PARSI CUISINE: Parsi Cuisine Kindle $6.99

PARSI CUISINE: Parsi Cuisine Kindle $6.99

Cookbook presents an journey into the Food, History and Heritage of the Zoroastrians of India.

Rita Jamshed Kapadia has the recipe blog established 1999,, now with 250,000 followers and over 302,000 hits from all over the world.

Rita has authored “Parsi Cuisine The Manna of the 21st Century” and ten individual series cookbooks with matched digital e-cookbooks; She was recently invited to Gleason Library and the Boston Athenaeum, Boston, MA to demonstrate and talk about Parsi Food.

Rita’s Parsi Cuisine Cookbooks are a labor of love. The cookbooks began in an effort to maintain and preserve our recipes and traditions for the next generation, many of whom have been raised in USA, UK, Australia, France, Germany,Canada and other countries outside of India.

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. Inspired by old traditional parsi cookbooks like the “Vividh Vani”, Rita has come up with homemade recipes.

You can follow the author on, on Twitter @ParsiCuisine and on Facebook at

Order from Rita a signed cookbook (USA only)

MEGA cookbook with over 181 recipes. See list below. Written for today’s generation of cooks and food enthusiasts, the cookbook “Parsi Cuisine Manna of the 21st Century” by Rita Jamshed Kapadia provides a treasure trove of recipes, along with an immersive cultural experience for those seeking to understand this ancient and timeless cuisine.

  • With over 181 recipes and colored picture for dishes.

  • Cookbook has hard to find traditional recipes.

Below are some recipes in the cookbook:

Essential Staples: Spices, Masala and Herbs

  1.   Adoo Lasan        

  2.   Marchu Lasan (Peppers and Garlic)                                     

  3.   Garam Masala                                                                              

  4.    Dhansak Masala Powder                                                                

  5.    Jeera no Lal Masalo (Red Chili and Cumin)                                


  1.   Shrimp Kebabs                                                                               

  2.   Kebabs                                                                                            

  3.   Chicken and Cheese Balls                                                              

  4.   Sizzlers                                                                                             

  5.  Ragda Pattice           

  6.  Jungli Shikar  / Game                                                                        

  7. Bread Cheese Balls                                                                       


Side Dishes: Eggs & Vegetables                                    

  1.  Omelet (Parsi Poro)                                                             

  2. Akuri                                                                                                        

  3. Akuri Pattice                                                                                     

  4.  Akuri with Paneer                                                                            

  5. Bhida par Eeda                                      

  6. Tabota par Eeda                                                                                 

  7. Bharuchi Akuri                    

  8. Egg Vindaloo    

  9. Sali par Eedu / Wafer par Eedu                                                        

  10. Papeta par Eedu                                                                                

Main Course: Meats, Curry, Rice, Lentils                                 

  1.  Jardaloo ma Gosht  (Lamb with Pickled Apricots/Plums)                 

  2. Chicken with Apricots      

  3. Jardalu ma Marghi                                                                      

  4. Dhansak Award Winning Recipe                                                     

  5. Chicken / Mutton Cutlets  with Tomato Gravy                          

  6. Chicken Curry                                                                                 

  7. Khari Murghi – Salty Chicken                                                       

  8. Jamshed’s Kheemo                                                                            

  9. Sali ma Marghi or Boti                                                                                 

  10. Britannia Chicken or Sali Boti                                                            

  11. Papri ma Kebab                                                                                

  12. Chaspaila Sakerkand Ma  Murghi                                                

  13. Nizami Chicken                                                                                 

  14. Kid Gosht                                                                               

  15. Chicken / Mutton Dum Biryani                                                         

  16. Mutton Biryani and Raita                                                       

  17. Khurchan                                                                                             

  18. Aleti Paleti                                                                                            

  19. Buffat                                                                                             

  20. Channa ni Dal ma Gosht                                                               

  21. Classic English Toad in the hole                                                       

  22. Easy Yorkshire Pudding / Toad in the hole                                 

  23. Masoor ma Gosht                                                                                      

  24. Badami Chicken                                                                                

  25. Madras Chicken Curry                                                                            

  26. Goan Pork Vindaloo                                                                         

  27. Chicken Vindaloo                                                                                          

  28. Persian Jeweled Rice                                                                            

 Pickles, Preserves, Chutneys and Jams                                    

  1. Gor Keri Achar Mango Pickle                                                            

  2. Chundo                                                                                              

  3. Chundo 2                                                                                           

  4. Pickled Onions                                                                                     

  5. Lagan nu Achar                                                                                 

  6. Carrot Dry Fruit Pickle/Sooka Meva nu Achar                                       

  7. Parsi Tomato Chutney                                                                                  

  8. Parsi Patra ni Maachi Chutney                                                        

  9. Bombay Duck Pickle                                                                      

  10. Mango Keri No Murumbo                                                                 

  11. Khato Mittho Tikho Keri no Murabbo                                              

  12. White Pumpkin Murumbo   

  13. Hot Chili Tomato Sauce                                                                     

  14. Fruit Chutney                                                                                  

  15. Fish Pickle Masala   

  16. Prawn Pickle                                                                                      

  17. Vadu Mango pickle                                                                           

  18. Sweet and Sour Mango Chutney                                                      

  19. Pickled Cranberry Apple Sauce                                                      

  20. Pickled  Apricots/ Plums                                                                   

  21. Ginger Honey Apple Chutney                                                                    

  22.  Rose Petal Jam                                                                                  

  23. Schezwan Sauce                                                                             

  24. Methia Keri nu Achar                                                                     

  25.  Amli Chutney                                                                               

  26. Ambosia                                                                                           

  27. Pani nu Achar                                                                                 

  28. Prawn / Shrimp Pickle                                                                     

  29. Fish Masala Achar                                                                           

  30. Vegetable Stew Pickled                                                                                  


  1. Fish Cutlets                                                                                                  

  2. Fried Promfret                                                   

  3. Masala Prawns                                                                  

  4. Parsi Style Fried Fish                                                        

  5. Fish Roe Sauce / Garabh  Patio                                                     

  6. Parsi Tarapori Patio                                                                      

  7. Prawn Biryani                                                                          

  8. Fish Curry Parsi Style                                                         

  9. Saucy Garlic Fish                                                                    

  10. Tasty Parsi Crab Curry                                                                          

  11. Alaskan Crab legs Curry                                                           

  12. Shrimp Masala Curry                                                                      

  13. Prawn Patio Masaledar                                                                              

  14. Fried Bombay Ducks                                                                      

  15. Fish Pilau                                                                                  

  16. Prawn Pilau                                                                       

  17. Shrimp Pilau                                                                             

  18. Prawn Vindaloo                                                                           

  19. Prawn Temperado                                               

  20. Red Chili Prawns / Shrimp                                                        

  21. Tuna Nicoise Salad and Orange Sauce                                          

  22. Parsi Prawn or Shrimp Curry                                                        

  23. Kateh Persian Quick Rice                                                               

  24. Fish Saas                                                                

  25. Khari Maachi / Salty Fish Sauce                                                   

  26.  Patra ni Maachi                                                                            

  27. Easy Patra ni Maachi                                                                      

  28. Oyster Drumstick Curry Recipe                                                      

  29. Baked Creamy Pomfret                                                                            

  30. Shrimp Patio                                                                                    

  31. Coconut Fish Patio                                                                           

  32. Spicy Prawn or Shrimp Lentil Rice                                                         

  33. Curry Chawal                                                                                  

  34.  Fried Smelts                                                                                      

  35. Maygu Polo – Prawn Rice                                                               

  36. Lagan Sera Patia with Fish                                                             

Desserts, Sweets and Snacks  

  1.  Homemade Yogurt Mitthu Dahi                                                         

  2.  Vasanu                                                                                                 

  3.  Topli na Paneer                                                                              

  4.  Sev                                                                                                      

  5.  Ravo                                                                                                     

  6.  Dudh ni Sev                                                                                         

  7.  Dudh Powva                                                                                       

  8. Bhakhras                                                                                             

  9. Nankhatai                                                                                           

  10. Nankhatai Biscuits                                                                             

  11. Chocolate Nankhatai                                                                    

  12. Popatji / Popatjee                           

  13. Batasa                                                                                                  

  14. Surti Sweet Batasa                                                                            

  15. Chapat                                                                                             

  16. Sandhra                                                                                               

  17. Hariso                                                                                                 

  18. Dar ni Pori                                                                                          

  19. Wine Biscuit with Currants                                                             

  20. Lagan nu Custard                                                                          

  21. Sutarfeni                                                                                              

  22. Parsi  Chokha ni Kheer                                                                            

  23. Doodh  Puffs                                                                            

  24. Kummas                                                                                        

  25. Agarni na Lavra                                                                                      

  26. Doodhi no Halwo                                                                                     

  27. Ghehu nu Dudh                                                                              

  28. Pistachio Kulfi                                                                         

  29. Falooda                                                                                         

  30. Falooda Icecream                                                                                    

  31. Rose Sherbat                                                                          

  32. Nishashto                                                                                         

  33. Persian Icecream                                                                             

  34. Kopra Paak                                                                                     

  35. Malido                                                                                          

  36. Mava ni Boi                                                                          

  37. Varadhvara                                                                                  

  38. Award Winner Mava Cakes                                                           

  39. Mava Cupcake with Pistachios and Saffron                                  

  40. Chocolate Mava Cake                                                   

  41. Mava na Penda                                                                                

  42. Mava no Halwo                                                                               

  43. Mava na Khaja                                                                            

  44. Fruitcake                                                                                          

  45. Nariel Na Makrum ( Coconut Macaroons )                                    

  46. Surat ni Ghari                                                                               

  47. Khajoor Ghari (Dates)                                                                    

  Vegetarian Foods                     

  1.  Dahi ni Cudhy                                                                              

  2. Puri                                                                                               

  3. Ghee Gor ni Rotli                                                                                     

  4. Rai na Papeta                                                                                

  5. Khara Papeta                                                                              

  6. Lagan nu Stew                                                                            

  7. Soft Rotli                                                                                     

  8. Parsi Pilau (Vegetarian)                                                                   

  9. Sweet Rice with Mango                                                                             

  10. Sabudana Khichadi                                                                                 

  11. Vaghareli Khichri                                                                      

  12. Khichri                                                                                             

  13. Zarda Mittho Bhaat                                                                  

  14. Banana Cutlets                                                                               

  15. Sali / Potato Matchsticks                                                                 

  16. Brown Rice                                                                                       Kachumbar     

  17. Parsi  Dhan Dar Rice and Mori Dal                                                          

  18. Home made Mava from scratch                                           

Product details

Order Signed Cookbook
Order Signed Cookbook
  • Series: Parsi Cuisine (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 239 pages
  • Publisher: Independently published (March 18, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1090868391
  • ISBN-13: 978-1090868398
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.6 x 11 inches

Mastering Parsi Cuisine A new Paperback

by Rita Jamshed Kapadia  (Author)

This collection represents recipes that have been tried and cooked in my family kitchen, and passed around from Grandmother to Mother to Daughter. From India to USA, by the very nature of the way my family shared their recipes, it was a fun and a bonding experience. I hope you will find the same experiences cooking and enjoying the dishes with family and friends.

Inspired by old cookbooks: Vividh Vani  and several others in my collection these are unique and regular delicious mouthwatering dishes cooked in the USA.

Thanks to my family members and friends for contributing ideas and thoughts for this recipe collection.

Mastering Parsi Cuisine and Reviving the Art of Parsi Cooking. I hope this book inspires you to cook healthy wholesome food for your family and friends.


Rita Jamshed Kapadia is the author of the previous “Parsi Cuisine Series”. She and her husband Jamshed reside in the USA

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders

by Niloufer Mavalvala (Author), Zara Contractor (Creator), William Reavell, Niloufer Mavalvala (Photographer)

This cookbook is a must for anyone who loves the planet and likes nutritious foods. With 51 recipes and a full page coloured picture for each one its a great find

A quick glance through the new cookbook thanks to Tanya Hoshi.

It is indeed a beautiful cookbook. I got mine from Amazon.

FEZANA JOURNAL offers 3 items

Subscribe To The FEZANA Journal

The FEZANA Journal is published four times a year in Spring, Summer Fall and Winter.

In order to boost subscriptions we have decided to offer three items created especially for our promotion, not available anywhere else!

A special issue of Rita Kapadia’s Childrens Parsi Recipe Cookbook will allow parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to cook with their youngster and record their kitchen adventures. Get it free with your subscription.

The Monajat Sampler contains 7 of Mani Rao’s Gujarati and English sweet melodies and devotional songs.

The Zoroastrian Songs and Prayers is a new CD with Khan Ashem Vohu, melodies and peaceful prayers


Ancient cooking book “Vividh Vani” by Meherbai Jamshedji Wadia. Re-print paperback and digital free download.

Cooking book “Vividh Vani” by Meherbai Jamshedji Wadia

Volume 1 Product details

  • Paperback: 792 pages
  • Language: Gujarati
  • ISBN-10: 1724206532
  • ISBN-13: 978-1724206534
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.8 x 9 inches

Volume 2 Product details

  • Paperback: 778 pages
  • Language: Gujarati
  • ISBN-10: 1724202332
  • ISBN-13: 978-1724202338
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.8 x 9 inches

PARSIANA Reprinting Culinary Heritage

In addition a free PDF of  the cooking books  “Vividh Vani” by Meherbai Jamshedji Wadia is available on this website. 

Click here to DOWNLOAD the digital version PDF (Volume 1)   (file will open in new tab)

Click here to DOWNLOAD the digital version PDF (Volume 2)   (file will open in new tab)

Treasured Grandmother’s Recipes

Free Shipping

*Amazon launches Free Delivery Week promotion for all  USA customers.

We have a fantastic promotion for you to share with your visitors! From 29th November to 5th December, all Amazon customers can enjoy free standard delivery, with no minimum purchase amount, when they use promotional code FREEDELIVERY at checkout. The promotion applies to all items listed as “dispatched” or “fulfilled” by Amazon on the product detail page and is available for millions of items with no minimum order amount, including top gift ideas like toys and electronics, as well as home items, fashion and more. The promotional code can be used multiple times throughout the Free Delivery Week promotion.

The cookbook “Parsi Cuisine Manna of the 21st Century” provides classical and regional Parsi recipes as well as an introduction to Parsi heritage, history, and culture. KINDLE  and PAPERBACK.

The book’s Recipes, Full color photographs, Step-by-step instructions and 240 pages are intertwined with descriptions of ancient and modern Parsi ceremonies, folktales, travel excerpts and anecdotes.

See all on Rita’s Amazon Author Page *




ECookbooks are available in digital format and with  free previews for Kindle.

The author Rita Jamshed Kapadia resides in USA and has published these cookbooks in America.

Inspired by old traditional parsi cookbooks like the “Vividh Vani”, Rita has come up with homemade recipes of Popatjee, Bhakhra, Murabba and more.

Fusion dishes with her own creativity have recipes of unique Parsi Pickles, Jams and Cakes for you.

Rita learnt from her Mother Parin and Mother-in-Law Jaloo favorites and staples of a parsi home. Dhansak, Dhan Dar, Patio, Sali Gosht, Cutlets, Kebabs, Custard, Falooda, Ras Chawal are all detailed and taught in these cookbooks. 

There is one mega cookbook and  other individual cookbooks published. eBooks of the same are also available.

Latest release:

Treasured Grandmother’s Recipes: Parsi Cuisine

By Rita Jamshed Kapadia

Copyright © 1999 – 2018.  All Rights Reserved. 




My Bombay Kitchen

My Bombay Kitchen: Traditional and Modern Parsi Home Cooking Paperback – June 18, 2007

The Persians of antiquity were renowned for their lavish cuisine and their never-ceasing fascination with the exotic. These traits still find expression in the cooking of India’s rapidly dwindling Parsi population―descendants of Zoroastrians who fled Persia after the Sassanian empire fell to the invading Arabs. The first book published in the United States on Parsi food written by a Parsi, this beautiful volume includes 165 recipes and makes one of India’s most remarkable regional cuisines accessible to Westerners. In an intimate narrative rich with personal experience, the author leads readers into a world of new ideas, tastes, ingredients, and techniques, with a range of easy and seductive menus that will reassure neophytes and challenge explorers.

[amazon_link asins=’0520249607′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’1447-5689-3485′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’df7d7662-b778-11e8-91ac-b153067ce621′]

Time & Talents Club Recipe Book

Eggs on Potatoes and Onions (Serves 6)

Recipe by Hilla JK Daruvala from Time and Talent Book.


6 eggs

1 lb potatoes

2 tbsp ghee

1/2 lb onions (slice thinly)

2 green chilies (chopped)

2/3 tbsp salt

1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves


Cut potatoes into small cubes. Heat ghee and fry onions for 2 minutes. Add potatoes and cook both vegetables till almost done. Add salt, chillies, and coriander leaves. Remove from fire and spread in a flat greased baking dish. Break six eggs on the potato mixture, sprinkle with salt, cover and keep on a low fire or in a slow oven till eggs are set. Serve hot.


The Time and Talents Club, 43 New Marine Lines, Bombay-20 (Mumbai) was founded in 1934 by the wives of affluent Parsis in the city who had free time on their hands, and who were determined to do something thoroughly worthwhile with it. They organised cultural and charity events, and worked tirelessly to ensure community involvement throughout.

Eating together has always been central in bringing a community together. The ladies first cookbook was published (a single sheet) in 1935. The 5th edition (1971) is a thick bound book of 25 cm x 19cm x 5cm; indexed by thumb notches cut into the paper. 

The sections of this book comprise:

Soups and beverages,
Eggs, Snacks, Savouries and Dips,
Meat and Poultry,
Vegetables, Salads and Dressings,
Rice and Curries,
Breads, Chappaties, Cakes and Biscuits,
Quickies, Desserts, Puddings and Sweets,
Jams, Preserves, Chutneys, Sauces, Home Bottling and Preserving
International dishes

First published in 1935, the Time & Talents Club Recipe Book’ contains 2,000 recipes, is 500 pages long, and dispenses wisdom from Shakespeare and Voltaire.

The Time & Talents Club Recipe Book is a tome you need two hands to carry. Though it began as a single-sheet cookbook, it has been republished six times over 40 years, between 1935 and 1975, and is now a hardbound doorstopper that is 500 pages long and home to over 2,000 recipes.

This is a cookbook deeply cherished by Parsis, not only because it is a collection of traditional recipes – it goes beyond restaurant menus and into the kitchens of traditional homes to offer intriguing and unique recipes like vaal ni dar with aloo na patra (bitter beans cooked with arum leaves) and dodhi no doombo (stuffed marrow or pumpkin) – but also because it is considered a commentary on the singular community.


Labour of love

The book’s origins lie in The Time & Talents Club, of Marine Lines Bombay. Founded in 1934 by Gool Shavaksha, the club, open to members of all communities, was predominantly full of Parsi women. Driven by social conscience but limited by agency, the women were determined to channel their cultural activities to charity. They put together The Time & Talents Recipe Book to document the community’s unique culinary traditions and their proclivity for a good meal. All proceeds from cookbook sales were donated to charity.

The book today is out of print, but will most likely be found on the bookshelves of any self-respecting Parsi cook. Our friend (and gifted chef) Farhad Karkaria, lent us his well-used copy, extensively marked with recipes he has tried and loved – “Their chicken liver pate is one I absolutely love! And a bheja masala on page 78 that is a favourite I keep returning to.”

Farhad grew up on stories of the club: “My friend’s grandmother, Jeru Patel, would visit the club whenever she was in Bombay. These women would meet every weekend, and bring three dishes each with them. From tasting 60-odd dishes each weekend, only three would make the cut into the cookbook. And they did this over several years, collecting recipes, and staying mostly true to the families they came from.”

The cookbook includes recipes from legendary Parsi chefs and authors like Bhicoo Manekshaw and Villie Mehta, who collected recipes from their mothers and mothers-in-law. Niloufer Ichaporia called it “the Bombay Bible…. a perfect window into the changing food-of-everywhere culinary culture”. Its recipes have been used by Parsis everywhere to teach themselves cooking, and find courage and solace in a foreign country, through the food of their hometown.


The book, which is almost encyclopedic in scope, is a decidedly different breed of cookbook from the 21st century versions that we are now accustomed to – the one that strives to be both equally at home in your kitchen and on your bedside table. The Time & Talents Club Recipe Book, right from the start, establishes itself as a cook’s book. Contrary to what its size might suggest, its practical, no-nonsense instructions are meant to be a companion in the kitchen, a reassuring voice as you’re fumbling your way through a long-forgotten Parsi recipe.

The book opens with a section that lays down the ground rules such as measurement conversions of all kinds between tablespoons and ounces, Celsius and Fahrenheit and between liquid and dry ingredients. The importance of these measurements is established with quotes that dot the page: “Measure for measure” (Shakespeare), “The mouth is an unlimited measure” (Lao Tse) and – our personal favourite – “Drink by measure, bread by pleasure”.

The book is categorised into 12 sections and while most of the categories are obvious, some seem forced. For example, Breads, Chappatis, Cakes and Puddings is a chapter unto itself, followed by Quickies, Desserts, Puddings and Sweets. There is even a section on International Dishes that includes the likes of Turkish Coffee and Zuppa di Vongole. Each section is preceded by a page of helpful hints, some of which are truly inspired – “Drop one or two marshmallows into a cup of black coffee. This is an excellent substitution for cream and adds flavor to the coffee.

To break the text, there are a few italicised quotes on every page that are meant to inspire you in your search for culinary nirvana. You may wonder, however, if the book may be a few hundred pages shorter had it not included so many quotes, but that would be missing the forest for the trees.

Worth the effort

The first dish we set out to make is, predictably, one with eggs – Eggs on Potatoes and Onions. The Parsi obsession with eggs is legendary and with good reason. It could be argued that no other cuisine has found as many creative ways to put the humble egg to use. The dish starts with sautéing potatoes and onions in ghee. A couple of eggs are then cracked over this mixture and baked in a gentle heat, until the potatoes turn golden with crisp corners and the yolks turn into pools of velvety, fudgy bliss. The recipe is very forgiving, versatile and utterly delicious.

Having established trust in the preciseness and reliability of the recipes, we opted for a more challenging recipe next – Bhatiarkhanna-na-Bhejan. The recipe unfortunately assumes that you know how to clean a sheep’s brain, which we didn’t. But besides this oversight, the instructions were sufficiently detailed and straightforward. A simple cocktail of ingredients, including jaggery and dried red chillies, were cooked and the brain was added to the mixture and fried. Although brain is an acquired taste, the resulting dish was perfectly cooked and the flavours well-balanced.

Even though The Time & Talents Club Recipe Book is best known as a resource for Parsi recipes, it is an invaluable to anyone with a keen interest in cooking or simply eating delicious, nutritious meals. After all, in the words of Voltaire, quoted in the book, the fate of the nation has often depended on the good or bad digestion of its prime minister.

Hints and Tips are bound into every chapter of this wondrous book; whose many contributors include both Indian and English names. A recipe for Kesri Penda (8 Pendas) nestles contentedly alongside one for Lemon Meringure Pie (serves 6). 

At the bottom of every page a quote is to be found; quirky bon mots such as p.377 (taken at random) “Dane dane per likhe hai, khanewala ka nam / On each grain, the name of the eater is written.”

Overall it is a fascinating book to read. I haven’t yet tried cooking from it. My overall impression is that it is a very practical book. The usual difficulties arise in, for example, not knowing the size of “a tin of sweet condensed milk”; but there again this is a recipe for Kulfi, so all I need to do is look in other books and make comparisons.

Some recipes might be something of a challenge to recreate in England; such as that for Delleh (Ethiopian mixed dry spices), which, to make 7-10 kilos requires significant quantities of berbere (dried red chillies), garlic, fresh ginger, onions, Sitab seeds (fresh if possible), salt, methi (Fenugreek), dhana, jeera, mustard seeds, ajmo, variali, ‘Kavabsini’, Hot pepper, black pepper, dry onions, dried basil (tulsi leaves), large black cardamons (elcho), black jeera, and soonth (or dry powdered ginger). I’m baffled by the broadness of the range in weight that the product is expected to fall into.

As ever it’s the detail catching the eye which is so fascinating. A “Miss Muffet’s Spider Pudding” lists 11 ingredients prior to directing “To make a spider, use 1 ½ grapes, and toothpicks for its legs. …

I made this for a thanksgiving dinner:

“A Time and Talents Club Silver Jubilee Competition Recipe”!

Book: Like sugar in milk

by Majlend Bramo

This is the story of the Parsis, a small community following one of the oldest religion on Earth – Zoroastrianism. A community that is also trying to survive against its diminishing numbers.

It is said that Zarthushtra, the prophet of Zoroastrianism, lived around 800 BCE and taught the core concept of Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds. This early religion found its influence in all monotheistic religions that followed.

The Parsis arrived on the west coast of India 1200 years ago, when their homeland, Persia, was invaded by the Arabs.
After settling in India, they moved to Mumbai where the majority now resides.
The risk that the community will disappear is real: in 1961 there were 110,000 Parsis, in 2011 the number dropped down to half – 57,000. The government of India too has taken unique measures to revitalize the community. Its Jiyo Parsi scheme provides free fertility help to Parsi couples trying to conceive babies.

When they arrived in India as refugees asking for asylum they promised to meld in the Indian society like sugar in milk. And so they did, from altering the landscape of Mumbai with numerous statues of great Parsi minds, to giving India some of the greatest industrial groups like Tata, Godrej, Wadia, Shapoorji Pallonji. The Parsis made India theirs as much as Indian embraced them as their own.

An example that Europe can learn from, especially in the times we are living in.

PRE-SALE price: 1800 INR – 24 EUR

Shipping will start on the 19th of March
for any inquiry please write to


About Majlend Bramo

Majlend Bramo is a documentary photographer based in Italy, traveling worldwide to document social issues. He has been working with agency Massimo Sestini News Pictures for 6 years in the News photography field, covering the major events in Italy and publishing with the main newspapers and magazines like The New York Times, Le Figaró, L’Espresso, Il Corriere della Sera, Oggi, La Stampa, The Sunday Times.

In the same agency he has worked as photoeditor and coordinator of the agency´s photographers.
In 2011 he has joined Italy´s National Order of Journalists.

Unsatisfied by the evanescence of news, he is now working on long term projects as a documentary photographer.

-Sony WPO Award 2017 in Professional, Daily Life, shortlisted finalist with “Like sugar in milk”

-Group exhibition at Piazza Castello, Turin, Italy with the work done for Unesco and Magnum Photos coordinated by Alex Webb, 2016

-Group exhibition at UNESCO La Morra (Piedmont, Italy) with the work realized during the photo residency with Magnum

-Group exhibition at CAMERA Torino with the work realized during the photo residency with Magnum

-Select for photo-residency with MAGNUM photographer Alex Webb on a new Unesco Heritage protected region in north Italy

-Selected for Noor Nikon Masterclass in Belgrade, Serbia 2015 with Stanley Greene, Andrea Bruce and Kadir van Lohuizen

-PX3 2014 Honorable Mention with “Sine Sole” project

-“Sine Sole” project screened during The International Photojournalism Festival of Perpignan – Visa pour l”Image 2014

-Exhibition at the Bratislava Month of Photography with the WPO shortlisted image

-“Brothers of Italy” shortlisted at Sony World Photography Organization Award 2014 in People category


Sign up for free Parsi Cuisine Newsletter Subscription

Are you on my newsletter list?

When you sign up – We are giving away a eBook to my subscribers.


Katy Dalal Cookbooks: “Jamva Chaloji”,”Seafood Fiesta” and “Vitality” (a book on vegetables and their nutritive content and benefits).

Archaeology and Catering:The Dalal Family

Came to know a lovely couple,the Dalals through friends.Kurush Dalal is an archaeologist and a caterer(and a humorous and jolly guy,quite evident from the photo taken by Kalyan Karmakar, above) while his wife Rhea Mitra-Dalal is a freelance content writer and also writes a food blog.

Kurush is the son of the well known author and archaeologist Katy Dalal, who has passed away.  It was she who started the business in 1976 and Kurush worked with her till he went away to Pune to complete his M.A and PhD.He then launched Dalal Enterprises in 1998 and there has been no looking back.

While his mother excavated Pre-Harrapan ruins in Northern Rajasthan,Kurush’s archaeology trips have been all over Maharashtra…Revdanda,Murud,Janjira,Vadgaon,Siddheshwar and recently to the Konkan…Chandore.He is able to give time to both food and archaeology thanks to the wind beneath his wings…his Bengali wife Rhea.

Kurush says his inspiration for catering comes from his mother and grandmother who were amazing cooks and a long list of aunts who cooked “real food”

His mother published “Jamva Chaloji”,”Seafood Fiesta” and Vitality (a book on vegetables and their nutritive content and benefits). I have copies of Jamva Chaloji and Jamva Chaloji 2.I am told that the first book had three editions and is now out of print.

The first book talks of Parsi wedding food and the call of the caterer at the beginning of the wedding feast “Jamva Chaloji”…meaning “come to eat”.I like the second book better as it has a lot more history….how Parsis came to India and lived at Sanjan near the Gujarat-Maharashtra border,how Parsis were into toddy farming and the concept of “Gambhars”.Kurush Dalal has catered for one such Gambhar,a community event started to get the people together as womenfolk and kids lived in villages and the menfolk in jungles.Here food is provided free and included Istoo,Papeta Ma Marghi and Dhansak Dal.
She talks of toddy which is the sap of the date palm and it reminded me of the sweets made with date palm jaggery by Bengalis.In her book she has included a recipe of Drumsticks cooked in Toddy.Parsis too used it to make sweets.

In these books,you will find unusual recipes such as Tarkari Per Eda (Eggs on Mixed Vegetables),Mud Fish Patia,Parsi Pora and Bawaji Nu Bhujan (Grandfather’s Barbecued Chicken)

Dalal Enterprises serves traditional Parsi,Bengali and Continental fare like Grilled Fish Fillets,Baked Vegetables in Tomato Concasse,Tuna Pasta Salad,Chicken in Red Wine and Vegetarian Paella.

I tried their Whole Stuffed Roast Chicken which was marvellous.It was plump,juicy and tender….stuffed with mince,apple,sultanas and a whole boiled egg.It was enough for six people!

The Boiled Vegetables that accompanied the chicken were also flavorful unlike the bland veggies that are served in most places.
When ordering,one has to give a day’s notice to them as they buy all ingredients fresh and make the dish.They deliver a minimum of four portions and each is quite substantial.
I can’t wait to try their Dhansak! They have received an award for being the Best Parsi Caterer!

Kurush Dalal

52 Belvedere Road,Mazagaon,Mumbai 400010

Bhicoo Manekshaw Cookbooks and a tribute to her passing away

by Vikram Doctor   April 17, 2013

Bhicoo Manekshaw, the food writer has passed away. She wrote really excellent, professionally done and well researched cookbooks, like her book on the food of her Parsi community. She also promoted good food in more tangible ways, through Basil Thyme, the Delhi cafe that she created as a place for simple, yet impeccable food. This column was written for last, most personal book, and is reproduced as a tribute to her:

I have to admit I was sceptical when I heard of the new Bhicoo Manekshaw cookbook that Penguin was publishing. Rs 1295? For a book on ‘continental’ cooking in the uncompromising style that almost no one I know still does? With no concessions to current health fads? And who would want an Indian book on that anyway when you could get Julia Child or some other Western author presumably closer to the source? And, finally, with a title, Feast of Love, that sounded like a corny kitchen romance?

Then I read the book and all my doubts melted like butter for béchamel sauce. Its a truly wonderful book and every one of my reservations are very well answered, though I still wonder how many people are likely to buy it. But Mrs. Manekshaw has been a valued culinary consultant at Penguin for some time, and perhaps, taking a cue from the title, the book is evidence of the very rarest kind of love of all, that between a publisher and an author. All we can be is grateful that Penguin has done this.

Mrs. Manekshaw’s book should be seen as part of a line of books, perhaps the last example we’ll ever see, which explains a style of cooking that’s derived from French restaurants and adapted to home cooks. Flora Annie Steel and Grace Gardiner’s The Complete Indian Housekeeper and Cook (1888) is one example, with more recent successors in the much beloved cookbook produced by the Time Talents Club in Mumbai, or Roshan Chagla’s recent Recipes From My Kitchen. But the real ancestor of Mrs. Manekshaw’s book is Colonel Kenney-Herbert’s Culinary Jottings from Old Madras (1878).

Misses Steel and Gardiner were writing for practical housewives, but the Colonel was writing for gourmets, and so, very definitely, is Mrs. Manekshaw. “This book is not about quick-thirty-minute cooking; nor is it a book of easy, thrifty recipes,” she states firmly. The Time Talents cookbook is for enthusiastic amateurs, but the Colonel brought a military professionalism to his cooking, and so too does Mrs. Manekshaw, both a graduate of the Cordon Bleu cooking in London and the wife of a senior air-force officer. (What has the airforce in particular done to enable two such excellent cookbook writers in Mrs. Manekshaw and Mrs. Bilkees Latif, wife of Air Chief Marshal I.H.Latif, and the expert on Hyderabadi cooking?)

Apart from writing cookbooks, like the Parsi cooking volume in Penguin’s regional cooking series, Mrs. Manekshaw has been a consultant to institutions as varied as Air India, the India International Centre and Basil Thyme, a restaurant that in its prime was the perfect place for simple yet sophisticated dining. This has informed her recipe selection in two ways: they are presented as menus, rather than just individual dishes (though of course you can pick them out as you like) and they are formal, even what’s rather disparagingly called ‘fancy’, but they don’t quite require the professional skills of restaurant cooks either. They do require some effort, but they can be done – and you can be sure they will be worth doing.

It’s true that people might need some persuading about that. These days such ‘conti’ food is mostly associated with stodgy club cooking or the tired concoctions of hotel coffee-shop kitchens. But the fault is not in the recipes, just the poor skills in these places and the corners that they cut. Properly made, with good ingredients and presented simply, with just the few accompaniments it needs, like a good salad or a decent bottle of wine, it’s truly hard to beat. Its not even that hard to do really, provided, as Mrs. Manekshaw says firmly in an initial section called ‘Boring Basics’ you take a time to learn these.

This section is worth the price of the book alone since it sets the difference between similar books from the West by showing how to do such recipes in a specifically Indian context. You’re not going to find Julia explaining the difference between beef and buffalo meat or how the Indian cooking pan called a lohri is the best one to use for sautéing. The book has many such great tips, often just mentioned in passing, but clearly born from deep experience. Such as the day Basil Thyme opened, but the electricity went off so she couldn’t bake the beer cake she’d planned. But displaying a poise that most Delhi cooks can only envy she invented a beer soufflé instead, and got many compliments, such as the one from a foreign lady who said she’d never found a beer soufflé anywhere in the world before. “Naturally! Where else would the electricity go dead on a restaurant,” writes Mrs. Manekshaw tartly.

This personal touch is the other wonderful part of this book. Mrs. Manekshaw has managed to do what few other Indian cookbook writers do – give it a personality, but not at the cost of being too intrusive or annoying. Even when her anecdotes are interesting in themselves, they always have a culinary point. So when, at the height of the Emergency, she ticks off Mrs. Gandhi for keeping a lobster soufflé waiting, its to point out the importance of timing with soufflés (Mrs. Gandhi, who knew the value of such things, took the reproof well). Nor does Mrs. Manekshaw become tiresomely exacting about her cooking, as some foodies can be. When a daughter’s boyfriend rejects one of her perfectly set omelettes because he says it’s not cooked enough, she tells us she mentally subtracts two points for him, but at the time just offered him fruits instead. (I admit I’d have subtracted 10 and probably not offered the fruits either).

There is one final reason to celebrate the book – but it’s also yet the same reason why many might not buy it. Cookbooks these days are obsessed with health, to the point where the food seems more medicine than something to enjoy. So after all those one-teaspoon oil only books I have to say there’s real pleasure in reading of the cups of cream that Mrs. Manekshaw regularly throws into her dishes, or her passionate defence of chicken skin, which most nutritionists insist be stripped off, but in which, as she points out, most of the real flavour of chicken lies (she even has a chicken skin omelette which is taking it rather far).

It would be easy to enjoy this just as nutritional defiance, yet I don’t think it is. The problem with such ‘healthy’ cooking is that it looks at just one, quasi-scientific, aspect of food, and not all the other reasons we eat it. Food is fuel, but its also the joy of eating it, the pleasure of the different ingredients that go into it, the connection made through it to the seasons that we eat it in, the people we share it with, the memories it evokes of past meals and yes, as that title I first thought was silly, the love that is embodied in it at a feast. To consider all these seems to me to be the really healthy, holistic way to eat, and this is what Mrs. Manekshaw has given us so memorably through all these menus of her life.

The Enchantingly Easy Persian Cookbook: 100 Simple Recipes for Beloved Persian Food Favorites Kindle Edition by Shadi HasanzadeNemati (Author)

[amazon_link asins=’B01N2KGTUL’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’1447-5689-3485′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’d41008d5-dc25-11e6-a67a-fd3a4fb54131′]

The Enchantingly Easy Persian Cookbook: 100 Simple Recipes for Beloved Persian Food Favorites Kindle Edition

by Shadi HasanzadeNemati (Author)