Mutton Pulao

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time:30 minutes
Yield: Serves 6

  • 3 lbs Chicken, Lamb, Goat meat or Mutton
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (cayenne pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon dhana-jeera powder (coriander-cumin)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 generous pinches of saffron
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sliced onions
  • 1 thinly sliced long green chile pepper (6″)
  • 5 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups Basmati rice


  1. Cut meat into bite size pieces.
  2. Toss with ginger paste, garlic paste, chili powder, dhana-jeera powder and black pepper. Leave to marinate for 15 minutes.
  3. Heat milk. Add saffron and let stand for 15 minutes.
  4. Place raisins in a bowl and cover with boiling water for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  5. In a large pot, heat oil. Add whole spices and fry for 1 minute.
  6. Add onion and chilies and fry for 10 minutes, stirring often, until caramelized. Remove onions and spices from pot.
  7. Add meat and fry until browned.
  8. Return the onion and spices to the pot. Keep a little of the caramelized onion for garnish
  9. Add raisins, sugar, salt, saffron milk, rice and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil.
  10. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  11. Fluff with a fork and serve, garnished with caramelized onions.
  Serve mutton pulao with vegetarian dhansak masala dar. Spicy lentil Dhansak is a puree made to go with rice pilaf. Sample recipe from my Meats Parsi Cuisine Cookbook shown below.
[amazon_link asins=’1496124782,1496124529′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’1447-5689-3485′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’70f12700-e33a-11e7-8ffd-9773af377c66′][amazon_link asins=’1496124782,1496124529′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’1447-5689-3485′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7139efde-e33a-11e7-8c6c-2908034aa6f4′]



Parsi Vasanu

Vasanu is a very well-known health food in India. Traditionally, it is made in the winter in India, and has been reported to give vitality and strength.

Made with fresh dry fruits – Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachios, Dates and several other natural healthy ingredients like Musli, Kamar Kakri, Char jat nu Magaj, Ginger, Wheat – ghau nu dudh, water-chestnut, poppy seeds (khus-khus), cardamom, nutmeg and so many Aryuvedic ingredients plus spices that are carefully selected and blended for their vigor-giving properties. Recipe for Vasanu is here if you want to make it yourself, hard work!

 It is mouth-watering and zesty with a blend of tastes that will remind you of times gone by. You will recall and relive the memories when your mother, grandmother or favorite aunt lovingly putting a delectable morsel of Vasanu in your mouth.

Healthy, all-natural and invigorating, it makes an excellent winter health food. 

White Pomfret, Silver Pomfret, Pompano, Palmburo Fish – whats the difference?

  • I have tasted the White Pomfret in India, great flavor and the taste of the ocean within. Wonderful in Curry or Fried with indian masala. Very difficult to find in USA.
  • Silver Pomfret is found in USA Asian Stores. It is a good substitute for the above White Pomfret.
  • Black Pomfret (Halva) is to be avoided, heard it causes diarrhea for some people.
  • Palmburo or Golden Pomfret is avcailable in some H-Mart Stores in USA. The fish is very fatty and tastes different from the White Pomfret. However curry and fried fillets come out good.


[Silver Pomfret; Pompano (Philippine); Butterfish; Pampus argenteus | similar: Chinese Silver Pomfret Pampus chinensis]

This tropical Indo-West Pacific fish is found near coasts from the Persian Gulf to Borneo, and as far north as mid Japan, but not as far south as Australia. It is not actually a pomfret but a butterfish. It can grow to 23 inches but the photo specimen, wild caught in India, was 10 inches and weighed 9-1/2 ounces, a typical market size here in Los Angeles. This is a major commercial catch within its range. IUCN rated “Not Evaluated”, White Pomfret is not considered threatened. It is, in fact, expected to have extended its range by 2050.

Pampus chinensis is very similar but the tail is generally not so deeply forked. It is smaller, has a smaller range and is a minor commercial catch.

“Pomfret” is one of the most sought after fish in India and Southeast Asia due to it’s delicate white flesh with subtle “non-fishy” flavor. The flesh breaks up easily on the plate but not along distinct flake lines. It holds together well enough to poach fillets (skin off) but that isn’t a usual way to prepare this fish. Fillets are too thin and tender for soup.

Steamed whole with a few diagonal slashes through the skin, this fish remains attractive and is quite manageable on the plate compared to many. The fin rays hold together fairly well and there are few ribs to deal with. It will also bake very nicely with the same diagonal slashes through the skin.

This fish is often deep fried whole, but must be handled carefully to avoid breaking up. A half pounder fits well in a wok with oil about 1-1/2 inch deep in the center or in a skillet with oil about 3/4 inch deep. Heat oil to 375°F and fry 5 minutes on one side, turn carefully and fry 3 minutes on the other side.

Buying:   This fish can often be found in Asian fish markets serving Philippine, Chinese and Southeast Asian communities. This is a premium fish, but the price has declined with rising supply and is now around 2016 US $3.99 / pound as whole, uncleaned fish in Philippine fish markets in Los Angeles.

Scales:   This fish may be covered with minute bright silver scales, but they rub off so easily there may be only patches. Fish marketed here in Los Angeles generally have only a small patch protected by the pectoral fins, if that.

Cleaning:   This would be easier with the head off, but this fish is often used head-on. Make an incision from the vent (almost directly below the root of the pectoral fins) forward to under the chin. There is a stiff keel, so you may need to cut just a tiny bit off center. This will give enough access to get a couple fingers in to scrape out the innards, which extend very high and a little aft of the vent. Scrape the gills loose at the bottom through the body cavity and pull them out through the gill slits with long nose pliers.

Fillet:   While this fish is most often used whole, it is not difficult to fillet, if that’s what you want, and yield is good. Remove the head and outline the fillet by cutting through the skin top, bottom and over the tail. Cut from top front to back, then over the tail and work forward. When you get to the rib cage, just pull the fillet off the ribs. Examine it carefully for remaining ribs and fin rays. There may be one or two centerline pin bones.

Yield:   A 10 inch 9-1/2 ounce fish yielded 6 ounces skin-on (63%) and 5-1/4 ounces (55%). Yield is quite good due to the very small head.

Skin:   Fillets are difficult to skin because the skin has very good adherence, and it is difficult to feel the divide between skin and flesh. Fortunately it would need to be removed only for poaching, which is not a usual use for this fish. The skin has a stronger taste than the flesh, but not annoyingly so. Skin shrink is definite, but fillets, lightly dusted with rice flour, can be pan fried skin-on. When the fillet is turned skin-side down, press it down with your turner. The skin will soon soften and the fillet will remain flat (though thicker than it started out). After cooking, particularly frying, the skin can easily be peeled off if desired, but there’s really no reason to do so.

Stock:   The heads, bones and fins, simmered slowly for 40 minutes, make a very usable mild stock, almost clear and with just a hint of color.

Recipe of Fried Pomfret (parsi style) from Seafoods Cookbook

Fried Fish
SIDE DISH: Fried Fish

[POMPANO family Carangidae (Jacks & Pompanos)]

These are deep bodied ocean fish of family Carangidae (Jacks and Pompanos). and are prized eating fish worldwide. The family is, however, a bit confusing because some pompanos are called Butterfish and Pomfret while some fish from those families are called “Pompano”.

This pompano is a medium flavor fish with flesh that holds together very well for all modes of cooking, and it’s shape fits pans and steamers better than most fish do. Frying, steaming, baking and poaching whole or as fillets all work well. The flesh is white except for a darker layer right under the skin, but that dark flesh does not have a strong flavor.

Buying:   This fish is found in all the Asian fish markets here in Southern California. It is heavily farmed and almost always available. Because it is very often cooked whole, that’s the way it is normally sold. Farmed Pompano is quite economical for a premium fish – I’ve purchased whole fish as low as $2.99/pound.

Scales:   Golden / Florida pompano has only an incomplete covering of tiny scales that scrape off as a slush without making a mess.

Cleaning:   The main problem for cleaning is the short length of the body cavity, but it’s sufficient to get your fingers into. The gills pull rather hard, so a strong pair of long nose pliers is a great help. There are also large stone-like lumps in the throat for crushing shells, and the pliers help here too. They are also good for reaching soft stuff that’s hard to get at with your fingers.

Filleting:   This is about as easy a fish to fillet as you’re going to find. The bone structure is complete and easy to follow with the knife and you can end up with a “see through” skeleton with almost no flesh on it. When you get to the rib cage, just cut the ribs from the backbone with kitchen shears. The ribs are thick and hard, and pull quite cleanly with long nose pliers. There is also a row of substantial centerline spines for the length of the body cavity – pull them straight forward.

Skin:   The skin is fairly tough and feels a little leathery, but has no strong or off flavor. Amazingly, it has no shrink when fried, or when cooked by other means. In fact, you can poach a skin-on fillet and, when it hits the hot court bouillon, it actually bends slightly away from the skin side. This makes Pompano ideal for steaming, baking or poaching whole. Once cooked, the skin is very tender.

If you wish a skinless fillet, the standard long knife and cutting board Method works fine, but takes a bit of muscle as the skin adheres strongly to the flesh. The only problem is the width of the fish. Cutting the fillets lengthwise down the centerline makes skinning easier. The skin is easily peeled from a cooked fish if you desire to do that. I see little point in removing the skin from this fish.

Yield:   A 1 pound 9 ounce fish yielded 14-1/4 oz of fillet skin-on (57%), 12-3/8 ounces skinless (50%) – a very good yield.

Stock:   The head, bones and fins make a very nice fairly light soup stock. There is a fair amount of oil, but this is easily removed using your gravy separator. The oil does not have a strong flavor.


Pomfret Drawing of Fish  –   [Family Bramidae]

Yes, there actually are real pomfret, but the fish called “Pomfret” in the market aren’t. They’re Butterfish and Pompano. Black Pomfret Taractes rubescens, Atlantic Pomfret Brama brama and Pacific Pomfret Brama japonica are real pomfrets but I have yet to find any in the markets.



Black Pomfret (Halva)
Black Pomfret[C. Parastromateus niger]

Actually not a Pomfret but a Pompano (the two families look a lot alike), this is an Indo-West Pacific fish ranging from the north coast of Australia to southern Japan and from Africa to Borneo. It can grow to 29 inches but the photo specimen was 10-1/2 inches and weighed just over 15 ounces, toward the large size seen in the markets. Black pomfret vary in darkness – the photo specimen is darker than many. Though highly commercial this is a fast breeding fish and not considered threatened. This is the fish we feature on our Broiling Fish page.

What Does Pompano Fish Taste Like? What About The Pompanos That Make Them Special?
The whole world is talking about the delicious, versatile and aromatic fish that many chefs cannot seem to get enough of in their kitchens. These are the mighty Pompanos of warm waters that people prefer to have on their plate.

If you are one of those people who is wondering what does Pompano Fish taste like? We have some valuable information for you in this article, read on!

Pompanos are abundant in the warm waters of gulf beaches. The fish voraciously feeds on tiny fishes, shrimps, molluscs and other small sea dwellers. Adult fish are said to migrate to bay areas during the mid-year. Florida reefs harbour the largest numbers of Pompanos.

How They Look
Pompanos are gorgeous sea beings and they can be spotted flashing their yellow hued bellies and silvery sides when they make a splash into the water. They have distinguishable silvery skin along with a thick stout body that measures up to 42 to 64 centimetres.

The Florida Syndromeanos became famous, you need to know that these fish were a rage back in the 60’s when a certain Mr.Groves began actively cultivating them in a pond. Thanks to the sweet taste of pompanos, many companies were ready to shell out big bucks in raising these beauties.

Though the delicious Pompano cultivation was a lucrative proposition, soon enough the corporates started to realise that Pompanos in their larva stage were not easy to feed as the feed was rather expensive.

Usually in their natural habitats, Pompano larvae survive on microscopic sea plants like algae. Typically Pompanos have smaller mouth and hence, it was difficult to find a cheap and affordable feed to raise them in ponds.

People who invested heavily in raising the Pompanos were forced to feed the shrimps to larvae as it was the only alternative and it was expensive.

Thus, the Florida Syndrome disappeared resulting in declined interest in Pompano cultivation and they were termed as the most expensive fish in the market.

Quick Facts

Before we divulge into the most interesting part of Pompanos, here are some quick facts about them:

Food experts around the world call Pompanos as the most edible fish in the world.
The white meat is easy to cook.
The fish can be used in any cuisine and hence, is versatile.
Has a lingering but mild aroma.
Interestingly, Pompanos are not required to be scaled.
Pompanos generally weigh up to 2 pounds.
More often than not people confuse other similar looking fish (that belong to the same family) to Pompanos, and hence, it is better to avoid fish weighing more than 3 Pounds if one is looking for Pompanos.
Do you know that Pompanos are preferred by Creole cooks as their first choice?
What Does Golden Pompano Fish Taste Like?
Tasting Pompanos is a delight to many people. They have great texture, taste, and flavour and can be incorporated in many cuisines with ease. Many chefs claim that Pompanos tastes better when they are baked or cooked using fewer spices.

For the sake of understanding the taste of a fish, we can examine the fish in various areas like, texture, appearance, ease of cooking, taste, flavour, nutrients and the colour of cooked meat.


Pompanos have thick white flesh with pearl-like translucency that is white in colour.

The silver side of the Pompanos are said to be delicious and easily edible as it does not require scaling. Though the fish is firm to touch, it can be easily filleted. Upon cooking the translucent flesh turns thick white.

Gourmands across the globe give much importance to the appearance of the cooked flesh just like its taste. And Pompanos score high in this category as they are nicely cooked with their silver skin and are firm to touch. They can be easily cut into shapes and dressed as per one’s wish and desire.

Gourmands recommend cutting the fish in such a way that the silver skin is shown to enhance the appearance of the dish.

Ease Of Cooking
Pompanos are cooked easily without consuming much time. Unlike many other fish, the whole of Pompano is edible as its bone is soft and tender which can be consumed. Most of the experts recommend broiling this fish with right amount of spices and herbs. However, one can use the fish in any type of recipe.

Pompanos are famous for their delectable and delicate taste. When it comes to taste, these fish have a mild tinge of sweetness complemented by its fine texture. Pompanos have a good repute of ‘a clean tasting fish’.

In fact, many chefs believe that it is this sweetness of Pompanos that make them versatile to be used in a wide variety of cuisines. The head of Pompanos are said to be oily in taste and are frequently used for broiling, sautéing and in soup preparations.

When it comes to flavour, this is fish is said to have the mild and sweet flavour that can gel well with any kind of herbs and spices.


It’s needless to say that fish is the most nutritious food of all the other things and Pompanos are no different. With their good fat content (9.5 g/whole fish) they are healthy to eat too. Here is the breakdown of the other nutrients in Pompanos:

A whole fish has

About 18.5 g of Protein.
0.6g of Omega 3 fatty acids.
50mg of cholesterol with 65mg of Sodium.
Popular Ways Of Cooking Pompanos

Pompano is no doubt an excellent tasting fish which is cooked with simple ingredients. One of the most preferred ways of cooking these fish is to broil them in lemon juice and butter which brings out the sweet taste in the fish.

Another popular way of cooking Pompanos is the En Papillote method wherein, the flesh of the fish is securely placed in a cooking dish or well secured plate with lids. Some people also use parchment paper to capsule the fish along with essential spices to cook.

VIDEO: The Carlisle Gleason Public Library Presentation

Sitaphal Pudding aka “Sugar Apple” or “Custard Apple” Pudding

[amazon_link asins=’B01K9LZUT0,B01HDQVK6G,B01FKC22IK,B013851UOI,B074YGQQMH,B01MZYAMHC’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’parscuis-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’aa184ab4-c3cd-11e7-95a4-b34c25acde9e’]

Sitaphal is also known as “Sugar Apple” or “Custard Apple”


 has a typical buttery, delicate flavor.
  •  Sitaphal pulp – 1 1/2 cup
  • China grass – 1 packet
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Cream cheese – 500 grams
  • Powdered sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Fresh cream – 1 cup
  • Almond – Finely chopped, to garnish
  • Pistachios – Finely chopped, to garnish
  • Walnuts – Finely chopped, to garnish
1. Cut china grass into small pieces.
2. Boil water in a vessel & allow china grass to dissolve in it over low heat.
3. Continue stirring till dissolves completely. Allow to cool.
4. In another large bowl, place the cream cheese, china grass & powdered sugar; and beat with an electric blender till smooth.
5. Fold in the fresh cream & sitaphal (Pudding Recipe) pulp.
6. Blend again.
7. Pour the entire mixture into pudding cups & set in refrigerator.
8. Garnish & serve chilled.

Nankhatai Recipe

by Meher Mirza

The Parsis especially have taken the nankhatai to their heart and it is to my favourite Parsi cookbook writer that I turned for the recipe. This is of course, my well-thumbed copy of Bhicoo Manekshaw’s Parsi Food and Customs in which she writes, “Parsis have no boundaries when it comes to good food and will accept any dish that their palates fancy.

Their tea-time snacks are a delightful mixture of Gujarati, Maharashtrian and European dishes, as well their own typical ones.” And so it is with the hybrid nankhatai. Here is her recipe, slightly astonishing because of her use of yoghurt.

Bhicoo Manekshaw’s Nankhatai Recipe

5 cups maida
A pinch of salt
1 tsp crushed green cardamom seeds
2 tsp soda bicarbonate
2 ½ cups castor sugar
50 gm ghee or butter
6-8 Tbsp curd, beaten till smooth
Cashew nut halves, for decoration (or almond or pistachio or chironji)

1. Set oven to 175 degrees C (or 350 degrees F).
2. Sift flour with salt, crushed cardamom and bicarb of soda.
3. Beat ghee or butter with sugar till light and fluffy. Add curd and mix well. Add flour and mix to a stiff dough. Rest dough for half an hour.
4. Place one teaspoon mixture on a greased baking tray for each biscuit, leaving a space of 2 inches between each. Place a cashew nut on top of each biscuit.
5. Place in oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes.

Everybody knows about the British and Portuguese influence on Indian food, but not a lot know about Dutch fingerprints on Indian food. Way back in the 17th century, plenty of Dutch colonies were flung all over the Gujarati city of Surat in order to facilitate trade with India. Anxious for a taste of home, they set up a bakery, employing five Parsis to run it. This happy monopoly soon came to an end though, when the British eventually wrested control of Surat. The bakery, largely untainted by the colonial forces at play, happily stayed open. One of the bakers, Faramjee Pestonji Dotivala, continued bakingbread but demand for it sank. Perhaps it was too expensive? In any case, the older, harder bread which was sold for cheaper, became popular and eventually it morphed into the rusk-dry Irani biscuit. In its wake came the sweet, rich nankhataibiscuit, which the Dotivalas claim to have also invented. “In those days,” the Dotivala website reads, “the locals used to make a sweet called ‘dal’. Our ancestors baked the ‘dal’ and the now famous nankhatai was invented.”

Elsewhere, in ‘Eat, Live, Pray’, a publication of the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America, Farishta Murzban Dinshaw writes, “Parsi bakers were inspired by the eggless Scottish shortbread, favoured by sailors because it kept well on long voyages, to create nankhatai, one of Surat’s famous confections. The Surti bakers realised the recipe was suitable for Gujarati vegetarians who did not eat eggs, so they adapted it to local taste by adding cardamom, cashews, almonds and pistachios.”

Today, the nankhatai we know is a light golden circle made with a cloud of ghee (or butter) and pocked with nutmeg and cardamom. Served warm and fresh from the oven, it has a dense, brittle, buttery texture that pairs excellently with a hot cup of tea. The nankhatai’s marriage of starch and sugar is an immensely satisfying way to perk up a drowsy afternoon.

Where to Get Nankhatai

I’ve read of nankhatai street vendors who hawk their wares in narrow, old Delhi lanes. Someone once gave me a packet of crumbly almond-studded ones from Frontier Biscuits; apparently Frontier makes khatais in various flavours, including chocolate and mango. But I am a nankhatai purist, so I won’t comment on the bastardisation of this biscuit. Some of the best nankhatais I have tasted though are from Mumbai’s Paris Bakery, well-known for their heavy-handed use of butter. Consequently, their biscuits are absolutely delicious and their batasas are the best in the world, or so I always maintain. Recently, I tried the nankhatai in Udvada and we, as a family, were united in our disappointment. “Paris Bakery has spoiled us,” said my dad, sadly.

To be fair, I have not yet tried the nankhatai from Surat’s Dotivala or any from Pune’s Parsi bakeries, a lacuna that I am desperate to fill. Perhaps it will be even better than Paris.

The introduction of yoghurt into the recipe is intriguing. From my forays into Internet blogs and books, I noticed that the issue of yoghurt is split evenly down the middle. For instance, the other Parsi cookery writer that I respect, Bapsi Nariman, doesn’t use any. Nariman, in her Traditional Parsi Dishes, uses semolina and whole wheat flour (not maida), doused in 110g of desi ghee, which she kneads. But Niloufer Icchaporia King, writing in My Bombay Kitchen: Traditional and Modern Parsi Home Cooking, does use yoghurt (and much, much less sugar than is required for Ms Manekshaw’s nankhatai. Now that makes it healthier but does it necessarily make it tastier?).

My own taste test was conducted on (who else?) Ms Manekshaw’s recipe, which I more or less followed to the letter. The nankhatai turned out delicious, perfect little half-spheres, crumbling and spluttering in the mouth. However, I did find the cardamom a little overwhelming, because I am not a massive fan of the spice.

A few other notes:

  1. The flour will not turn brown after baking, but stay white or pale brown, which is how it should be.

  2. The khatais may take less than 20 minutes to bake; mine were done in about 15.

  3. After baking, make sure to let the biscuits stand on a wire rack or sheet to cool – they will harden into the perfect nankhatai texture.

  4. Oh and don’t skimp on the butter (or ghee). Its specialty is its decadence.

About the author: Meher Mirza is an independent writer and editor, with a focus on food and travel. Formerly with BBC Good Food India, she loves anime, animals and artsy things but also comics, technology and death metal.

Nankhatai Band

Detox Juice

Serves 2


• 1 cup (chopped) spinach leaves (without stems)
• 1 cup chilled fresh orange juice
• 1 cup cubed mango
• ¼ cup (chopped) fresh mint
• 2 medium ribs celery (finely chopped)
• ¼ cup (chopped) flat-leaf parsley


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Keep blending it, until it is a smooth puree.
  3. Pour into two chilled glasses.

The Carlisle Gleason Public Library Presentation and Feature Story

The event was wonderful! It was a pleasure to share my history and heritage with the Carlisle town folk, who attended this even with the cold weather in January. There was a ice and snow storm going on outdoors, but warm, hot and spicy food was had by all indoors.

The library staff was so thoughtful on that day. I had prepared about 9 dishes and had platters to carry! They provided a cart which we wheeled into the elevator and went up. The table was setup with the tablecloth and chairs were laid out. It is an blessing to be part of this lovely town.
I was so happy to get a lot of questions, and a very good discussion ensued with people sharing stories and experiences.  Everyone munched on the food and it made me proud when they took some samples home. All food samples were made using the recipes from my cookbook.

After the event, my daughter said it all! “Great lessons learned and tasty food shared! Great job, Mom!!! “

The Carlisle Mosquito (newspaper of the town of Carlisle, MA) published a feature interview, you can read it here. (click on link). Thanks Anne! 

Jim took a video and photographs:





by Jenifer Petigara Mistry

Growing up in Surat and that too the old part of the city, at 10-12 years of age Makar-Sankranti was a day full of loud music blaring from the rooftops, “Kaipo Chhe” or “Kaipoch” or”aye peli peeli gayi ” or “Laali ni pi” sounds. In the narrow streets, there would be people standing on the most precarious perches on the roofs, convoluted Roman athletes with arms to the sky waving frantically(coz you can’t see the thread they were holding from afar), shouting to each other from one building to another,.. literally a city that existed on the roofs rather than the roads that day !! My friend and I would also climb up to the water tanks.. a rather steep, dangerous climb to be done only once in a year, stand or sit on minute spaces between the roof tiles, munching at the Til-Laddu and Fafda-Jalebi!!

Growing up, for all my bravado I was an introvert so I could never ask anyone to let me fly the kite or teach. Besides Dad said money was too scarce to throw away on glassed thread and paper !! But once in a while someone would be nice to let me hold on to the string for a while .. that would be my highlight for the week .. until another little joy caught my fancy .. small joys .. small little tidbits of innocence.. every little second crammed with a ton-full of life .. that’s what I remember even today .

That is – that and food that grandmom would cook. For her special days had to have special menus. So Makarsankranti was khichdi, Bangan Bharatu (what she called Bharat) and Levta (mudfish). So in remembrance of her and all those childhood memories today I decided to cook khichdi and Levta. I skipped the bharatu mainly because I am not a great fan of the veggies 😃😃


250 g mudfish (you can substitute with fish fillet or prawns) – cleaned
1/4 cup chopped spring onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh garlic
1/4 cup chopped coriander
3-4 green chilies chopped
1/2 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tsp mango ginger (amba haldi-optional)
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
For Marination : Marinate fish for 60 minutes in ..
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp red chillies powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp dhansak masala
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Slightly heat oil in a pan and add the pastes. Sauté for 30 seconds and add chopped garlic, green chillies and spring onions. Sauté till they start slightly wilting. Add the dry spices and sauté for 30 seconds more. Add the chopped coriander, salt and mix. Add the fish. Cover with the masala. Reduce to simmer and cook closed about 2 minutes on each side. This is a delicate fish and hence do not turn it too often or too roughly. Enjoy with khichdi and spring onions !!

Special Meal .. Special people to remember ..

Rita’s Secret Cashew Lamb Curry revealed!

Rita’s Secret “Kaju Mutton ” Cashew Lamb Curry revealed !

Lamb can be substituted with Mutton.

Kaju is a Indian word for Cashew. (Cashews can be substituted with Almonds)

Cashew Lamb Dish


  • 4 lbs boneless Lamb

Marinate lamb

  • 10 tsp. Ginger Garlic paste

  • 3 tsp Salt

  • 1 tsp turmeric powder

Fry in hot oil

  • 2 medium onions grated

  • 2 tomatoes chopped

  • 1” 5 pieces of cinnamon

  • 9 cloves

  • 7 cardamom pods cracked open a little

  • 9 Black peppercorns

  • Oil as required

Grind to paste

  • 1 cup Cashew nuts

  • 1 cup Yogurt

Dry Spices 

  • 1 tsp Garam Masala

  • 4 tsp red curry powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp Dhanna Jeera powder

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp turmeric powder

  • 1 tsp red chilli powder

  • 1/2 tsp saffron (optional)Add to taste: Salt and  about 1 cup thick cream at the very end.


  1. In a pan heat 3 tblsp oil and sauté onion till translucent.

  2. Add the cinnamon sticks, cardamon and cloves.

  3. Stir well and brown the onion.

  4. Grind Cashews and Yogurt into a paste

  5. Saute Lamb pieces for 15 minutes on medium heat.

  6. Add the dry spices now with the yogurt and nut paste, marinated lamb and saute 10 more minutes. Add more oil if needed.

  7. Give it a good stir and add the saffron, enough water to get a good gravy and close the pressure cooker lid.

  8. Bring the pressure cooker to the first whistle on medium heat  and then and let it cook on the lowest flame till the lamb is cooked to desired tenderness. (15 – 20 minutes).

  9. Remove Lamb curry and add the cream.

  10. Sprinkle with potato matchsticks (sali) and serve.

 Tip: For added flavor you should roast and soak saffron in little hot milk.

Serve with hot  Basmati rice or Naan or Roti.

Mumbai Chicken Puffs

Click here to see Video 

Mumbai Chicken Puffs Recipe

2 cups chicken breasts
1 tsp black pepper
1 onion
2 green chillies
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 cup ghee
1 cup maida
2 cups milk or as needed for sauce
2 tbsp Mayo
1 Cup parmesan cheese grated
Salt and pepper to taste

1 muffin pan

1 box of Pillsbury puff pastry
1 egg for egg-wash


  1. Cook chicken breasts with black pepper and salt in some water, drain and keep.

  2. Slice into thin pieces.

  3. In a saucepan and add ghee, onion, green chillies, garlic and ginger.

  4. Saute till onions are soft and translucent.

  5. Stir in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes.

  6. Next add milk in batches stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Let the white sauce come to a boil and then add all the ingredients except the Pillsbury pastry.

  7. Cool filling

  8. Make 11 large circles of pastry as shown in video

  9. Make 11 small circles of pastry as shown in video

  10. Fill the muffin pan with large pastry circles

  11. Add filling and top with the smaller circle of pastry

  12. Brush with an egg-wash (Mix 3 tsp water + beaten egg)

  13. Preheat oven to 420 F

  14. Bake till pastry is puffed and golden brown

UK Amazon

Best wishes for a very Happy Navroze for you and your family,

Seven recipes to celebrate Parsi New Year 2017

Satisfy your Parsi Food cravings. We hope you will cook delicious, mouth-watering food with the recipes, cookbooks and videos provided on this site.

Get $5 off our books for the coming Parsi New Year Celebrations. 

Apply Discount Code “AFDX5BD5” * Sale ends August 31, 2017 Click on image to go to the Amazon Create Space shopping cart. Next, add the book you want and then apply discount code. Proceed to check out.

Commemorated in a grand and elaborate fashion, preparations for  Navroze begin well in advance. Houses are cleaned to remove all the cobwebs and painted new. They are then adorned with different auspicious symbols, namely, stars, butterflies, birds and fish. New attires are ordered and made especially for the festival. On the day of  Navroze, people dress in their new and best clothes and put on gold and silver kustis and caps. The doors and windows are beautified with garlands of roses and jasmines. Color powders are used for creating beautiful and attractive patterns, known as rangoli, on the steps and thresholds. These intricate and creative patterns display the sanctity of the festivals. Moreover, fish and floral motifs are a favorite among rangolis and considered highly auspicious.

Guests are welcomed by sprinkling rose water and rice, followed by applying a tilak. Breakfast usually consists of Sev (a vermicelli preparation roasted in ghee and choc-a-bloc with dry fruits) which is served with yogurt and enjoyed by young and old alike. After breakfast, it is time to visit the Agiary or Fire Temple to offer prayers. Special thanksgiving prayers, known as Jashan, are held and sandalwood is offered to the Holy Fire. At the end of this religious ceremony, all Parsis take the privilege to exchange new greetings with one another by saying ‘Sal Mubarak’. Back home, special delicacies are made marking the lunch as an elaborate and delicious affair.

Various Parsi dishes, such as Sali boti (a mutton and potato preparation), chicken farchas, patrani machchi (fish steamed in a leaf), mutton pulao and dal, kid gosh and saas ni machchi (a thick white gravy with pomfret) jostle for space on the table. However, the most significant dish that forms an integral part of Jamshed Navroz celebrations is pulav (rice enriched with nuts and saffron, aka biryani). Besides, plain rice and moong dal are a must on this day. Desserts too are not behind in terms of variety, the most important being falooda. It is a sweet milk drink made from vermicelli and flavored with rose essence. Lagan-nu-custard, or caramel custard, is another favorite on this occasion. The entire day is spent by visiting friends and relative and exchanging good wishes and blessings.

Suggested Menu for the Navroz day:

sev 002


 Parsi Sev Sweet Vermicelli (shown above)

 Parsi Ravo (Sweet cream of wheat)




Khari Maachi (served with Mora Dal Chawal / Parsi Dhan Dal ) Recipe 1

 Dhan Dal (Steamed Rice with plain dal) with Khari Fish

Fried Fish
Fried Fish

Tareli Maachi



Chicken with Apricots / Jardalu ma Marghi
Chicken with Apricots / Jardalu ma Marghi

 Chicken with Apricots / Jardalu ma Marghi


DESSERT: Lagan nu Custard - garnished with almonds, pistachios
DESSERT: Lagan nu Custard – garnished with almonds, pistachios

 Lagan nu Custard

Batasa – a favorite biscuit snack. Good with Tea or Coffee anytime! 



Food made for the holy days of Muktad

Food cooked for Muktad prayers is kept on a table set aside with the Afargan.

Items like Malido, Daran, Papri for chasni are prepared. After the prayers are done the food is partaken of with clean hands.

Silver Pomfret Fry

IMG_3143 - Copy

Pampus argenteus/ silver or white pomfret is a species of butterfish that lives in coastal waters off the Middle East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. This fish is prized in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region; has subtle flavour and has high Omega 3 and Vitamin content, its flesh is soft and buttery when cooked.

What’s the Best Vegan Omega-3 Supplement?
Healthy Plant-Based Living? View Site

Recipe of Silver Pomfret Fry

8 small pomfret fish  (Butter-fish can be substituted)

Marinate the fish in:

  • ¼ tsp. of turmeric powder,

  • ½ tsp. (or according to preference of taste) of kashmiri chilli powder,

  • ½ tsp. (or according to preference of taste) of garam masala,

  • Salt – according to preference of flavour,

  • Mashed pieces of 6 to 8 garlic cloves,

  • 2 tsp. of chilli vinegar (- this vinegar is not pungent in flavour, has a flavourful   pungent aroma)

  • Coat the marinated fish along with the mashed pieces of garlic in rice flour before shallow frying the fish in any mild-flavour vegetable oil,  fry the fish in low heat for about 5 minutes.

Quickie Date Coconut Sweet

Quickie Date & Coconut Sweet with Coconut Oil

Servings: 10

Preparation Time: 10 minutes


  • 2 cups nuts
  • 20 pitted dates
  • 3/4 cup dried, unsweetened coconut
  • 2-3 teaspoons coconut oil *


  1. Place your nuts in a food processor and run it until you get a pretty fine texture. It’ll take about a minute.
  2. Add your dates, coconut, and 2 teaspoons of the coconut oil and pulse until combined. You want it to be a consistency that will stick together, so if you think you need more “glue” add the 3rd teaspoon of coconut oil.
  3. Put the mixture out into an 8×8 pan and spread it out evenly. Place it in the fridge to harden up a little and then cut into bars or squares.

Store in the fridge and enjoy as a nice healthy snack!

* News: Why Coconut Oil Won’t Kill You, But Listening to the American Heart Association Might!

Cucumber Pickle made fresh from Summer Cucumbers

Made fresh from Summer Cucumbers, which are a plenty here in USA 🙂

With 5 large ones and the heat of the summer, I knew these cukes would go bad soon. After 5 minutes of wondering what to do with the whole batch, I thought of making a pickle/pani nu achar with the cucumbers. Guess what it was delicious. My hubby and son gobbled it up so fast, next thing I know Jim brings more cucumbers and asks for the same pickle to be made again.

Serve pickle as a condiment, use in Sandwiches.


  • 5 large cucumbers peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup White Vinegar
  • 1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Red Chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida powder (Hing)
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek powder
  • 1 large airtight jar


  1. Put the cucumber slices in the airtight jar. Make sure the jar is bone dry.
  2. Mix all the spices into the vinegar and pour over the cucumbers.
  3. Let pickle marinate for 5 days if you can. (Mine got gobbled up in the first week)

Get Cookbook: Pickles, Preserves and Chutneys by Rita Kapadia  

* Dill can be Substituted

A traditional and very easy Mango Pickle (Pani nu Achaar) is made with raw green mangoes and this recipe can be used with raw green mangoes.

[amazon_link asins=’B006POH22Y,B000JMFEL4,B000JMDJ52,B00EPLGF7M,B00K2TD5NI’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’parscuis-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’6756d1af-586a-11e7-b4f0-ddb32cd3ecae’]

Seekh Kebab


1 lb Turkey or Chicken minced

2 Eggs
1 tbsp. Cumin (Jeera) powder
1 tsp Red chili powder

1 tsp White pepper powder
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil 4 tsp

4 tbsp. Cashew nuts(pounded)

5 tbsp Gram flour (besan)

2 tbsp. Ginger, Garlic each (finely chopped)
4 tsp Onions(chopped)
5 tbsp. Green coriander(chopped)
1 tsp Garam masala
Oil for basting
Butter for brushing

5 skewers

3 Lemons (cut into wedges)

1. Whisk the eggs, add cumin powder, red chilli powder, white pepper powder, salt, and oil.
2. Add cashew nuts, gram flour, ginger, garlic, onions, green coriander, and garam masala.
3. Add to the mince and mix well. Keep aside for 10 minutes.
4. Mix well. Divide into 10 equal portions.
5. With wet hands, wrap two portions along each skewer.
6. Keep 2 inch between each portion. Prepare 5 skewers like this.
7. Roast in a moderately hot tandoor or charcoal grill for about 6 minutes until golden brown in color, or roast in a preheated oven at 150°C (300°F) for 8 minutes, basting with oil just once.
8. Remove from skewers and brush with butter.
9. Serve hot, garnished with onion rings and lemon wedges

Yogurt Shrikand in Red White and Blue


Yogurt is hung to make it thick. Garnish with fresh blueberries, sliced almonds and serve shrikand immediately.

Makes: 2 Servings of Shrikand.


2 Cups Plain Yogurt
1 Pod Cardamom
4 Tbsps Sliced Blanched Almonds (optional)

Fresh Blueberry Fruit (optional)
Sugar to Taste

A drop of red and blue food color (edible color)


  1. Crush the cardamom pod and remove the seeds and grind the seeds into fine powder.
  2. Tie plain yogurt in a clean muslin cloth and hang it in refrigerator (tie the ends of cloth to the rack) for 6 – 8 hours with a bowl underneath to collect the whey. Alternatively, hang it above the kitchen sink for couple of hours and then refrigerate for an hour or so.
  3. Remove the thick yogurt and mix in sugar, cardamom powder.
  4. Divide into 3 mixing bowls, stir in red and blue food color in two bowls, keep the 3rd white.
  5. Layer each into serving cup, I used a cocktail glass for special color effects.
  6. Garnish with sliced almonds and serve shrikand immediately.

Suggestions: Use full fat yogurt for better taste.
Variations: You can also add honey instead of sugar if you wish.


[amazon_link asins=’B01MDLJ7WD’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’1447-5689-3485′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’bec010ad-449a-11e7-bf2a-e7aa5a29c708′]

Vaghareli Khichri

It is the Ayurvedic detox food.  Khichadi, pronounced kich-ah-ree and sometimes spelled “kitchari” or “khichdi,” has long been used to nourish babies and the elderly, the sick and the healthy during special times of Diet Detox & Cleansing.

 Vaghareli Khichri Recipe 


  • 1 Cup rice (barik Surti kolam, basmati)

  • 1 Cup maag/mung OR red masoor daar (red lentils)

  • 2 Cups Water for cooking

  • 5 tsps Ghee or Clarified Butter


  1. Clean and wash both 3 times with water, and keep aside soaked in 2 cups water.

  2. Put the soaked dar/rice in a cooking vessel, add Water and 1 diced tomato, 2 jacket potatoes quartered, 2-3 slit green chillies and put on fire.

  3. In another thick bottomed vaghar vessel, add 1 tblsp pure ghee, add 1 tsp jeera, crackle 1 tsp mustard seeds, add 2 stems of curry patta, 10-12 cloves finely chopped garlic, 2 finely sliced onions, 1 tspn harad, 1/2 tsp hing, 3-4 red kashmir chillies and fry to a nice golden brown crisp Vaghar.

  4. Add this to the cooking dar rice khichri and cook covered on slow fire until soft

    and done. (as we say in parsi gujarati – vavri)

  5. Garnish with freshly cut coriander and eat just by itself or with fried vengna slices (shown above)  or dahi kadhi (shown above), sukka boomla no tarapori patio or Ghee.

Mango Halwa

by Pariz Neville Gandhi

[amazon_link asins=’B000N7DCOG,B00B56KXQ4,B00CHU0GF0,B003BN5C0G,B0170EDDH0,B004749I1M,B003BN8NNE,B00UJURA22′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’1447-5689-3485′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’79ab7e2a-4f8b-11e7-95ae-c18801e196b1′]

Falooda Ice-cream Mawa Cake

Layered Falooda Ice Cream Cake

(cardamom flavored cake layered with falooda ice cream)


Kshama Parikh is an artist and a blooger. Kshama’s blog is 
Kshama also blogs in the Facebook group Foodaholics in Ahmedabad

#Parsi #Cuisine

The word Parsi means Persian and it is evident that Parsi cuisine is influenced by their Persian roots as much as it is by the food culture of their adopted home, India.

Me being me wanted to create something extravagant in terms of flavours and visually of course! 😜 My thoughts behind this pastel pink cake is to pay a little homage to the Grand Parsi Cafes and their fading elegance illustrating vintage Bombay. ***In my head this is what the ‘Memsahibs’ of Malabar hill would indulge into during a tea time conversation with her equally fancy friends at one of these Parsi cafes in Bombay.

So Falooda derives from the Persian word ‘Faloodeh’ and I also wanted to make the signature Parsi Mawa Cake hence I combined the two and made an ice-cream cake with flavours of Persia which has always had a strong influence on the Parsi cuisine such as ROSE, SAFFRON, PISTACHIOS etc.


For Falooda ICE-CREAM

Heat 200 ml of evaporated milk in a pan and bring to boil. Add sugar and rose extract. Let it cool. Add lightly whipped cream (200ml) to it and fold in well. Add a drop of pink gel, cardamom powder and saffron. Beat this mixture with an electric mixer for 5 min and put it in a freezer. After an hour beat this mixture again and refreeze it until you are ready to use. (I made my ice cream on Monday  and was nibbling on it for a couple of days before it served the purpose.

For the cake. I followed the Chiffon cake method as the mawa would make the cake extremely dense anyway and I am not a fan of to dense cakes. So to make it a little lighter I followed the light airy chiffon cake method which helped a little in retaining the airiness.

For the cake

Beat egg whites of 3 eggs to form a soft peak. In another bowl take the egg yolks of two eggs and one whole egg. Beat until frothy. Add one cup sugar, 2 cup flour, pinch of salt and 1/2tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar. Add 3 tbs oil. 1/2 cup milk. Beat well again. Add mawa, cardamom powder, saffron extract and beat until everything is well combined. The amount of sugar is entirely personal choice. Now carefully fold in the Meringue which was prepared earlier. Transfer the batter into lightly greased aluminium tins and bake for 45 minutes at gas mark 5.

Once the cakes cools slightly remove it from the tins and place it on wire racks to cool completely. Soak chia seeds in water and also boil rice noodles. Defrost the ice cream so it is soft enough to be assembled between the cake layers.

Now in a non-stick tin (the one which has separate base and side) assemble the cake and ice cream. Cake at the bottom, topped with ice cream then another layer of cake and then more ice cream to finish off. On the top most layer, mix soaked and drained chia seeds and boiled and well drained rice noodles. Freeze this for at least 3-4 hours.

Remove the ice cream cake 10 min before serving and garnish. Carefully separate the base from the sides and dig into the ever so delicious ice cream cake!

The Secret History of Shiraz Wine

By Anahita Shams

Persian miniature painting of a 14th Century Persian court banquetMusic, poetry and wine-drinking at the court of 17th Century Persian ruler Shah Abbas

Until the Islamic revolution, Iran had a tradition of wine-making which stretched back centuries. It centred on the ancient city of Shiraz – but is there a connection between the place and the wine of the same name now produced and drunk across the world?

“I remember my father bringing in the grapes and putting them in a big clay vat,” says California-based wine-maker Darioush Khaledi, recalling his childhood in pre-revolutionary Iran.

“I would climb on top and smell and enjoy the wine.”

Darioush’s family was from Shiraz, a fabled city in south-western Iran, whose name was once synonymous with viticulture and the poetry and culture of wine.

He remembers happy evenings when the family would gather, sipping wine from clay cups, and reciting lines from the 14th Century Persian poet Hafez.

“It wasn’t just about drinking wine,” he says. “It was an adventure.”

The world Darioush remembers came to an end in 1979 when Iran’s new Islamic rulers banned alcohol.

They shut down wineries, ripped up commercial vineyards and consigned to history a culture stretching back thousands of years.

Does this ancient jar hold the key to the provenance of Shiraz?

Ancient residue

An ancient clay jar has pride of place at the University of Pennsylvania museum in Philadelphia in the US.

It was one of six discovered by a team of American archaeologists at a site in the Zagros mountains in northern Iran in 1968.

The jars date back to the Neolithic period more than 7,000 years ago, and provide the first scientific proof of the ancient nature of Iranian wine production.

Chemical analysis on one of them revealed that a dark stain at the bottom was actually wine residue.

“This is the oldest chemically-identified wine jar in the world,” says Prof Patrick McGovern.

The first evidence of grape cultivation in Shiraz came around 2,500 BC, when vines were brought down from the mountains to the plains of south-west Iran, the professor says.

By the 14th Century, Shiraz wine was immortalized in the poetry of Hafez, whose tomb in the city is still venerated today.

“Last night, the wise tavern master deciphered the enigma,” he wrote. “Gazing at the lines traced in the cup of wine, he unraveled our awaiting fate.”

Persian miniature showing wine drinking
The wine-pourer or “saghi” had a special role in the ritual of Persian royal banquets.


In the 1680s, a French diamond merchant, Jean Chardin, travelled to Persia to the court of Shah Abbas.

He attended elaborate banquets and recorded the first European account of what Shiraz wine actually tasted like.

“It was a very specific red,” says French historian and Chardin expert Francis Richards. “It was a wine with good conservation because generally the local wines very quickly turned to vinegar.”

But is there a connection between the “dark red wine that smells like musk” immortalised by Hafez, and the Shiraz wine drunk across the world today?

Bottles of Shiraz with ancient Persian designsNapa Valley vintner Darioush Khaledi emphasises Shiraz’s “Persian heritage”

The first stop in my research is one of France’s most famous vineyards in the Rhone valley in the south and home to the Syrah vine.

According to local legend, the Hermitage vineyard was founded by a 13th Century knight called Gaspard de Sterimberg, who brought back a Persian vine from the Crusades.

Grapes growing on vine
Syrah grapes at the world famous Hermitage vineyard in southern France

The names Syrah and Shiraz are often used interchangeably. Could Syrah be a corruption of Shiraz and prove a Persian connection?

The definitive answer came in 1998 when DNA testing was carried out on the local vines to pinpoint their origin.

“Some people think it comes from Persians and others from Sicily where you have Syracuse city,” says grape geneticist Jose Vouillamoz. “But today we know all of that is wrong.

“Testing was done by two different labs,” he continues. “And it was really a surprise to find out that Syrah is a natural spontaneous crossing between two local vines from this area.”

So wherever the name came from, it seems there is no genetic connection between Syrah grapes and the wines of ancient Shiraz.

But the trail does not end there.

Portrait of James Busby
James Busby, seen as the father of the Australian wine industry

Outside of France, the biggest producer of Syrah in the world is Australia and the wine is always called Shiraz.

This can be traced back to a Scot called James Busby who exported Syrah vines from the Hermitage to Australia in the 19th Century.

His first consignment of vines was labelled “scyras” which many thought was a misspelling of Syrah.

But when I re-read his journal, I came across a line which proved he knew about the Hermitage Persian vine legend.

“According to the tradition of the neighbourhood,” he wrote. “The plant – scyras – was originally brought from Shiraz in Persia.”

At that time European wine-makers sometimes imported wine from Persia to add sweetness and body.

So perhaps Busby hoped the ancient name Shiraz would add some Persian mystique and flavour to his New World wine-making endeavour.

Echoes of Persepolis

The United States imported Syrah vines in the 1970s and the wine is always marketed under the Syrah name – with one notable exception.

Darioush Khaledi, a son of Shiraz, is the proud owner of a 120-acre vineyard in California’s Napa Valley producing what he insists on calling Shiraz wine.

“My French friends say Shiraz/Syrah comes from the Rhone and [has] a 500-year-old history,” he says. “But if you open an atlas of the world there’s only one place in the whole world called Shiraz and it has a 7,000-year-old history of wine growing.”

Carved columns at entrance to winery
Image caption Persian-style columns at the entrance to the Darioush winery in Napa Valley

He highlights his Iranian heritage in the vineyard. The entrance to the main building is lined with Persian-style columns reminiscent of the ancient city of Persepolis.

The day we visit, his marketing manager Dan de Polo is holding a wine tasting for a group of Chinese buyers.

“What’s great about Shiraz is that it’s always been a very soulful wine,” he tells them.

Soulfulness, spirit and poetry – words that come up time and again when talking about Shiraz wine.

And for Darioush, and for me, I think that is what matters most.

It is not about the DNA of the grapes, it is about the link Shiraz offers us to the spirit of our faraway homeland and the romance of its fabled wine.

Sweet Symphony of Strawberries, Roses and Custard

Roses are my favorite flower, Strawberries my favorite Fruit and Custard favorite dessert, so here’s putting all 3 together for a sweet symphony!


  • 3 cups Milk
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 15 Strawberries
  • 1 tsp Rose Essence


  1. Boil Milk and sugar down for 20 minutes.
  2. Cool and add essence.
  3. Beat the eggs into the cooled milk and bake at 325 degrees with a water bath.
  4. Bake custard till golden brown and set. Cool.
  5. Garnish with Strawberries

Enjoy chilled.

This recipe was created for the weekly competition for “Parsis Exchange Recipes” Facebook Group.






Parsi Dairy Farm: Mumbai’s Gold Standard in Milk & Milk-Based Products

I was at a modern food superstore in Bandra, Mumbai’s swish suburb, the other day. I walked past rows of imported gourmet cheeses, pastas and meats when I suddenly spotted a group of blue coloured packs which looked as if they were cheerfully waving at me. A closer inspection showed that they were packs of the homegrown Parsi Dairy ghee. I am a Bengali married to a Parsi as you probably know. I remembered that Freddy (Firoz) Kerawala, my maternal uncle-in-law, is a big advocate of the Parsi Dairy Farm butter and ghee. I decided to buy a pack of ghee for home to add to my stock of Jharna ghee from Kolkata as a tribute to the spirit of what Parsi author Meher Pestonji referred to as “mixed marriage”.

Mumbai’s heritage brand, the Parsi Dairy Farm’s products have made a welcome entry into the world of modern retail these days. Its packaged butters, cheeses, kulfis and lassis are to be found proudly jostling for space with dairy products from multinational companies and imported brands in these stores. Its kulfisare served by the SodaBottleOpenerWala restaurant chain

in their outlets across the country. Thanks to such initiatives, one can expect this 100 year-old institution to get a fresh lease of life. There was an outburst of heartfelt anguish in response to the news of the Parsi Dairy Farm allegedly shutting down sometime back.

The Parsi Dairy Farm and its legacy is integral to many Mumbai memories and stories after all. My late father-in-law, Mr. Marzban Bilimoria, for example, loved the kulfis of Parsi Dairy Farm. His eyes would light up when these were served at Parsi weddings. He loved these so much that my wife and my mother-in-law would happily give their shares to him. His smile post the kulfi was typical of that of a happy Parsi Dairy Farm customer.

Thankfully, the Parsi Dairy Farm lived to fight another day and it didn’t close down. However, an enterprise cannot run on nostalgia alone. It needs consumer support and this support comes only when an enterprise stays relevant and reinvents itself. The Parsi Dairy Farm was built on the spirit of enterprise shown by its founder, the late Nariman Ardeshir, and it is only apt that the business reinvents itself today. Now it is up to us to keep the legacy alive.

How Did it All Begin

It is said that Mr. Ardeshir hit upon the idea of entering the dairy business when a chance conversation made him realise the trust that the Parsi community evoked among Mumbaikars. He decided to capitalise on this and set up a dairy business, which would stand to offer the best quality milk.

Historian, archaeologist, caterer, Mumbai born food raconteur and a dear friend, Dr. Kurush Dalal, has an interesting anecdote to relate in this context. This story is from the 1970s. Kurush’s father, the late Mr. Feroze Hirji Dalal, used to work on the ships. The late Mr. Dalal was used to great quality milk, thanks to his voyages across the world. He missed this when he was at home as Mumbai was going through a milk shortage back then. He was dependent on the milk doled out by the government on the basis of ration cards and by local doodhwalas (milk men) and neither made the cut for him. Out of frustration one day he asked his milkman about where he could get milk to which water had not been added.

“Who to sirf Parsi Dairy me hoga,” – only in the Parsi Dairy milk – replied the milkman. Such was the regard in which the Parsi Dairy Milk was held even by its competition.

Parsi Dairy milkmen cycling down to South Mumbai houses in cobalt blue shirts and khaki shorts were once a part of the fabric of Mumbai. They would come bearing milk cans, sealed at the dairy every morning, and pour it out through taps to sleepy householders. The milk was more expensive than the other locally available milk but its patron saw value in it.

This was a business built on love as is evident in another story Kurush told me. Apparently the late Mr. Nariman Ardeshir had a ‘retirement scheme’ for the cows that supplied the milk at the Parsi Dairy Farm. Cognizant of the debt he owed to them, he made sure that the cows could live out their final years in peace even after they had stopped producing milk.

The Dairy Business Today

The business is now run by various members of the Ardeshir family and some of it has been divided amongst them. Given the difficulty of competing with lower priced and more abundantly available milk, they hardly supply fresh milk now. The butter, ghee and kulfi that you see in the stores is perhaps a more practical way of carrying the legacy forward.

I would also suggest that you make a trip to the Parsi Dairy Farm outlet at South Mumbai’s Princess Street. The blue uniform of the very courteous staff there is a throwback to the uniform of the Parsi Dairy Farmdoodhwallas of yore. If lucky, you might see members of the family still sitting at the counter. Their sincerity and commitment to the family legacy shows in the wonderful quality of what’s on offer at the shop and the warm welcome you will get there. Sit on one of the many inverted milk cans, enjoy the air-conditioning and the value of living a slow life when you are there. This is precious.

Given the summer heat, you would do well to try a butter milk or a sweet lassi. They will give you a straw but the lassi is so thick that you will need a spoon to finish it. Or you can try some of the Parsi sweets on offer. Freddy mama says that you should try the batela (baked) pedas typical to Parsi. Our family friend and a lover of good food, the late Jamshed Adrianvala, was very fond of their malai khaaja. This is a sweet that consists of a sugar syrup soaked, flour-based crust, the khaaja, which envelopes inside it chilled and refreshing sweet malai (milk cream). The combination of the two contrasting textures and tastes is heady.

To take home, there is the ghee, rare for Mumbai unsalted butter of course. Or you can take home the mava nu boi.  This is a reduced milk-based sweet made in the shape of a fish called boi (parshe in Bengali). This is exchanged among Parsi households on auspicious occasions and is a good way to take home some of the Parsi Dairy Farm love and blessings back with you and to pay your respects to the late Mr. Nariman Ardeshir.

About the Author:

Kalyan loves to eat and he loves to talk about all that he eats. His wife urged him to start writing about it, otherwise she would have to hear it all. He blogs as ‘finelychopped’ and is the author of The Travelling Belly published by Hachette Publications.


The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

Anthony Bourdain Doesn’t Like Any Indian Restaurant in Manhattan

Globe-trotting TV chef Anthony Bourdain talked to Vogue India after the launch of his new website Explore Parts Unknown, and he had some shade to throw at his hometown food scene. Though Bourdain loves Indian food, he claims that New York doesn’t have a single Indian restaurant that he likes:

Back home, we are really weak on street food, at least in Manhattan. Queens is another matter, there’s a lot of good street food there. New York does deli well, so I can safely recommend Pastrami Queen, Katz’s Deli, or Barney Greengrass. But I can’t recommend any Indian restaurant in New York. I’ve been spoiled.


Of course, Manhattan has tons of Indian restaurants, and not everyone agrees with Bourdain. Earlier this year, Times critic Pete Wells made an argument for traveling to Curry Hill — the Indian cuisine destination in Murray Hill — for sampling some of the best Indian cooking in the area.

Eater critic Robert Sietsema scoffed upon hearing Bourdain’s assertion. “I would be glad to show him dozens of good Indian dining institutions at all levels in Manhattan, beginning with the dosa cart on Washington Square,” Sietsema says.

Here are 10 old-fashioned Indian restaurants that Sietsema recommends, as well as a four-star review of newcomer Sahib.

But Bourdain did have some kind words to say about New York too in the Vogue India interview, saying the city “has a big heart.” “It doesn’t like to see itself in that way, but we do come together when need be, often in moments of crisis,” he says.

And Eater will concede at least one thing: the very best Indian restaurants in the New York metropolitan area are not in NYC at all, but in New Jersey.




  •       1 liter of pasteurized cold milk.

  •       4 tbsp of Ravo (semolina or suji)

  •       4 tbsp (equal quantity ratio to ravo) of sugar

  •       4 oz of Ghee (or 1/2 stick of unsalted butter)

  •       1 Egg

  •       1/2 cup water

  •       2-3 drops of Vanilla or Rose essence

  •       Pinch of red color to get pink colored ravo (optional)

  •       ½ tsp of cardamom and/or nutmeg powder

  •       1/2 cup mix Slivered and blanched Almonds, Pistachios, Cashews

  •       Raisins to taste

  •       2 tsp Charoli nuts (optional)


  1. In a non-stick pot, on very low heat  fry the ravo in ghee till it releases aroma and is fried to a crisp beaded state.

  2. Add the cold milk, sugar, essence and bring to a slow boil. Stir all the time.

  3. Beat one full egg and add 3 tsp milk to it, add this to the ravo slowly beating all the time.

  4. When it starts to boil, lower the flame to full simmer and keep stirring continuously without letting up. In about 10-15 minutes it should be done. Remember to allow it to remain fluid and flowing when you shut the flame and not to overcook it or allow it to reach a level of being too thick and congealed, as upon cooling, it will get dry and more thick!

  5. Add some milk or water if you find it has got extra thick and mix it while it is still hot and steaming.

  6. In a different small pan fry the soaked raisins, almonds, cashews and charoli in  4 tsp Ghee for just about 3-4 minutes to golden brown color.

  7. Garnish the Ravo to cover the top surface all around.

  8. Serve hot with Mitthu Dah (Sweet Yogurt)


  • A few (4-5) pink or red rose petals (optional but extremely delightful in for added flavor and final appearance.

  • ½ tsp powdered green elaichi (cardamom)

  • ½ tsp grated or powdered jaiphal (nutmeg)

  • Rose pink color (optional)

  • Wash, clean and soak in a glass bowl dried raisins say about 2-3 tbsp and as per requirement – broken cashews, blanched and thinly slivered almonds and charoli. Fry on low heat in butter or ghee to a golden brown color. Garnish on top of Ravo just before serving.

An ancient and original treat – Gor Papri

Kudos to Villy Divecha‎ who made it recently!

Recipe by Shirin Byramji 

Gor Papri was made by parsi grandmothers who had a sweet tooth. It is a good treat for nursing mothers to have while breast feeding their baby since ginger powder encourages milk production in the mother and the sugar gives energy.

It is a forgotten sweet! Made from simple ingredient of “Gor” which is Jaggery a brown sugar and “Sooth” aka ginger powder.


  • 1 kilo Gor (Jaggery)
  • 1/4 cup water or less(just to melt the gor)
  • 3 tbsp ginger powder (sooth) or as per taste of spice level
  • Handful of almonds, peanuts, sesame seeds etc
  • Oil or Ghee for lining the tray


  1. Boil the water.
  2. Add Jaggery chopped and keep stirring it on medium heat. It will take about an hour before it will start thickening.
  3. Take a drop out on a tray and let it cool. It should make a crackle sound when you bite on it and not soft.
  4. Add sooth (ginger powder) and nuts let it cook for 15 more mins.
  5. Pour it out on an oiled tray.
  6. Let it cool over night.
  7. Break and enjoy the gor papri.


Famous Parsi Fish with Green Chutney, Patra ni Machhi

A very popular recipe of the Parsi Cuisine.

Patra ni Machhi



4 banana leaves

1 kg fish

Juice of 1 lemon

3/4 tsp salt


1 grated coconut

6 green chillies

50 gm coriander leaves with stems

1 tbsp mint leaves

1 tsp ground cumin seeds

1 tsp sugar

Salt to taste

Marinate the fish in lime juice and salt for 30 minutes.

Coat the fish pieces on both sides with the chutney.

Wrap the fish pieces in banana leaves and secure with string.

Steam bake for 10-15 minutes. Serve hot.

For the chutney:

Combine all the chutney ingredients and grind until a smooth paste is formed.

Other Patra ni Maachi Recipes

Papeta par Eeda

Papeta par eeda aka Potatoes and Eggs is a easy dish to make anytime. Have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner, it is fully satisfying and yummy. A Egg Fritata is similar and made in a pan just like this parsi favorite. Enjoy with fresh Rotli or toasted bread.

Kheemo, Chicken Liver / Kaleji / Aleti Paleti can be served for a bigger meal.

Serve with Toasted Bread, Naan or Rotli.

Papeta par eeda can be made without eggs for vegetarians.


• 4 Eggs

400 gms Potatoes
• 2 Onions (sliced)
• 1 Tomato (chopped)
• 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
• 2 Cups water
• 4 Garlic flakes
• 2 Ginger
• 4 tbsp Oil
• Fresh coriander leaves
• Salt to taste

Peel the potatoes and cut into cubes.
Chop garlic and ginger.
Heat the oil.
Fry the onions till they turn golden brown in color.
Add cumin seeds, chopped garlic and ginger.
Mix potatoes and salt.
Fry it for few minutes.
Add water and cook over medium flame till potatoes are cooked.
Mix in chopped tomatoes. Add the eggs (whole or beaten) on top, cover till done.
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.


Restaurant: Curry Paradise Indian Cafe – West Sacramento

If you happen to travel to Sacramento California and ask any one where one finds a good restaurant serving Parsi food, they will tell you not to miss the restaurant operated by Dinyar Noshir Anklesaria.

by Aspi Ustad – Vancouver, Canada

He is a name synonymous with Parsi Food in Northern California. People who know him well, call him ‘Dino’ with love.

Dinyar traveled thru East coast of US to the West, served many a celebrities in his restaurants and charmed many thru his delicious cooking recipes handed over for generations.

He is not only good at dishing out Parsi cusine to name a few Dhanshak, sali boti, chicken farcha, patra-ni-machi, but also serves mughlai dishes which includes, Mutton Biryani, Tikka Boti, Butter Chicken, Nihari, etc.

Born to Noshir and Roshan Anklesaria in Ahmedabad, India. Brought up in close knit parsi community of Karachi. His interest with food was attained at an early age, when he saw his mom cook delicious parsi dishes. Her Dal-ni-Pori, Bhakra, were very famous in Karachi households and till date in Vancouver.

After completing his schooling from B V S High School, Karachi, he went on to complete his studies in science. He always dreamt like many youngsters of setting foot on American soil and achieve what’s called “The American Dream”. This American dream of succeeding in life took him to the door steps of New York city, where he started working as a car salesperson. The job did not interest him much so he moved to try his hand at cooking and start a restaurant of his own. “Times were tough. It was not easy to penetrate the restaurant market with already established brands” says Dinyar.

He partnered with a Parsi friend to set up a Parsi restaurant. He met with good success and people were flowing thru but location had parking issues which made them draw down shutters and move. ‘I had to sacrifice a lot, and make some life changing decisions at that time’ says Dinyar.

He moved to Conneticut and later travelled thru a few states before making his mark in California where he now has his roots firmly sunk in. He has established himself well in California and is a household name amongst most parsis.

Dinyar says “They order food during special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, Navjote, Weddings”. He laughs and says “they need a reason to order my food”.

He also provides catering service to large companies in the Silicon Valley. His vegetarian dishes are a hit amongst the cross section of population he serves in these companies. He states “Dal Makhani, Sak, topped up with mango lassi are instant hits”. He goes on to say “if someone places an order for 50 people I make sure I have more food, in case of last minute arrivals. There have been instances where the crowd  turns out to be more then the order placed by the host”.

Dinyar knows his patrons well and they know that Dinyar will never disappoint even if there are changes to the menu at the last moment or if the number of guests goes up.

Dinyar attributes his art of cooking to his mom Roshan from whom he learnt cooking in his earlier days and attributes his taste for good food to his dad Noshir from whom he also learnt the art to negotiate at the time of buying groceries.
Presently he has ventured into consulting and managing restaurants, wherein he takes up restaurants which are not doing well and turns them into profitable ventures. He says “First thing I look at is the menu and suggests changes, then I look at the décor, if it is not suitable I get it changed. These things bring in more business for restaurants and some of the owners do not pay attention to these finer details”. His consultancy is increasing and he has to turn down some of the offers he gets. As he says “I am a one man band and cope up with so much of quality work and do not want to disappoint anyone”

Celebrating Navroze 2018

Celebrating Zoroastrian Festivals and Traditions

Authored by Mrs Rita Jamshed Kapadia

Book explains Zoroastrian Ceremonies of Parsi Weddings, Navjotes, Agarni, Pug Ladoo Ceremony, Death and Birth Ceremonies

These ceremonies of joy and sad days are celebrated with Indian Parsi Foods.

(Recipes: Inspired by old traditional parsi cookbooks like the “Vividh Vani”, Kapadia has come up with homemade recipes.)

Cookbook presents an journey into the Food, History and Heritage of the Zoroastrians of India with Recipes that are age-old.


The author Rita Jamshed Kapadia resides in USA. Rita learnt from her Mother Parin and Mother-in-Law Jaloo the favorites and staples of a parsi home.

Click here to purchase Book

Masala Chai ( Spiced Tea)

A cup of tea shared with another person is known to create a new karma each time. So next time you have a cup of tea with someone, have good thoughts, and share good words.


Health value: Antioxidant

Removes Headaches, Muscle aches, soothes and relaxes.


2 cups water

4 tea bags, black tea

2 cups milk, or lowfat milk

4 slices fresh ginger root, about 1 inch thick

1-1/2 Tbsps. honey

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp. ground cardamom

1/4 tsp. ground allspice

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. sugar (optional)


Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Add tea bags, reduce heat, and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove tea bags, add remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Strain and serve. Serves 4 cups.


Cookbook: Tea of India


The Lazy Gastronome

Translated into Simple English

Parsis have unique pronunciation of ordinary Gujarati words so we have provided an English translation for many Spices, Vegetables and other processes.

Parsi Gujarati, Hindi and other Indian terms. English
Achar Pickle
Adoo Ginger
Ajmo  It’s “ajwain”, carom seeds, or bishop’s weed. “Ajmo” is a Gujarati word for this plant. The scientific (or Latin) name is Trachyspermum ammi syn. Carum copticum.
Amchur Mango powder
Amli Tamarind
Boti Small piece
Bhinda Okra

This nut is used many times in Parsi Cuisine. It is gives a unique and authentic flavor to parsi food. It can be found in local Indian grocery stores. If not found you can substitute it with sliced and peeled Almonds.

Charoli also called chironji, are seeds of Buchanania lanzan used as a cooking spice primarily in India. Charoli (accent on the first syllable) is a nut the size and shape of a large brown lentil, often used in sweets.


It is the seed of Buchanania latifolia, commonly called chironji in India, from the family Anacardiaceae, which means it’s related to mangoes and cashews.

Chawal Rice
Curd, Dahi Yogurt
 Cumin or Shahi Jeera




Caraway seeds


While native to Europe, Asia and regions of Africa, Caraway, is cultivated in many parts of the world. The fruit and seed of the caraway plant are used to prepare medicinal remedies

Dar, Daar, Dal Lentil soup, lentil dish
Dhania, Dhanna, Coriander seeds Dried Coriander
Eedu, Eeda Eggs




Cardamom pods or powder


Tookhmoorya seeds 

Holy Red Basil or Tulsi Seeds.
Fudino Mint
Garam Hot
Ghee Clarified Butter
Gosh, Gos, Goshst, Mutton Meat of Goat or Lamb can be substituted
Gor Jaggery
Haldi Turmeric
Hing Asafoetida


Javantry Mace
Jardalu, Jardaloo Apricots, Plums
Jeera, Jeeru Cumin
Kanda Onion
Kesar Saffron
Keri Mango
Khichri Rice and Lentil dish
Kheemo Minced Meat
Khus Khus Poppy seeds
Kopra, Copra Coconut
Kothmir, Coriander Fresh Coriander leaves, Cilantro or Chinese Parsley
Lagan Wedding
Lasan Garlic
Lavang Cloves
Limbu Lemon
Limbu na phool Citric Acid (edible one)
Masala, Masaledar Spice, Spicy
Marchu Chili
Margi, Murghi Chicken
Maachi Fish, Shrimps, Prawns
Methi Fenugreek
Papeta Potato
Ravo Cream of Wheat
Rotli Roti – flat wheat bread like lavash
Ras Gravy
Sali Slices, Matchsticks
Sarko Vinegar
Saunf Aniseed
Sev Very thin pasta like vermicelli
Tabota Tomato
Tareli Fried
Taj, Tuj Cinnamon
Tulsi Basil
Vaghar Fry in oil



  • jeera – cumin
  • sabut lal mirch – red chilli
  • shahi jeera – shahi cumin
  • mustard seeds – Mustard seeds
  • methi dana – fenugreek seeds
    phool pathar (also known ar kalpasi and dagad phool) – Black Stone Flower
  • sabut kali mirch – black pepper
  • khus khus – khu khus
  • dal chini – salt
  • laung – cloves
  • tamal patta – bay leaves
  • badian – anise
  • mace (javitri) – mace
  • nutmeg – nutmeg

[amazon_link asins=’B0030DCP52′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’1447-5689-3485′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’15b0a1f4-e73c-11e6-8c99-236bf06ebe39′]

[amazon_link asins=’B00T0NDFS2,B010BUF0VM,B0001M0Z6Q’ template=’ProductGrid’ store=’1447-5689-3485′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’76ecefe8-e7f2-11e6-8f32-69ab4c4da735′]

[amazon_link asins=’B00307NB6U,B00302N1DS,B0011314KA,B000N542KQ,B0054ZP9I4′ template=’ProductGrid’ store=’1447-5689-3485′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’86b7c13d-e7f2-11e6-8cdf-6b77cb6783ad’]

Mava ni Boi – the easy way

Mava ni boi, I made for a library presentation of my cookbook.

Mava ni boi is a fish-shaped dessert made from ricotta cheese, sugar, cardamom and vanilla. Fish is a symbol of good luck, prosperity and fertility.

Using a mold* make these fish shaped desserts. The ingredients are not really fish but just sugar, ricotta cheese and flavoring.

Making time: 45 minutes (excluding refrigerating time)

Makes: 12-15 pieces (depending on size of molds)

Shelf life: 3-4 days


500 grams – soft fresh white mava
(Ricotta Cheese boiled down can be substituted)

300 grams – powdered sugar

1 tsp – cardamom powder

5 to 6 drops – decorating color as desired

1/4 cup – crushed almonds, pistachios, mixed

One Fish shaped mold required.


  1. Warm mava and cook on low, stirring continuously, to form a very soft lump.
  2. Remove from fire; add color, essence if desired.
  3. Mix and cool to room temperature.
  4. Add sugar, 3/4 of nuts, mix well.
  5. Transfer to a work surface, sprinkle with some icing sugar, knead lump well.
  6. Sprinkle icing sugar inside moulds of boi.
  7. Sprinkling remaining nuts in moulds, distributing in all equally.
  8. When lump is soft and smooth, take enough lumps to press neatly into each
  9. Refrigerate for 2 hours, till well set.
  10. Pry out of mold carefully, using tip of a small knife.
  11. Store in flat boxes arranged in single layer, refrigerate till required.
  12. This Mava ni Boi is made without the silver varakh.


To unmold place the mold carefully in hot water making sure the water does not go into the mold. Let it warm for 5 minutes. Next put a plate upside down on the open side of the mold and flip around. The mava ni boi should come out easily onto to the plate.


Parsi Berry Pulao


by  Jennifer Mascarenhas

Few of my friends went to Sodabottleopenerwala and relished the Parsi cuisine there! While talking to me, their demand arose for home cooked versions of the restaurant dishes!

So, on a recent potluck lunch, I made Parsi Berry Pulao and teamed it with some parsi ‘ kachumber’ on the side.

Mumbaikars who’ve been to Britannia Cafe at Ballard Estate can’t forget this…It’s the one and only Berry Pulao that has no match elsewhere. I love Parsi cuisine because of two things, the lavish use of dry fruits and the dishes are just mildly spicy.

Parsi Berry Pulao was an instant hit in a family and also in my friends circle ! I have made the vegetarian version today, but you team it with chicken or mutton as well.

Ahhh !! Berry pulao. The thought of the soft fluffy rice and the tartness of the berries is enough to make my mouth water. I used a mix and match of 3-4 different family recipes and here’s what I came up with… this Persian Recipe will definitely impress all of you !!


2 cups basmati rice

1 cup soya mini nuggets (You can also use chicken/mutton instead of soya)

1 cup fried onions

½ cup green peas

1 carrot (diced)

5 large onions (sliced)

3 mushrooms (sliced)

2 large potatoes (diced)

½ cup mixed berries ( I have used rainsins, blackberries and cranberries)

2 garlic cloves (minced)

½ inch ginger ( grated)

8-10 Almonds ( sliced)

2 green chillies ( finely chopped)

2 tsp sugar

3 tbsp ghee

2 sticks cinnamon

1 tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp coriander powder

Salt to taste


Wash the rice well and soak it in water for around 30 minutes before cooking.

Slice 3 large onions and deep fry them on low heat till they are well caramalized and turn crispy. This is one of key ingredient in making this aromatic pulao.

Heat the ghee in a deep thick bottomed dish.  Once it is heated, add the cumin seeds and let it sputter on low heat.

Add the ginger and garlic and fry

Add the green chillies. Fry

Now, add the 2 sliced onions and fry till the onions have slightly caramelized

Next, add the potatoes and cook on low heat till the potatoes are cooked.

Now, add the diced carrots and let it cook for around 3 minutes.

Keep this mixture aside.

In the same dish, caramelize the sugar on low heat.

Add the rice and the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Add the potato mixture that you had kept aside to the rice as well.

Give it all a good stir. Cover the pan and let the rice cook on medium – low heat till well done.

Garnish the pulao with the fried onions and the sliced almonds. Mix well.

Switch off the heat and leave it covered for around 20 minutes before serving.

Enjoy this pulao with some Parsi ‘ kachumber’ on the side !! Totally Yummilicious !!


Shrimp Patio

Prawn Patio









3 Onions finely chopped
2 lbs Prawns or Shrimp
3 Green chilles finely chopped
2 tsp Garlic finely minced
1 bunch Kotmir ( coriander leaves)
1 tsp Haldi ( tumeric) powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp dhanya powder
2 inch piece of Jaggery
5 Tomatoes finely chopped
1 tsp Salt 

1. Marinate the prawns with salt and haldi. Keep it aside.

  1. Now in a pan add oil when hot add  jeera seeds. Bring to a crackle and  add onions,  garlic and fry till little brown.
  2. Now add jaggery and green chillies. when the jaggery melts add tomatoes.
  3. Suate and make it all soft, then add red chili powder, haldi, dhanya and  salt.. When the masala is cooked well add the prawns
  4. If you wish, add water but its not needed.
  5. When prawns are cooked garnish with coriander leaves.

Shrimp Patio is ready.

Serve with Dhan dar.

Purchase our Cookbook on Seafoods

[amazon_link asins=’B00XODXD72,B000VK86KA,B00JCYI5ZM’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’1447-5689-3485′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’f25c787a-e31a-11e6-860b-673e478fde85′]