prawn curry prepared with potatoes in a thick tomato puree and blended in chilli garlic paste.
10Parsi Sali Keema (Minced lamb with potatoes):
A flavorsome delicacy minced lamb cooked with onions, tomatoes, ginger-garlic paste and served with grated and deep-fried potatoes.
11Lagan Nu Custard:
This dessert is the Parsi version of the French Creme Brulee and has derived its name from being served at weddings. Unlike the runny custard, this one is much thicker in consistency as the milk is allowed to be burned and is prepared with khoya, dry fruits, rose petals along with white sugar and eggs.
12Dal ni Pori:
It’s a pastry stuffed with sweetened dal, tutti frutti and dried fruits. According to wedding traditions, this sweet dish is sent as a gift by bride’s family to the groom’s family.
Vasanu is a spicy, sweet dish made in winter with banana, nuts, dried fruit, lots of ghee and sugar.
Malido is prepared on auspicious occasions. It’s a heavy milky dessert made with cereals, nuts and eggs and is eaten along with a special Parsi bread called papri, as the salty taste of the papri unravels the inborn flavour of the malido.
15Doodh na Puff:
It is an exceptional breakfast meal prepared with fresh, whole milk that is shrouded with muslin and is left to soak up the dew overnight. It is then stirred to a light foam, in the next morning, and is gouged out in a glass and trickled with crushed nutmeg and cinnamon.
A combination of Parsi and Gujarati sweet tooth flavors. It is a coconut barfi made with grated coconuts, sugar, milk and mawa.
Rice in Parsi Cuisine is either sweetened or caramelized. It is also known as zereshk pulao. It is a mildly sweetened rice dish made with barberries, pomegranates, and saffron and often accompanied with boneless meat.
19 Keema Pav:
Another popular Parsi street dish of spicy minced lamb curry and normally eaten as a snack in the evening along with bread or pav.
20 Mawa Cake:
Soft and fluffy dessert delights. This satiating cake made with mawa or khoya has a slight twist of taste, i.e., an infusion of cardamom. It mostly consumed during tea time or as a light snack.