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

Batasa Recipe:


2 cups all purpose flour
1 stick unsalted butter or margarine
1/2 to 1 tsp salt (to your taste)
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp double acting baking powder
1 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 cup warm water


Mix all of the above ingredients to form a ball of dough. Allow to stand for 15 to 30 minutes.

Roll into small balls and lay them on ungreased baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees for 30 minutes, then at 200 degrees for 3 hours.

Now turn off the oven and leave batasa in the hot oven for another 3 hours. Remove from oven and cool, store only when completely cold.

Batasa are very good with hot tea/coffee. The best way is to dunk the batasa into the hot tea, immediately remove and pop into your mouth!

Tip: The balls should be round when placed in the oven. While baking they will flatten slightly on the bottom as shown in the photo.

This is a treasured recipe from my cookbook.


How to make Maska (White Butter)


Take Heavy Cream chilled and a large glass jar. Shake the cream in the Jar till the maska forms.

Store in the jar in refrifgerator and enjoy with english muffins toasted, toast, brun bread, easter buns or on bagels.

Keeps for one week.


Chapat – Sweet Parsi Pancakes

Chapat Recipe

Serves 2


3/4 cup flour

1 1/2 tbsp Semolina fine

3 eggs 

1 – 1/2 cups coconut milk or plain milk

4 tbsp sugar or less if desired

1 1/2 tsp essence of vanilla

3/4 tsp Nutmeg powder

1 tsp Cardamon powder

1/4 cup Charoli or Almonds (finely chopped – optional)

1 tbsp cup ghee

More ghee as needed for making the chapat

Non-stick pan or a crepe pan


  1. Beat the eggs and mix with sugar

  2. Let the sugar dissolve.

  3. To this mixture, add the flour in small amounts, at a time, and stir continuously till it forms into a smooth paste or batter. (Do not let the flour form lumps).

  4. Add the charoli, almonds, vanilla essence, nutmeg, cardamon and a 1 tbsp ghee to the batter.

  5. Add milk little by little to make a crep like batter. Thinner than pancake batter.

  6. Let this batter rest covered for 1 hours

  7. Heat a crepe pan or frying pan and put 1 tsp ghee.

  8. After the ghee has melted, pour 1 tbsp of the batter  and tilt the pan so that the batter covers its surface.

  9. Keep on low flame till one side is golden colored, then flip over and cook the other side.

  10. When both sides are cooked, fold the pancake into four and remove on a plate.

  11. Repeat this process for the remaining batter.

  12. Serve hot or cold, either on breakfast or evening tea.

Editors Note: There are many variation of these pancakes.

  1. You can add cardamon instead of vanilla essence.

  2. Omit the nuts. Add fruits on top while serving.

  3. Make sugar less if diabetic.

  4. Use Splenda or a sugar substitute

  5. No syrup required since sugar is already added.

Enjoy !

Dotivala Bakery completes 159 years – one of the longest surviving businesses in India.

Considering India just celebrated its independence of 70 years from the British Raj, this makes the bakery one of the longest surviving and thriving business in modern day India.

During their reign in India, the Dutch established in Surat a warehouse on Dutch Road, in which five Parsi gentlemen were employed as bakers. When the Dutch left India at the end of their rule they handed over their ovens to one of them, Mr. Faramji Pestonji Dotivala whose descendants over time developed and perfected the Surat biscuit recipes. The Dotivala bakery in Surat continues to this day, making it one of the longest surviving businesses in India.

Cyrus Dotivala and sons, 7th Generation of the world class Dotivala Bakery that was established in Surat in the year 1861, almost 158 years ago, keep it running !!!. 

The demand for Dotivala’s bread grew and soon he took to drying it in his ovens to achieve the desired dryness and texture. He also shaped it differently. This became known as the first Irani biscuits. They are still very popular in Surat.

These biscuits and delicacies are so popular in my home. I make them many times in US for my family and friends. Please see my cookbook for recipes of Batasa, Nankhatai and other biscuits:




BATASA – A parsi indian butter biscuit made in the USA. Enjoy with a cup of Tea or Coffee.

Traditional Surat Biscuits – Khari Biscuit, Nankhatai, Batasa and Wine Biscuits- all Indianised descendants of original products of the old Dutch bakery in colonial-era Surat that was taken over by Parsi Surtis after the Dutch left.

Khari Biscuit
Nankhatai Recipe
Wine Biscuit
Sugar Patasa

When these gora sahibs also left, there were no takers for Dotivala’s bread. And the bread, which was fermented in toddy for a longer shelf life, soon became dry due to loss of moisture. Dotivala sold it cheaply to the poor.That was when it was first noticed that the bread had developed a light and crisp texture. And because it was low in calorie content, and easily digestible, it was prescribed by doctors to ailing patients.
Click here to purchase my Cookbooks Online

Quick and Easy Parsi Malido Video and Recipe



Quick and Easy Parsi Malido

2 oz canola oil

2 – 4 oz butter (to tastes and diet needs)

1 cup coarse semolina

1/2 cup bisquick

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups water


2 oz chopped / slivered almonds

1 oz raisins

1 tbsp Ghee or Oil

1 – 2 tsp vanilla essence (to taste)

2 tbsp rosewater (optional, I like to use either vanilla OR Rose)

1 tsp ground cardamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

pinch of rock salt


In a large non-stick vessel, heat the oil and butter over low heat

Add the semolina and saute for 10 minutes until golden brown.

Add Bisquick and continue sauteing for 3 more minutes.

Caramel – in a small pot, heat 2 tbsp of the sugar and melt into a golden brown syrup. Take care not to burn the sugar. Next lower the heat and add the rest of the water. Bring to a boil and shut off the heat. The syrup should be “1 string” consistency.

Add the syrup, vanilla essence, cardamon, nutmeg, rock salt to the semolina and Bisquick. Be careful because there will be a froth rising and can boil over! This is why you need a large pot. Cover quickly and let it cook for 30 seconds.

Garnish: In a separate pan, heat the ghee/oil and fry the raisins on low heat till plump. Add the chopped/slivered almonds and fry for 5 seconds. Cool.

Spread garnish over the malido and serve warm.

This malido will keep well in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. You can freeze for 6 months and de-frost, warm and use it.

Papri / Daran recipe for Malido adapted from the Vividh Vani cookbook.

Papri and Daran for Malido

This recipe was adapted from the cookbook: “An Adventure in Exotic Parsi Indian Cooking by Nergis Karanjia and Nergis Unwalla (click on link to purchase)

Yazdani Bakery

There are many Irani Bakeries in Mumbai, India. You must have heard of the Kayani Bakery, but have you heard of the Yazdani Bakery?

Yazdani Bakery is an Irani cafe or Persian style bakery in Mumbai, India.

The bakery was opened in 1953 by Meherwan Zend, an Irani baker. All products in the bakery are handmade, and baked in diesel ovens. The bakery draws a lot of visitors, particularly international visitors especially Germans. The building, built in the early 20th century, was originally a Japanese bank, which was later sold off. On 11 December 2007, the bakery was felicitated by Maharashtra governor SM Krishna the Urban Heritage & Citizens Award.

Old-school bakery/cafe offering Persian breads, baked treats & chai in simple, colorful surrounds.

Address: 11, 11A, Cawasji Patel Rd, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001, India

The Story Behind One Of Mumbai’s Oldest Standing Eatery That Belongs To A Yazidi Family: Yazdani Restaurant & Bakery.

Parvez Irani could be any old man sitting on the counter of a restaurant collecting cash. He’s so much trained in his trade that the best of corporate employees could be put to shame with his no-nonsense demeanour and a poker face determined to get work done well. He can be quite intimidating at first, but it’s his eyes that say a different story. Literally, a different story, because his eyes have a sharp hint of grey in them, a trait of the Yazidi community from the West Asia.

Someone once told me that Parsi and Irani bakeries are different, and asked Parvez the same to clear my doubt. Parvez immediately rubbished it and said, “The only difference between us is that the Parsis came 1200 years ago and we came about a hundred. But we’re the same people and every ritual and practice we follow is exactly the same,” he shares with us.

Travelling through the time

Entering Yazdani bakery is like stepping into a time warp. You’re immediately transported into what would look like the 1950s, exactly when the bakery was established. The narrow lane near the Horniman Circle, Fort was really busy on the Tuesday afternoon we visited.

The lane itself mirrors the good ol’ Bombay, but swanky Mercs and posh BMWs passing through the lane are major old-world-charm killers. The bakery, on the other hand, has a wall full of posters and advertisements from the yesteryears, with grandfather clocks hung on two walls. Even the menus displayed outside and inside are written with a chalk on a wooden blackboard.

Parvez tells us that when Babri Masjid was demolished, leading to riots in 1992 in Mumbai, Parvez recalls that Yazdani was the only open bakery in that area, providing food to those stranded and homeless.

“No police or politician made any attempt to come and shut us down. And this support from the people still stands with us,” he tells us proudly.

This is evident when we look around the place that is so sturdy and teeming with regulars and the frequent knells of ‘Bun-Maska-Chai” booming through the room.

Something old, Something new

The first Starbucks café in Mumbai had opened in Horniman circle’s fancy Elphinstone building in 2012, and lives up to the hype of its name – a comfortable, classy café with a perpetual coffee aroma for the company. It’s air conditioned, unlike Yazdani bakery which is barely fifty meters away from the international franchise outlet.

And yet, Yazdani has a large and loyal fan following. May be it’s the feeling of having time travelled into a classic Irani restaurant in Mumbai, or simply the dollops of maska in the bun-maska they offer, Yazdani is full of character – just like your favourite old book lying rugged on your shelf.

Parvez’s father had set up Yazdani Bakery & Restaurant in 1950, which Parvez joined in 1959. “People used to be so large hearted back then. My father used to give away food to the poor just like that,” Parvez gestures ‘giving away’ with his skinny, wrinkled hands. “Sometimes, people would not have enough money and even then my father would let it go. The Nehru government had hiked the rates of maida and there was not much of a scope for profit. But still, my father said that the difference of one naya paisa should go into the stomach of the customer and not our pockets. Since then it became a norm to give the leftovers to the poor. This, was until we could afford a new fridge,” Parvez laughs and points at one standing at the corner of the restaurant.

Parvez’s family has been into baking for a long time. He tells us that his ancestors were bakers in Iran and were bakers after they came to India. His grandfather had opened a bakery somewhere in Mumbai, where his grandmother used to make bread while his grandfather sold it. Yazdani was later set up in 1950 after his father decided to let go of a partnership business and set up his own.

British architecture under the blue sky

The structure of this bakery with its sky blue exterior and red painted roof stands alone among the elegantly carved British architecture on one side and neat commercial buildings on the other. And it’s surprisingly bigger on the inside – huge table to knead dough and large ovens to bake, and still, so much of room left that one could get their dance rehearsals done while the bread baked in the ovens. Yazdani bakery still uses an old style bread cutter, which is quite fascinating but efficient nonetheless. Stacks of hot dog buns are perhaps the only embellishment in the otherwise faded blue interiors and high vaulted ceiling above.

It looks like the Irani bakeries of Mumbai are living on borrowed time from three different generations. They serve the same dishes they did back then, and have people loving it, but are slowly being swamped by a different generation who loves polished wooden floors and a crowd that loves imitating an accent.

The speciality of the bakery – bread pudding usually gets only hours after it is made.  So we sort of made ends meet with an egg puff, bun maska and chai. There’s a lot more they offer – the apple pie, carrot cake, fiery ginger biscuits and muffins – all of which almost get over by the end of the day. Parvez’s son Tirandaz may be slightly less perky than his father, but still, has an interesting perspective regarding the death of the Irani café culture in the city. “The new cafés that are taking over the city are very fancy and have more facilities, but I wish that old places like these are retained and managed well. Our coming generations are so much in awe of the westernised world that they will voluntarily not take over the family business or manage the bakery. I would still wish that this bakery went on forever,” he tells us.

Is the change good?

Places like the Yazdani bakery are rare. When nobody provided livelihoods to people, the bakeries and restaurants did. Less than a dozen people work in Yazdani, and have been for almost all their lives.

Irani bakeries and cafes may look ordinary from the outside and may seem mundane to those who are ignorant to the beauty of the antiquated, but always have something fun to tell. Right from the exteriors to the people who visit it, Yazdani takes you on a trip to a less polished, raw and ragged Mumbai – the one that told tales of its initiation, survival and how it still stands undeterred and moves on but still retains its glamour.


Apple Pie
Apple Pie

Sheermal or Shirmal

Sheermal or Shirmal (Persian-Urdu: شیرمال, Hindi: शीरमल), is a saffron-flavored traditional flatbread from Greater Iran. The word sheermal is derived from the Persian words شیر (translit. sheer) meaning milk, and مالیدن (translit. malidan) meaning to rub. In a literal translation, sheermal means milk rubbed. After being introduced to North India by the Persianate Mughal emperors. It became a delicacy of Lucknow and Hyderabad. It is also part of the Awadhi cuisine and is enjoyed in Old Bhopal.


Sheermal is a mildly sweet naan made out of maida, leavened with yeast, baked in a tandoor or oven. Sheermal was traditionally made like roti. Today, sheermal is prepared like naan. The warm water in the recipe for naan roti was replaced with warm milk sweetened with sugar and flavored with saffron and cardamom. The final product resembles Danish pastry.

In Iran, there are slight regional variations in the preparation of sheermal. As such, sheermal is sometimes used as a souvenir when travelling between the regions.

Sheermal is sometimes served with Lucknow kababs or alongside nihari.

Sheermal is a milky, mildly sweet, soft and rich bread from the Persian cuisine. The word ‘sheer’ means ‘milk’ and clearly the name ‘sheermal’ is derived from the fact that the dough is kneaded with warm milk instead of water.

South Asian food is greatly influenced by the Central Asian and Persian cuisines. Many roadside eateries and small restaurants still bake Sheermal, Taftan, naan and other such Persian inspired flatbreads in clay ovens in Pakistan and India.

The bread has a light, buttery texture and taste but very rich aroma from Kewra or Rosewater and colour from saffron. It is a simple recipe that is easy to make and doesn’t require a long resting time but is quite versatile as you eat it with Kebabs and curries, vegetarian dishes, as a dessert with fresh cream or yogurt on top or simply with a cup of tea or coffee for breakfast or evening snack.

Unlike naan, roti or paratha, Sheermal isn’t meant to scoop up gravies and curries. Though it compliments a lot of sweet and savoury dishes but it has such a distinct and delicious taste that I always prefer to eat it on it’s own with a cup of tea or Persian coffee.

Some versions sprinkle sesame seeds on sheermal but I like mine with raisins and roughly chopped almonds and pistachios. For me it’s a complete treat, a bread that tells stories of its rich royal heritage with each indulgent bite.

The best thing is you can bake these ahead and store them wrapped up in fridge till you need them. Before serving, brush them a little with melted butter or ghee and warm them on a skillet on stove top or in microwave for a few seconds.

If you can’t find Kewra or Rosewater where you live, you can also use cardamom or almond essence for that touch royal and exotic.

Recipe by Maria Nazir


2 cups plain flour ( maida)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm milk
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon dry fast acting yeast
1 teaspoon Kewra/pandan , Rosewater or cardamom essence
2 tablespoons Ghee or butter, melted
A few threads saffron dissolved in 1 tablespoon milk
1/4 cup mixed nuts and raisins

This Is What You Do:

Warm milk and add into a big mixing bowl. Add sugar and yeast. Cover the bowl and set aside for ten minutes to allow it to bubble up.

Always check the expiry date on the yeast packet before using so that you don’t end up with a brick instead of a bread.

Add Kewra or essence of your choice to the milk. Mix flour with salt. Add to the sweetened milk. Knead for 4-5 minutes. The dough will be soft and sticky at this stage.

Cover with a damp cloth and keep aside for 30 minutes.

Add ghee or butter to the dough and knead again till the dough is elastic and silky smooth (another 4-5 minutes).

Preheat oven at 180 degrees C. Lightly grease an oven proof dish.

Divide the dough into four equal portions. Make dough balls. Place a dough ball on your palm and press to make a thick round. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Place these dough rounds on the tray. Prick the sheermal breads all over with fork for equal heating.

Brush the saffron flavoured milk over the breads. Sprinkle mixed nuts and raisins over them, press lightly with hand to make them stick.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or till the breads fluff up nicely and turn golden on top.

When ready, immediately cover with a damp cloth for ten minutes and keep covered to retain the soft texture.

Serve with any curry; Seekh kebab,
Lamb Almond Korma ,Chicken Nihari taste great with it. Or serve for breakfast or evening snack with black tea or Persian coffee.

Serves 4

Fiesta Friday this week are Antonia @ and Angie@Fiesta Friday.

Rice Flour Rotli

Rice Flour Rotli

Recipe tried and tested, translated from the Vividh Vani cookbook by Rita Kapadia

Chokha ni Rotli * or Rice Flour Rotli * is an age old bread enjoyed in India by the parsi community.

Yes, all rice (in its natural form) is glutenfree. This includes brown rice, white rice and wild rice. In this case, the “glutinous” term refers to the sticky nature of therice and not the gluten protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Rice is one of the most popular glutenfree grains for people with celiac disease.

The soft white rotlis are made with pure (Mill ground to number 1), a very fine ground rice flour and are very delicious to savor with meat dishes or spicy vegetables. In the rainy season they go well with the diet and are easy to digest.

How to make them is tricky, folks who make these do it so well one would think it is easy but no, it is not. I have seen the indian women and men make loads of this to serve for meals. Many people prefer white rice rotlis to the wheat ones for dietary reasons.

The trick is to knead the dough very well, the harder you knead the softer the rotli. So ladies and gentlemen get ready for some stress busting exercise with your palms and fingers!

*Also called “Roti”

I have translated this from the Vividh Vani Cookbook

There are 2 recipes for this Rotli. One is made with Milk and the other with Water. The milk rice rotli recipe will be coming up soon. Stay tuned.

Recipe with Water


1 cup Rice flour plus extra rice flour for dusting while rolling out the rotlis

3 tsp Ghee (optional)

1 cup boiling hot water

1/2 tsp Salt (optional)


Normal dough method

  1. Shift the rice flour and put in a flat container to make the dough. Typically  a thali is used.  

  2. Make a pile of the flour with a pit in the center.

  3. Boil the water piping hot with the salt and ghee. 

  4. Immediately pour this into the flour. Let the water mixture come up to the rim of the pit.

  5. Keep this for 2 minutes to get absorbed and form the dough. Add more water if needed but do not let it get too runny.

  6. Knead with both hands and palms. Wet your palms with water if needed. Knead to a soft dough.

  7. Make small balls and dust with extra flour. Keep the balls covered with a damp cloth so they do not dry out.

  8. Heat up a non stick pan or indian  tava

  9. Now start rolling out the rotli on a marble or a wooden patlo. Dust with rice flour to prevent sticking. Make it thick to start with, practice makes a perfect rotli eventually.

  10. Put on the hot tava and bake for 10 seconds. Using a spatula or tavatha Flip and bake the other side for 30 seconds. Flip again (back to the first side) and puff the rotli.

  11. In a clean Rotli Box, store the rotli in muslin cloth so it does not dry out. Any box will work, but a chapati box works the best for me. (See the chapati products from Amazon * below)

  12. Serve immediately or keep for 1 day.

There are 2 techniques for this Rotli. One is made with a normal dough process and second which is called “Khichi”.

Khichi Dough Method

In a large pot, boil rice flour, salt, and ghee.

Cover pot and keep for 1 minute to form the khichi.

Turn out onto your counter and dust the flour, knead to a smooth dough. These khichi rotli come out very soft, white and fluffy. Since the dough is semi-cooked the rotli will always be cooked thoroughly.

Proceed to make the rotli balls and rotlis as described above.

Note: Vividh Vani mentions using Rangoon Rice Flour, Mill Rice Flour, Patni Rice Flour which were products from the Eighteenth Century and an Bygone Era. Please use the best and fine ground rice flour you can locate. Here are some examples of the amazon products.

*Disclosure – “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.”

Popatjee – sweet donuts


Otherwise known as poffertjes, in Holland these baby pancake puffs are traditionally served with melted butter and sieved powdered sugar. Perfect for Sunday brunch, a lazy lunch or dessert.

Recipe #1


1 level tsp. instant yeast

1 tbsp. milk

1 cup buckwheat flour (100 g)

1 cup flour (100 g)

2 eggs

1 tsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/4 cups warm milk (250 ml)

1 tbsp. butter

Whipped cream and powdered sugar to serve

1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the milk. In a separate bowl, combine the buckwheat flour, flour, eggs, yeast, sugar, salt and half the milk. Whisk smooth. Now add the remaining milk and beat again.
2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest for an hour.
3. Melt butter in a frying pan. When it sizzles, add teaspoonfuls of the batter in circular movements to create the mini pancakes. Turn the poffertjes around as soon as the bottom has set, using two forks.
4. Serve Pancake Puffs with, whipped cream and a dusting of powdered sugar.

You need a special vessel to prepare this as shown OR a modern day Ebelskiver Pan.

Fried Bhakhra using Ebelskiver Pan
Ebelskiver Pan

Recipe #2


1/2 kg Whole wheat flour
400 ml Milk
1 cup Toddy
2 Tspns Fresh yeast, mixed with 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 cup warm water
3 tblspns Sugar
1/2 Cup Warm water
5 Eggs
50 gms Almond.. blanched and chopped.
1 tblspn Caraway seeds
50 gms Ghee
2 tblspns Icing sugar
1 cup Oil (Adjust Quantity As Needed)


Beat ghee or butter until soft and smooth.

Add one egg at a time, beating constantly.

Gradually add flour and milk alternately, and keep mixing.

Add almonds and caraway seeds.

Mix and add toddy and prepared yeast.

Mix well, cover with cling wrap film or damp cloth and keep in a warm place for about 5 hours, till well risen.

Heat a ”popatji nu panu.” A special vessel to make these or use a Ebelskiver Pan like this (click to purchase).

Half fill the depressions with oil and allow to get hot.

Spoon in enough batter to fill the depressions three-quarters full.

When base is cooked and crisp, turn over with a skewer and cook other side.

When brown and crisp on both sides remove from oil with a pair of tongs or a skewer and drain well in a colander.

Repeat till all the batter is finished.

Sift with icing sugar and serve.

More traditional recipes in cookbook

Manna of the 21st Century
Authored by Rita Jamshed Kapadia

Series: Parsi Cuisine (Book 1)

Paperback: 239 pages

Publisher: Independently published (March 18, 2019)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1090868391

ISBN-13: 978-1090868398

Fried Puri, Roti, Rotli

Puri is an indian fried flour bread. Eaten by itself it is delicious and satisfying. Any vegetable or meat dish goes well with these puris.

If you do NOT fry the puri and just roast it on a non-stick pan or the Indian tava (Non-Stick Chapati Tawa/Roti Tawa/Paratha Tawa, Aluminium 2.6 MM with Free Wooden Spatula & Scrubber) it becomes the Indian chapatti ! Also called Roti and Rotli in Gujarati and Hindi.


Makes approx 25
Use 8 oz measure cup

1 cup flour
1 cup wheat flour
pinch salt
2 tbsp oil oil for deep frying

Mix the above ingredients and add 1 tbsp of water at a time to make a soft dough. Allow dough to rest for approx 1/2 hour. Make a ball and roll onto a floured board. Rub oil with fingers onto the flat dough and roll up like a pancake.

If crisp puris are needed, don’t put oil. Cut the roll into small pieces and make into balls. Do a few at a time otherwise the dough will dry up. Flatten them and with a rolling pin make rounds.

Fry in hot deep oil and while frying keep pouring hot oil onto the puri with a spoon. Take oil and drain in colander.
Serve immediately.

Rotli / Roti / Wheat Rotli
Rotli / Roti / Wheat Rotli

Lets party! Your co-hosts this week are Ai @ Ai Made It For You and me aka Angie @ Fiesta Friday.

Udvada’s Sweet and Crispy Parsi Puri – Tal Papra Recipe

by Ervad Marzban Hathiram

Editor’s Note: Sweet and Crispy Parsi Puri stays for a long time like a month. It is fondly called Tal Papra. Made from sesame seeds (Tal), cardamom and nutmeg powder, and caraway seeds.

As I get ready for a very important prayer day tomorrow, here’s an old recipe not very commonly made today.. Tal na papra… A sweet puri infused with sesame seeds, cardamom and nutmeg powder, and caraway seeds.

Equal proportions of plain and whole wheat flour are mixed with powdered sugar, a generous quantity of sesame seeds and the fragrant powders, ghee, a little water and mixed into a hard dough and rested. The dough is then rolled out into very very thin puris…almost tissue like.

The unique feature of these puris is that they are dry roasted on the griddle first and then fried in boiling oil… And it has to be done simultaneously and fast… Or you have burnt stuff… Hence the stove setup and the need to have quick hands…

My granny Dinamai used to make hundreds of these papra and store them in large aluminum boxes as we went to the village during vacations. I used to devour unimaginable quantities without any thought to the effort that goes into making them.

Today as I made them for the first time, I remembered Dinamai and sent up a small prayer in her memory, and apologized for the trouble I must have caused her. The papra I made were nowhere compared to what she used to make, but brought back memories of childhood and good times…

For me, women like Dinamai were the ultimate role models. They labored, under the most harsh conditions, without a murmur of protest, and gave all they had for the benefit of their spouse, children and family. For me, Dinamai was more emancipated and a greater symbol of feminity than those shrill voices we hear today, or the so called ‘hot chicks’ who can’t hold a ladle in their hands and consider cooking beneath their dignity or who need 10 hours of sleep and then some more…

Behdin Dinamai Behdin Nariman, may your Ruvan progress ahead! @ Udvada

Recipe of Tal Papri puri


1 cup plain maida flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup sesame seeds (Til)

1 tsp cardamon or nutmeg

1/4 cup ghee

Water enough for mixing the dough

Oil for deep frying


 All the above except the oil for frying is mixed into a hard dough and rested. The dough is then rolled out into very very thin puris, almost tissue like. (See photos). Fry in hot oil till crisp, drain and cool.

Papri and Daran for Malido

Papdi to eat with Malido from the famous Vividh Vani cookbook

Recipe translated from Gujarati to English by Rita Jamshed Kapadia

Click here for the Guide to Old Measures


1 tipri Wheat Flour

1/4 lb Sugar (fine barik)


Mix above with little water to make a very tight dough. Keep for 1 hour and then roll out into very thin 3 inch rounds.

Prick holes in papdi so that it does not fluff up.

Heat pure ghee and fry in deep kadai till golden brown and crispy.

Drain on paper towels and let cool, dry. Do not pack away, keep open for 3 hours.

If making “Farmaasu” papdi use milk instead of water to make the dough and add the following:

2 tola Ghee

4 Egg Yolks

1/4 tsp ground caraway seeds

1/4 tsp ground cardamon

Milk to make the dough


Mix above with little water to make a very tight dough. Keep for 1 hour and then roll out into very thin 3 inch rounds.

Prick holes in papdi so that it does not fluff up.

Heat pure ghee and fry in deep kadai till golden brown and crispy.

Drain on paper towels and let cool, dry. Do not pack away, keep open for 3 hours.

Note the vividh vani recipe does NOT mention salt. Modern day cooks do add salt to papdi. Never in a Daran.

Useful Tips

  • Use luke warm water to make the dough and cook them on slow heat it will come out very flaky

  • Prick the papri with a fork so they do not fluff up while frying, and will fry crisp. Drain and cool well before storing

  • Roll papdi as thin as possible

  • While preparing the dough add ghee and rub it in the flour  to get crumb consistency than add water & knead into tight dough.

  • Don’t use any ghee or oil while making dough

  • While frying, you have to press the papri


  • Traditionaly, for a khushali nu jashan, there would be just Malido, no papris and no darans, those were included only for the ‘baj’ -prayers for the departed souls – people even include Sev, Ravo and Golab nu Sherbet for the khushali nu jashan.

  • In a khushali nu jashan should you put Malido as an offering or is it Ravo ? – Both. A little of each can be put as an offering just like with various fruits and nuts.


What’s the difference between papri and daran to eat with malido?

  • Papri is fried like a puri.

  • Papri is sweet.

  • Farmasu Papri is made with milk, egg yolk, caraway seed and cardamon.

  • Daran are like small rotlis or chappaties slightly thicker and roasted on a tava.

  • Daran is not salted ever. No is salt added and roasted like rotli



Daran also called Sacred Bread

by Edv. Ramiyar Karanjia

The dron or daran is used in all inner rituals like Baj-dharna, Yasna and Vendidad. The word dron is derived from
Avesta draonah, and is used in the sense of ‘a part, a portion’ offered through consecration in a ritual, to divine beings.
The word dron is variously rendered into English as ‘sacred bread’, ‘sacramental bread’, ‘unleavened round bread’, ‘consecrated bread’, ‘sacred cake’ or ‘wheat cake’.

Dron dough balls are flattened with a velan (metallic rolling pin). Sometimes a special rolling pin with metallic beads is used. The clinging sound it makes is supposed to keep away evil while preparation is in progress. The dron are preferably cooked on wooden fires, even in modern times. Traditionally, dron are exclusively prepared by male or female members of the priestly class and are generally made fresh each day and not re-used.

One dron is used in the performance of all inner rituals, except for the Baj-dharna ceremony, in which four or six are used for each performance. Four different types of dron are used in the Baj-dharna ceremony.

One type has 9 marks on it, referred to as ‘names’. In Gujarati they are referred to as nam padela (one that has been given a name) or nam vala (one with a name) daran. The ‘names’ refer to the 3 marks that are made with a rolling pin or tip of a knife while the dough is being rolled out.

The marks are made in three rows, starting from down to up while thrice uttering the Avestan words, “Humata, Hukhta, Huvarshta.” Frasast is the name applied to plain dron, which do not have any marks on it. However nowadays, there is no difference between dron and frasast as mostly unmarked dron are used. Chitya are the smaller dron about 3 inches in diameter, which are used for specific Baj dharna performances.

In Iran, the term luwag was used to refer to a big dron. It could be made from any flour. In India, in the Baj of Siroza somewhat larger and sweeter drons are consecrated, which may be a reflection of the Iranian practice of keeping luwag.

Dron or Daran (unleavened sacramental) bread recipe

Makes 10-12

by Katy P. Karanjia, India

2 Cups wheat flour

as required water

½ tbsp ghee

1. Place wheat flour in a thali (metallic plate) and add 4-6 tablespoons/60-90 ml of water and make dough.
2. Knead till the dough is quite hard.
3. Add half a tablespoon of ghee and knead into the dough.
4. Make 10-12 small equal sized pieces from the dough.
5. Take a dough ball and roll with a pittal velan (metallic rolling pin) till it is about 5 inches/10 to 12 cm in diameter. It is best to roll on a metal surface. Do not use flour while rolling, a little ghee may be used if required.
6. Repeat till all the balls are rolled into discs. The discs may be kept in another plate.
7. Heat the disks on the tawaa (hot plate) and turn them with a tawatha (flat ladle). They should have some dazya (dark spots) on them.
8. The cooked dron have to be transferred to another plate. They should be kept separately and not piled one on top of another or they may stick together.


Papdi by Katy P. Karanjia, India

1 C white flour 110 g
2 C wheat flour 200 g
½ cup semolina 160 g
4 tbsp ghee 60 g
as needed water as needed
to taste salt to taste

1. Mix flour, wheat flour, semolina, and ghee with some water.
2. Knead in a plate to make firm dough.
3. Make 18 – 20 equal sized balls from the dough.
4. Roll the balls with a rolling pin till they are about 5 inches/10
centimeters in diameter.
5. Shallow fry or deep fry the rolled disks according to taste.
Makes 18-20



FEZANA, 2012 EAT, LIVE, PRAY: A celebration of Zarathushti culture and cuisine 67 (free eBook click here)

Click here for the Guide to Old Measures

Vividh Vani Cookbook

Parsi Cuisine at Inaugural Event at the Dar-E-Mehr in Pomona, NY : Sheroo Kanga’s Malido

 photo for Rita Inauguration of the Dar-E-Mehr in Pomona, NY. The food served was delicious and one of the delicacies was Sheroo’s Malido.

Malido Sales from 2013 – 2016 and for this event are an on-going fundraising effort by Sheroo that speaks of the dedication and loyalty of the Kanga family.

Fresh Malido Trays were made by Sheroo for over 600 people. That in itself is a record!. Having made Malido myself for our local ZAGBA association for a modest 60 people crowd, I know what is involved and how much work it takes! Kudos to Sheroo for doing this.

Some words from Sheroo Kanga on how and why she started to make the malido:

    “After coming to the US in 1975, I missed the ceremonies of the muktad days.  Most of my family members, (me being the youngest sibling) passed away after I came to the US and unfortunately, I was not able to attend the muktad prayers for my dear ones.  Therefore, (somewhere between 1996 and 1999) when ZAGNY  (Zoroastrian Association of Greater New York) started the muktad prayers, I was very happy.  Fortunately for me, I was also on the ZAGNY Board as Joint Secretary at that time.  This gave me the ideal opportunity to get very involved in organizing and arranging the muktad prayers each year. The gathas were also being recited at other four homes within our tri-state area, so people who lived far from the Dar-e-Mehr got a chance to attend the prayers closer to home.  

This is when I started to learn how to make malido and after getting the right recipe, from late Mrs. Nergis Adi Unwalla’ s cookbook “An Adventure in Exotic Parsi Indian Cooking by Nergis Karanjia and Nergis Unwalla.  I took time to perfect it.  Ever since then, till to date, I have been making malido and donating it to the hosts families and for the prayers at the Dar-e-Mehr.   Sometimes, if asked, I also cater it for congregation lunches, as I did for the Inaugural Day.”

Sheroo Vispi Kanga lives in New Jersey with her husband Vispi Dorab Kanga. They are both very active in ZAGNY (Zoroastrian association of Greater New York) and both have served several three year terms on the ZAGNY Board of Directors, in different capacities, since 1980.  Sheroo very actively participated in the fund raising efforts for the newly inaugurated Dar-E-Mehr building, to serve the needs of the Zoroastrians in the Tri-State area.

Click here to see Malido Video & Recipe with the special ingredient of Bisquick .

Veggie Frankie


For The Roties:

1/2 cup plain flour (maida)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour (gehun ka atta)
1 tsp oil
salt to taste
For the stuffing:1 cup noodles
2 boiled potatoes (mashed)
2 Onions (cut into half circle shape)
1 tomato (chopped)
1 capsicum (chopped)
chilly powder
schezwan sauce
soya sauce ( 1 tbl spoon)
black paper, chat masala
ginger-garlic paste

MethodFor The Roties:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and knead into a soft and pliable dough using enough water.
  2. Divide the dough into equal portions and roll out them,
  3. Heat a tava (griddle) and cook each roti lightly on a medium flame and keep aside.

For the stuffing:

  1. Aloo tikki
    Heat 2 tbl spoon oil in kadahi and add ginger-garlic paste.
  2. Fry for 2 mins, then add mashed potatoes, chopped tomato and capsicum, add half of the onion (half of the onion we need at the time of serving)
  3. Add chilly powder, salt, black paper and make a good mixture, make tikkies of equal shapes and keep them aside. Part 1 is completed.


  1. Take one roti and apply schezwan sauce on it then put one aloo tikki and spread in middle part of roti in finger shape.
  2. Put the boiled and drained noodles on it and some onions,
  3. Garnish with chesse and roll the tikki (fold  and cover)
  4. Enjoy !