When you think of Parsi food, the first thing that comes to mind is dhansak. Or berry pulao. Or patra ni machchi. But, while you indulge in yet another plate of these dishes know that the Bawas are secretly laughing at you.
There is much more to Parsi food than dhansak and the only way to lay your hands on these are by knowing an inside Parsi source or of course, by scouring the community paper next weekend. If you can’t be bothered doing either, here’s a handy list of four offbeat Parsi items you must try sooner rather than later.
While the season to make pickles on the rooftop is over, you will be glad to know that this classic Parsi pickle is available through the year courtesy Shroff Pickles.
Commonly made with carrots and raisins, this sweet and spicy pickle is traditionally served at Parsi weddings along with sariya and roti as part of the first course. While Shroff Pickles is available at a few retail outlets, what you want to do is call Zenobia Aunty and request her for the ‘special’ Lagan nu Achar because that one comes with figs and apricots too and is a party in the mouth.
Call Zenobia Shroff of Shroff Pickles at +919869914472.
Commonly referred to as ‘ghaas-phoos’, Parsis’ give vegetables a wide berth unless they come with meat – French beans ma gos is a weekday favourite in many Parsi homes – or served under an egg like the bheeda per eedu.
However, an iconic dish worth trying is the bhaji dana nu gos, a concoction made using spinach, green peas, slow-cooked mutton and other seasonal greens. Spicy and meaty, only a few caterers make this specialty any more and one place to get your hands on it is Katy’s Kitchen, a catering service founded by the erstwhile Katy Dalal who has authored many a Parsi cookbook and saved many a Parsi brides from embarrassment.
Call Kurush Dalal to get a serving of bhaji dana nu gos at +919820136511.
There’s not much you can’t Google these days, but this mukhwas-type Parsi specialty is probably one of them.
Within the Parsi community, women for the first forty days after giving birth are referred to as ‘suvavars’ and the focus during this time is feeding the new mum foods that will enhance the production of breast-milk. Made with fennel seeds, desiccated coconut, dill and a few other seeds, this dry mix is meant to be chewed a few minutes before feeding the baby and is tasty enough to give the dreaded methi laddoos and jalebi dunked in milk a run for their money.
If you’re going to a baby shower soon and want to give a nutritional treat for the mother-to-be, then pre-order some Suvo by calling Delna Tamboly in Dadar who is known for this rare Parsi offering.
Call Delna Tamboly at +919820660994 for some Suvo.
It’s not a sweet puff pie and nor is it a puranpoli: the dar ni pori is somewhere in between.
Made with delicate layers of pastry, the dar ni pori encases a sweetened mix of lentils and dry fruits and is commonly had for breakfast or afternoon tea. There used to be a time when mothers made dar ni pori’s regularly at home but now you’d have to scour the city to find an aunty who will make them for you, especially in Mumbai’s suburbs, which have a serious dearth of Parsi outlets.
And that’s where home chef Gulrukh Irani comes to the rescue. Based in Goregaon, Irani makes dar ni pori’s as well as other Parsi tea time treats like the Bhakras on pre-orders.
Call Gulrukh Irani on +918424008336 to get these tea-time snacks.
Featured photo courtesy: Bawi Bride