Fish wrapped in Banana Leaf with delicious Chutney: Parsi Patra ni Maachi

While vacationing in Dahanu a couple of years back, and driving back to Gujarat from the Maharashtra state. I saw fisher women selling promfrets, pronounced locally as pamplets on the roadside. Dahanu is a coastal town and a municipal council in Palghar district in the state of Maharashtra, India. It is located 110 km from Mumbai city.

They had freezers in their lovely home to store their catch.  However the fresh fish would be sold within 2 hours and if you wanted any pamplet or prawns you better rush there in the morning.

These fishermen and fisher women live along the coast line of Dahanu with their houses on the beaches. Living a simple life they make a living catching the ocean bounty. I talked with the mother and father whose son was coming to USA to study. Now that’s progress !

Patra ni Maachi chutney is very easy to make. With fresh cilantro, lemon juice and other ingredients.  The same chutney can be used to make chutney sandwiches at a later time.

Banana leaves are found in US in many Indian, Korean and Chinese Stores. The word “Patra” literally means “Leaf” in gujarati. “Maachi” means “Fish”. So do not be intimidated by the strange words, translated, the dish is  Fish wrapped in Banana Leaf with delicious Chutney.

I have found  pamplets in US in HMarts, called by a different name – plammuro. These are a bit yellow and not as white as found in India. They do have the same look, taste, texture and feel.

Some wiki facts:

Brama brama.jpg
Atlantic pomfret, Brama brama
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Suborder: Percoidei
Superfamily: Percoidea
Family: Bramidae

Pomfrets are perciform fishes belonging to the family Bramidae. The family includes about 20 species.

They are found in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, and the largest species, the Atlantic pomfret, Brama brama, grows up to 1 m (3.3 ft) long. Fish meat is white in color.

Several species are important food sources for humans, especially Brama brama in the South Asia. The earlier form of the pomfret’s name was pamflet, a word which probably ultimately comes from Portuguese pampo, referring to various fish such as the blue butterfish (Stromateus fiatola). This fish also called as ‘Maanji’ (ಮಾಂಜಿ) in Tulu and paplet in Urdu, Marathi and Nawayathi.

  • Several species of butterfishes in the genus Pampus are also known as “pomfrets”.
  • Some species of pomfrets are also known as monchong, specifically in Hawaiian cuisine.
  • Above referenced from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I found a substitute fish here in the US called “Palmunaro” in H-MART. They are similar to pamplet from India.

  Recipe for Patra ni Maachi with Leeli Chutney.

  • 2 large Pomfrets weighing together 900 gms. (other fish like Salmon can be substituted)
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Grind together for chutney:

  • 10 green chilies
  • 3 cups washed and chopped Cilantro (Kothmir)
  • 1 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 6 large cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Banana leaves or Foil
  1. Remove head of fish if desired and cut each fish into 6 slices.
  2. Cut large enough portions of banana leaves or foil to wrap each slice of fish.
  3. Hold each piece of banana leaf over a flame a few seconds to soften leaf and center rib.
  4. Grease one side of each portion of leaf or foil.
  5. Using about 1.5 teaspoons salt per fish, rub salt into each slice of fish.
  6. Coat each slice of fish with chutney.
  7. Lay a slice of fish on the greased side of piece of banana leaf or foil and roll it up.
  8. Tie with thread.
  9. Do the same with other slices of fish and steam or bake for 30 minutes or till fish is cooked.

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Nana Jhinga Nu Patiyu

From Deven Parlikar

My grandmother had such a strong influence in my culinary journey. As a Parsi woman married to a Maharashtrian man, she introduced the world of amazing Parsi food to all of us, her family!! One of my absolute favorite dishes she made was her “Nana jhinga nu Patiyu” – a Parsi Shrimp Scampi of sorts. And she always said that there are as many variations of this as there are Parsi cooks in this world.. so this is her recipe with my variation
Nana Jhinga Nu Patiyu
Shrimp 2 lbs
Ginger/Garlic Paste 1 tbsp
Chili Powder 2 tbsp
Turmeric 1.5 tsp
Onion 1 med sized chopped
Green Chili 1 chopped
Tomatoes 4 med minced
Tomato Paste 1 tbsp
Roasted Ground Cumin 1 tbsp
Jaggery 1 tbsp
Apple Cider Vinegar 1 tbsp
Curry leaves 2 sprigs
Mint 1/3 cup chopped
Cilantro 1/3 cup chopped
Avocado Oil 1/4 cup
Salt to taste
I use shelled and deveined prawns from Trader Joe’s here in the US. Their wild caught Argentinian Shrimp is plump and flavorful. I marinate the prawns in GG Paste, Chili powder, turmeric and salt and set aside. In a thick bottomed Kadhai or wok, heat avocado oil (you can use any oil you prefer except olive oil), add curry leaves and let them sputter, use a splatter screen, add the chopped chili and onion and cook until onion changes its color a bit. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they mush up, top it off with tomato paste and cook until oil separates. Add the mint and cilantro to this and mix well. You will get a wonderful aroma wafting in the kitchen even without any of the powder spices. Now add the marinated shrimp and mix well, add the roasted cumin, jaggery and vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar, but you can use Palm vinegar or malt vinegar) mix well and let it cook for about 7 minutes. This dish is sweet and tangy and very flavorful. Taste for tang and sweetness and adjust as necessary with jaggery and vinegar. I love to eat this with a crusty baguette although my Aji always served it with dhan daal (a parsi version of tadka dal) and chawal. We have both a baguette and rice and Daal tonight.
A mildly robust Estancia Merlot brings out the unique flavor of this dish, since this one has a nice bouquet of plums, bramble berries and red cherries that compliment well with the spices in the Patiyu.
Cheers to my beloved grandma in Heaven!! There isn’t a day that we don’t think of you😊

Shrimp Coconut Sauce called Patio

Served with Dhan Dar or Khichri 


  • 1 lb shrimp

  • 2 medium onions finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup Spring onions

  • 1/2 cup Spring garlic

  • 3 sprigs of Curry leaves

  • 3 medium tomatoes pureed

Dry masala / spice powders 

  • 1/2 tsp Haldi / Turmeric

  • 1/2 tsp Chilli powder

  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper powder

  • 1/2 tsp All spice / garam masala powder  or as per taste.

Grind together :

  • 1/2 cup grated Coconut

  • 1 cup Kothmir / Cilantro

  • Green chillies as per taste.

  • 1 tbspn Jeera / Cumin

  • 1-1/2 tbspn Dhaniya /Coriander powder

  • 5 cloves Garlic

  • 2 medium Onions


  • Heat oil in a pan.

  • Add curry leaves & sauté.

  • Add finely chopped onions & fry till light golden brown

  • Add little besan / gramflour & sauté

  • Add ground masalas & all above-mentioned dry masala powders except Garam masala powder.

  • Sauté till oil separates.

  • Add tomato puree, spring onions & spring garlic with greens & mix. Let it dry.

  • Add all spices / Garam masala powder & salt. Mix well.

  • Add shrimps & let it cook with little water till done.

  • Add vinegar & sugar to taste (optional)

More recipes for Fish and Parsi Seafoods in my cookbook – Parsi Cuisine: Seafood (Volume 1) Paperback

Bombay duck fish

India’s brilliant Bombay Duck

  • By Meher Mirza

Fiendishly ugly and pungently smelly, Bombay duck can be quite off-putting. So why is it so beloved throughout Mumbai?

21 January 2020

When I was a little girl growing up in Bombay, June was the month I looked forward to the most. It was the month when the charred, inky monsoon clouds, clipped with streaks of lightning, brushed away the fetid summer heat. It was when I went back to school with my new books, wrapped carefully in crackling-new brown paper. Best of all, June was also the month for the Bombay duck to grace the kitchens of Parsi homes such as mine. This delicious monsoon specialty, which is most plentiful and easiest to catch during the rains, was how I marked the time. It pinned the season into place.

But who are the Parsis? And what is a Bombay duck?

Bombay duck isn't a duck at all and is eaten by Parsis and other groups across Mumbai (Credit: Credit: Meher Mirza)

Bombay duck isn’t a duck at all and is eaten by Parsis and other groups across Mumbai (Credit: Meher Mirza)

Parsis are Zoroastrian immigrants from Iran who have called India home since the 8th Century AD, but it was under colonial rule in Bombay in the 19th Century that they truly flourished: Parsi entrepreneurs leveraged their aptitude for Western education and sensibilities, as influenced by the British, to obtain coveted positions in Indian industry and politics. They became titans of trade and commerce, and used their enormous influence to endow schools, colleges and hospitals for the poor.

Later, in the 19th Century, a second swell of Zoroastrians blew into Bombay. These canny entrepreneurs were the Iranis, who started the iconic Irani cafes that have traditionally served food to people of all castes, religions and genders. 

Like India itself, Parsi cuisine has absorbed the influences of a host of cultures who have made their mark on the subcontinent – the plinth possibly lies in pre-Islamic Iran, but it also draws from the Indian regions of Gujarat, Goa and the Konkan Coast, as well as Britain and even the Netherlands. Geographies and histories peel away with every mouthful of food.

Britannia & Co Restaurant, with its Union Jack flag and image of Queen Elizabeth II, is one of Mumbai's most famous Irani cafes (Credit: Credit: Indranil Mukherjee/Getty Images)

Britannia & Co Restaurant, with its Union Jack flag and image of Queen Elizabeth II, is one of Mumbai’s most famous Irani cafes (Credit: Indranil Mukherjee/Getty Images)

Thanks to Parsi settlements that rimmed the Indian coast, specifically in the state of Gujarat, fish became tightly yoked to Parsi culture. We eat chhamno (pomfret), boi (a sort of mullet), kolmi (prawn), levti (mud hopper), bhing (shad), rawas (a kind of Indian salmon) and bangra (mackerel), among others. And then there’s the Bombay duck. 

Fiendishly ugly, it is gelatinous and pink-skinned with a gaping maw

The Bombay duck is actually a fish native to the waters in and around Mumbai. Fiendishly ugly, it is gelatinous and pink-skinned with a gaping maw. Moreover, the root of its curious name is a great mystery. 

The word could have been a colonisation of the local Marathi name for the fish, bombil, used by the Maharashtrians that the British couldn’t twirl their tongues around. Or perhaps the name is an Anglicism born from the Marathi bazaar cry, “bomiltak” (loosely: “here is bombil”). But the most famous explanation is the one set out by Indian-born, British-Parsi writer, Farrukh Dhondy, in his book Bombay Duck. He believes that the name came from the British mail trains that huffed odoriferous orders of dried fish from the city to the interior of India. These wagonloads became known as “Bombay Dak”. (The word dak means “mail”.)

Bombay duck is actually a fish, and the root of its curious name is a great mystery (Credit: Credit: dashu83/Getty Images)

Bombay duck is actually a fish, and the root of its curious name is a great mystery (Credit: dashu83/Getty Images)

Love for this fish runs deep within the diverse cultures of the city. One of Mumbai’s earliest residents, Koli fishermen, have been salting and sun-scorching the fish by pegging them up on large racks fashioned from bamboo stilts called valandis for hundreds of years. The drying fish gave off a stench so strong that British colonisers believed that it was harmful to their health, although they later grew to love them. These wizened dried fish, eaten during the monsoon, offer bursts of concentrated, nearly raucous savouriness when rehydrated and cooked into curries or dry-fried as an accompaniment to dal and rice. Koli fishermen eat it fresh too, sheathed in fiery Koli masala, or semi-dried (bambooke bombil) and cooked into a spirited coconut gravy. 

Most seafood-loving communities of India’s western Konkan Coast, such as the East Indians and Maharashtrians, also find Bombay duck intrinsic to their cuisine. The East Indians grind it into a vinegary chutney or roast and fry it, sometimes stuffing it with a bellyful of tiny prawns. Some Maharashtrian communities fry it into a bhaji (fritter) while others stir fresh greens into the dried version or cook it with an onion tamarind masala.

For hundreds of years, Koli fishermen have pegged Bombay duck on large racks by the sea to dry them in the sun (Credit: Credit: Indranil Mukherjee/Getty Images)

For hundreds of years, Koli fishermen have pegged Bombay duck on large racks by the sea to dry them in the sun (Credit: Indranil Mukherjee/Getty Images)

Clearly, Bombay duck doesn’t just belong to Parsis, but it does feel almost totemic to our community. It makes its way onto our plates and into our songs, our books and even our names: Boomla (the Parsi word for Bombay duck) is a fairly common Parsi surname.

My father’s memories of growing up in the small Gujarati town of Bilimora, about 215km north from Mumbai, are knotted to my grandmother smoking dried fingers of Bombay duck over a charcoal fire until crisp enough to crumble into shards. These are the roasted, dried Bombay duck of my dreams – sawed back and forth over kitchen flames, their smoky flavour can’t be recreated on my Mumbai kitchen stove. 

Bombay duck doesn’t just belong to Parsis, but it does feel almost totemic to our community

Luckily, though, there are other ways to salve my craving for dried Bombay duck, such as Tarapori patio. Just a scallop’s worth of this spicy Bombay duck pickle enlivens a bland yellow dal and rice. Dried Bombay duck is also dunked into a stew called Tari ma Sukka Boomla that hums with the rasp of toddy (an alcoholic drink drawn from the sap of a palm tree), jaggery (a fudge-like unrefined sweetener), vinegar and dried red chillies.

There are myriad ways to cook, prepare and season Mumbai's pink-skinned fish (Credit: Credit: Meher Mirza)

There are myriad ways to cook, prepare and season Mumbai’s pink-skinned fish (Credit: Meher Mirza)

Fresh Bombay duck is also made into a gravied patio (pickle), or sometimes eaten as salty khara boomla that’s served in a pale, creamy gravy pearled with onions and eaten with rice.

My favourite though? Craggy clouds of pan-fried fresh fish, fragrant with lime and turmeric, their surfaces lacquered with semolina flour that has been bronzed by the hot oil. The Bombay duck prepared this way is usually eaten as a breakfast dish, paired with stacks of chockha ni rotli (rice-flour rotis) and gor keri nu achaar (sweet-sour mango pickle). The more staunch of stomach might accompany it with mutton mince, akuri (a sort of Parsi version of scrambled egg) or levti (mud skippers) fried on a griddle.

Yet, to taste Bombay duck in this particular style, you would either need an invitation to a Parsi home or to an old-time club such as the Mumbai landmark PVM (Princess Victoria and Mary) that’s densely populated by Parsi aunties and uncles – or a trip to the iconic Irani cafe Britannia & Co Restaurant. Dating to 1923 and something of a crumbling time-capsule, with its framed picture of Queen Elizabeth II and Mahatma Gandhi in a grand, Renaissance-style dining room, this vintage slice of Mumbai is one of the only places in Mumbai – perhaps the only place – that doesn’t require an invitation to eat Parsi-style Bombay duck.

The late Boman Kohinoor oversaw Britannia & Co Restaurant, one of the only places in Mumbai to eat Parsi-style Bombay duck (Credit: Credit: Indranil Mukherjee/Getty Images)

The late Boman Kohinoor oversaw Britannia & Co Restaurant, one of the only public places in Mumbai to eat Parsi-style Bombay duck (Credit: Indranil Mukherjee/Getty Images)

Here, it is cloaked in semolina and fried to a crisp on the outside, while its belly stays soft, pliant and collapsing within. Elsewhere, in Mumbai’s myriad non-Parsi seafood eateries, it would be deboned and cudgelled to flatness for maximum crunch. For many decades, customers also had the added charm of engaging with the restaurant’s charismatic Parsi owner, Boman Kohinoor, the self-proclaimed “biggest fan of the Royal Family” in India. (A giant picture of William and Kate hangs in the restaurant.) Until his recent death at the age of 97, Kohinoor often told me that I resemble the Duchess of Cambridge. (I don’t.) 

Parsis’ love for Bombay duck stretches back centuries. In 1795, a Parsi businessperson, Seth Cawasji, was recorded to have presented half a ton of dried Bombay duck and 30 dried pomfret fishes to the governor of Bombay. Later, in Navroji Framji’s 1883 recipe book, Indian Cookery for Young Housekeepers, she calls the fish “bombloes” and offers up two recipes: one, a dried fish stew with tamarind, ginger-garlic, chilli and fried onion; and the second, a chilli-fry of dried bombloes cooked with turmeric, coriander, pulped tamarind and green chillies.

Who names themselves after an ugly fish?

Much later, in 1975, Parsi musician-composer Mina Kava gave musical shape to the community’s love for the fish by writing a song called Bombay Duck, which begins: “Here’s a story simple / of a duck with a little dimple / he’s the strangest little duck / this little ducky never clucks.”

Mumbaikars' love for Bombay duck stretches back centuries (Credit: Credit: Indranil Mukherjee/Getty Images)

Mumbaikars’ love for Bombay duck stretches back centuries (Credit: Indranil Mukherjee/Getty Images)

It’s often the kitchen that carries the weight of a culture on its shoulders; food can be the purest distillation of a people. If one had to bend the prism towards Parsi food, what might it reveal? Our roving tongues, teeter-tottering across countries? The fluidity of our taste buds? Our chameleon-like propensity to adapt and assimilate? Our eccentricity? After all, who names themselves after an ugly fish?

Or perhaps all that matters is that every year, when the city’s summer cedes to wind-whitened monsoon, my anxieties loosen and I remember when I was a girl in school, dawdling over a plate of bombil. 

Culinary Roots is a series from BBC Travel connecting to the rare and local foods woven into a place’s heritage.

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read about our approach to external linking.


White Parsi SaaS and Brown Parsi Sas


2 lbs Cod or Prawns or Pomfret or Surmai slices
5 Cloves of Garlic
1/2 tsp Jeeru
1/2 Onion
1 Ladle Oil

Note: for a brown saas – I use Gram / Besan flour. See photo below.

5 tbsp Rice Flour (or white flour)
2 Glasses of Water
3 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp white apple cider vinegar for a white sas / balsamic brown vinegar for brown sas
Fresh chopped coriander
1 Green Chilly chopped fine


Chop 5 Cloves of Garlic to small bits, 1/2 tsp Jeeru, if you wish with half an Onion and Fry all this in 1 Ladle Oil till Onion is silver.

Add 5 tbls Rice Flour and keep roasting it without allowing it to turn Brown (Saas is best had white.) You can add full tiny red baby tomatoes to the same and roast but ensure you do not break them.

When it exudes a nice baked or roasted n sweet fragrance, add 2 Glasses of Water and simmer on slow flame. PLEASE REMEMBER THE MORE WATER YOU ADD, THE MORE IT WILL INCREASE IN CONSISTENCY BUT THE THICKNESS IS IMPORTANT.

On the side, beat an egg with 3 tsp sugar, 2 tsp salt and 2 tsp of brown vinegar.

Mix it into the Simmering Gravy.

The smell and taste of vinegar should be obvious but lingering, the taste should be sweet not sour or salty.

When all this is attained, add Cod or Prawns or Pomfret or Surmai to the liquid and add 2 cups water and keep simmering till fish is cooked.

Served best Topped with Finely Chopped Coriander, Tomatoes and Green Chilly and is normally enjoyed hot with Yellow Rice.

Brown Sas

Tip: Use brown vinegar like a balsamic vinegar for brown sas.

Friday Fiesta co-hosts this week are Antonia @ and Jhuls.

Bahman Mahino Meal

 Bahman mahino is the month (June) when some religious parsis do not eat meat.

Fish is allowed for a wholesome diet with vegetables.


Dry Bhindi (Okra)

~ Vaghareli Khichri ~

Fish Molle

Vicky Subu Kota

Fish Molle Contest Entry for Cuisinart 2019 Event

Fish Molle Contest Entry for Cuisinart 2019 Event

Fish Molle by Vicky Subu Kota


This recipe is from the state of Kerala, India. Kerala’s cuisine or any regional cuisine evolves based on native ingredients. This dish represents the region’s abundant supply of fish and coconut.

Serves 4 – 6
• 1 ½ pounds fish fillet such as catfish or sea bass
• 1 cup canned coconut milk,  divided
• ¼ cup vegetable oil
• 4 green cardamoms, slightly crushed to
open the shell
• 10 curry leaves
• 1 cup sliced onions
• 1 – inch piece ginger, julienned
• 1 – 4 green chilies such as serrano, cut lengthwise into two
• 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
• 1 teaspoon black pepper corns, slightly crushed
• 1 tomato, finely chopped
• 1 teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon turmeric
• 1 teaspoon lime juice

Clean the fish under cold running water, pat dry with paper towels, cut into large chunks, and set aside. Dilute ½ a cup of coconut milk with ¾ cup of water and set aside until needed.
Heat oil in a wide 10-inch skillet over medium high heat. Add cardamom and curry leaves. Fry for a minute. Add sliced onions, green chilies and julienned ginger. Sauté until onions are translucent. Add ginger garlic paste and pepper corns. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt and turmeric. Cook until tomatoes are soft for about 2 – 3 minutes. Add diluted coconut milk. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 – 7 minutes. Add fish pieces in a single layer and cook for 8 – 10 minutes or until fish are cooked. Stir in the rest of the ½ a cup of coconut milk in and heat through. Stir in lime juice. Season to taste. Serve  with plain white rice.

Cook’s Note: Green cardamoms. and whole green chilies are added for flavor only and are not meant to be eaten.

Enjoy! Wishing you all Happy Cooking!


Co-hosts this week on FridayFiesta are Antonia @ and Liz @ Spades, Spatulas & Spoons.

How to fry Levti (a very tiny freshwater fish found in Surat Gujarat India)

500 grams Levti
3 tsp Chilli Garlic Paste (see essential masala of parsi cooking)

1 tsp salt

Lemon juice or wedges of lemons

Oil for frying

Non stick pan or Iron Tava


  1. Wash the levti fish in several washes of water till clean.

  2. Marinate Levti in Chilli Garlic Paste (see essential of parsi cooking)

  3. Keep overnight for maximum flavor

  4. Heat a little oil on a tava or non-stick pan

  5. Add very little levti and fry till cooked (about 3 minutes, do not overcook)

  6. Drain on a paper towel and serve in a plate

Enjoy hot ot cold with a dash of lemon juice




Bombay Duck (Boomla) Cutlets

Taja Boomla Cutlets from Vividh Vani. Only change in the recipe is that I’ve barely used any oil while frying.


by Kainaaz R. Patell

6 big boomlas or 12 medium sized
2 cups Kothmir Cilantro washed and chopped fine
3 Big green chillies

1 tsp Ground pepper
4 eggs
Bread crumbs or ravo as per requirement
Rice flour and ghee as per requirement

Grind chopped kothmir and chillies or cut very finely. Break 1 egg in a plate and beat it well.

Clean and wash the boomlas. Cut each open on ONE side only and carve out the kanta from the middle with a sharp knife. Cut each boomla into 3 pieces if big, or 2 pieces if medium sized. Mix 2 tsp salt into them and arrange them in a big sieve. Put a fitting lid over them so as to squeeze/ press them tight. Keep for 15 minutes. Then apply rice flour and wash them well.

Add kothmir, chillies and pepper paste and the beaten egg and mix well. Roll each boomla in ravo or bread crumbs, press well and roll again 2 times.

Break the remaining 3 eggs in a big plate, beat them to a fine mix. 1 pinch of salt for each egg. Place each boomla carefully in the mixture. Using hand or use the spatula. Turn carefully on the other side with spatula, or pour egg mixture on the upper side with a spoon to cover the boomla well.

Heat oil and when properly heated, place each boomla carefully with a spatula. Cook on a slow fire. When 1 side is done, turn it over and fry the other side.

Chutney and Salmon with a new twist


  • 6 – 8 Salmon Fillets
  • 2 tsp Red Chilli powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Olive Oil as needed
  • Baking Dish
  • Prepared Creamy Coconut Chutney

Method – Assemble the Baked Salmon Dish:

  1. Spread Olive oil in a baking dish.
  2. Mix turmeric, red pepper and salt over 4 salmon fillets.
  3. Spread a thick layer of chutney in the baking dish.
  4. Place the salmon fillets on this chutney.
  5. Drizzle olive oil over the salmon fillets.
  6. Spread more chutney on top.
  7. Bake on 350 degress F for 25 minutes or until done.
  8. Layer the prepared chutney with marinated salmon

This chutney may be used on Patra ni Maachi, Salmon Baked Fish, Sandwiches, Potato Pattice and as a condiment.

Creamy Coconut Chutney
Creamy Coconut Chutney
Fried Fish

Fried Pomfret (from cookbook)

Fried Promfret

Serves – 4
Preparation time – 10 minutes;
Marination time – 45 minutesIngredients:

Silver pomfrets – 1/2 kg, cleaned and drained well, make small slant cuts over the skin (you may want to use any other fish of your choice that is available)

Turmeric powder – 1/8 teaspoon

Red chilli powder – 3 teaspoons

Black pepper powder – 1 teaspoon

Ginger – 1/2 inch piece, finely chopped and crushed to a smooth paste

Vinegar – 1 teaspoon

Salt – 1/2 teaspoon

Oil – for shallow or deep frying in batchesMethod:Mix together well all the ingredients except oil along with a few teaspoons of water to a thick and fine paste.

Apply the marinade as a very thin layer on both sides of the fishes and marinate it for 45 minutes.

Shallow or deep fry the fishes in batches on both sides until golden brown and drain the oil.


This is a sample recipe from our cookbooks

Health Benefits of Dry or Fresh Boomla, Bombil

Dried Boomla
Dried Boomla looks like this.


Recipe for the Bombay Duck Pickle

(Dried Salty Fish  Pickle)
The Parsi community loves Seafood and this Bombay duck patio preparation shows their desire to eat fish in all seasons. The native Fish called Boomla (or Bombay Ducks) is abundant in the rainy season in Tarapore, Mumbai and other places. The villagers dry and salt the boomlas to preserve them. This way this Fish can be enjoyed all year long.
100 pieces of Bombay Ducks- dried (Boomla or Bombay ducks are dried salty fish)
250 gm Kashmiri Chilies
1/4 cup chopped Garlic
2 tbsp chopped Ginger
1 kg cooking Oil
1 bunch Curry leaves (clean and remove stems)
2 pods ( whole) Garlic
1 inch Ginger
2 tsp Salt or to taste
1 tsp Turmeric powder (Haldi)
3-4 sprigs Curry leaves-clean and remove stems
2 cups Vinegar
Wash Bombay Ducks, in Vinegar and drain well.
Grind the Chilies, Garlic, Ginger, Salt and Turmeric to a paste.
Heat the Oil and fry the Fish over high heat till brown.
Drain it off the Oil and keep aside.
Fry the Curry leaves in the same Oil, until they turn dark brown.
Take them out of the Oil and keep aside. In the remaindered Oil, add the ground paste and stir fry till fat separates.
Add the fried Bombay Ducks. Cook for 15 minutes over slow fire.
Finally add the fried Curry leaves mix well and shut off the heat. Store in an airtight jar.

More recipes for favorites like Parsi Tarapori Patio, Stories are in my cookbook. 

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Fresh Boomla looks like this:

Fresh Boomla
Fresh Boomla




















Health Benefits of Boomla

Bombli Tawa fry bombay duck fish fry

– By Vahchef @

Dry Bombil Curry and How to clean Dry Bombil

How to clean and cook fresh boomla

Laughter and Music 🙂 by Bombay Duck – Uma Pocha & Chorus. Music: Mina Kava

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.


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 ..

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.

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

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.

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80 Biryanis around the world

Best Biriyani Around the world and its Origin
Biryani was originated in Iran (Persia) and it was brought to South Asia by Iranian travelers and merchants. Local variants of this dish are popular not only in South Asia but also in Arabia and within various South Asian communities in Western countries.

The spices and condiments used in biryani may include, but are not limited to, ghee, nutmeg, mace, min, pepper, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, coriander, mint leaves, ginger, onions, and garlic. The premium varieties include saffron. For a non-vegetarian biryani, the main ingredient that accompanies the spices is themeat—beef, chicken, goat, lamb, fish or shrimp. The dish may be served with dahi chutney or Raita, korma, curry, a sour dish of eggplant (brinjal) , boiled egg and salad.

The difference between biryani and pullao is that while pullao may be made by cooking the items together, biryani is used to denote a dish where the rice (plain or fried) is cooked separately from the thick sauce (curry of meat or vegetables). The curry and the rice are then brought together and layered, resulting in a dish of the contrasting flavors of flavored rice (which is cooked separate with spices) and intensely flavored sauce and meat or vegetables.

What differentiates a Biryani from a Pilaf is that in a Biryani, the rice and meat with vegetables are cooked in layers whereas in a Pulao, the rice is mixed with the meat and vegetables and cooked together. Pilaf appears to be native to India, whereas Biryani is the Mughal influence in the Indian Subcontinent.

Hyderabadi Biryani

Non-vegetarian Hyderabadi biryani is savored in all parts of India and forms an integral part of Indian cuisine. The Nizam’s kitchen boasted of 49 kinds, which included biryani made from fish, quail, shrimp, deer and hare. The most famous of all, Hyderabadi Biryani is called the “Kacchi Yeqni” Biryani as both the marinated meat and the rice are cooked together.

Non-vegetarian Bhatkali biryani is a special biryany savored in all parts of coastal Karnataka and forms an integral part of Navayathcuisine. The Bhatkal’s biryani evolved from the Bombay biryani which was further refinedto give a distinct color taste and flavour. Bhatkali biryani can be of various kind, which include biryani made from either mutton, fish, chicken, beef, or shrimp. The biriyani is quite different from others across India in that the onions are used in larger proportions compared to other regions. The dish is cooked with the meat and onion based sauce being at the bottom of the cooking pot with a thick layer of rice on top, the rice and meat are mixed before serving. Local spices such as cardamom, cloves and cinnamon are used to get the distinct aroma.
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Kacchi Biryani

Kacchi Biryani is a special preparation of the dish. It is called ‘Kacchi’ because this style originated in the Kutch region of the Subcontinent.[Kacchi Biryani is same as Kacchi Yeqni” means raw marinated meat cooked with rice] It is cooked typically withgoat meat (usually ‘khasi gosht’, which is meat from castrated goats and often simply referred to as mutton) or with lamb, beef and rarely with chicken. The dish is cooked layered with the meat and the yoghurt based marinade at the bottom of the cooking pot and the layer of rice (usually basmati rice) placed over it. Potatoes are often added before adding the rice layer. The pot is usually sealed (typically with wheat dough) to allow cooking in its own steam and not opened till ready to serve. The challenge in the art of cooking kacchi biryani is to cook the meat till tender without overcooking the rice. When serving up the dish the chef takes a bit of rice from the top layer and meat from the bottom layer and deftly serves it up together. A boiled egg and mixed salad often accompanies the dish. This is one of the most popular delicacies of old Dhaka, Bangladesh and Hyderabad, India. It is featured in wedding feasts in Bangladesh and is usually served with borhani, a spicy drink.

Lucknowi (Awadhi) Biryani

Lucknow and biryani have an almost symbiotic relationship. The Lucknow (Awadhi) biryani is the footprint that the Muslims of theMughal Empire left on the northern part of India. It originated in the village ‘Bare Next’ and although it originated in the North, Virani Biryani has also picked up flavors of the South. The Awadhi Biryani is also known as “Pukka” Biryani as the rice and meat are cooked separately and then layered. Its taste is diffrent from the other places. It cooked into the big patilas of Tamba.In the last time of cooking they put some ashes on the lid of patila/Degh to all round cooking.

Moradabadi Biryani

This type of biryani is only found in the Moradabad city of the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. It is also known as Moradabadi Yakhni Biryani. This is so because, it is prepared with pre cooked meat boiled with spices(masalas and khushboos), which is known as Yakhni(meat stock). A slightly different version of this biryani is also found in Delhi, which is made up of slightly different spices and a different variety of rice. A special thing about this biryani is that it is flavoured with nutmeg, mace and Butter chillies(locally known as “pili Mirch”), which are not widely used in the Delhi version of the Moradabadi Biryani, and this makes it different.

Calcutta Biryani

The third in the list of famous Biriyanis, Calcutta or Kolkata biryani evolved from the Lucknow style when Wajid Ali Shah, the lastnawab of Awadh was exiled in 1856 to the Kolkata suburb of Metiaburj.[3] But he did not forget bringing his personal Chef with him as he was very particular about his food. Due to recession Aloo (Potato) had been used instead of meat. Later on that has been an iconic difference in Calcutta Biryani, though meat is also served along with it. In addition, Calcutta biriyani is much lighter on spices (Masala) than compared to other Biryani’s.

Sindhi Biryani

The Sindhi biryani variant of Biryani is very popular in Pakistani cuisine and Biryani of all types are eaten in all parts of Pakistan and the world. In Pakistan Biryani enjoys substantial popularity, particularly in the cities of Karachi and Hyderabad, where the chicken version is popular. Most Biryani cuisines in Pakistan combine elements of Sindhi Biryani such as the common use of Yogurtrecipes. The national flag carrier, PIA, also serves this cuisine for most of its western bound flights to give foreigners a feel of Pakistani cuisines.

There is also another meat free version prepared in the Punjab and northern areas of Pakistan that has proved quite popular and to meet the dietary requirements. The dish offers the usual local vegetables as well as a sour yogurt to cool off the stomach from the spices.

Memoni Biryani

Memoni biryani was developed by the Memon ethnic group and is very similar to Sindhi Biryani. It has variations though, among families, as do most biryanis, though the Bantva Memons community most commonly makes biryani in this form. Memoni biryani is made with lamb, yogurt, fried onions, and potatoes, and less tomatoes compared to Sindhi biryani. Memoni biryani also uses less food coloring compared to other biryanis, allowing the rich colors of the various meats, rice, and vegetables to blend without too much of the orange coloring. Memoni biryani is especially notable in Karachi, Pakistan.


Tahari, Tehri or Tehari is the name given to the vegetarian version of Biryani and is very popular in Pakistani and Indian homes. In Bangladesh, Tehari refers to Biryani prepared by adding the meat (usually beef) to the rice as opposed to the case of traditional Biryani, where the rice is added to the meat. In Kashmir tahari is served out-doors on roads and streets. This is done so that a traveler, who may be hungry, can eat this to satisfy his hunger.
The Kozhikode Biriyani variant of biryani is very popular in Kerala cuisine introduced by Muslims. This preparation is popular across the coast of Kerala—the Malabar region particularly. The biriyani may contain beef, chicken, mutton or fish as the main ingredient. The biriyani is quite different from others across India in that the rice used is generally mixed with ghee to produce a very rich flavour. Although local spices such as nutmeg, cashew, cloves and cinnamon are used, there is only a small amount of chilli (or chilli powder) used in the preparation making the dish much less spicy in comparison to other biriyanis from across India. It is also known as Malabar biriyani, which is the made all along the Malabar area in Kerala from Kozhikkodu (Calicut) to Kasargod, with minor or no taste variation.


In Myanmar, biryani, known in Burmese as danpauk/danbauk or danpauk htamin , is popular. Popular ingredients are cashew nuts, yogurt, raisins and peas, chicken, cloves, cinnamon, saffron and bayleaf. In Burmese biryani, the chicken is cooked with the rice.Biryani is also eaten with a salad of sliced onions and cucumber. In Yangon, there are several restaurant chains that serve biryani exclusively. It is often served at religious ceremonies and luncheons. Biryani in Myanmar utilizes a special rice grown domestically rather than basmati.

Thai Biryani

In Thailand, Thai Muslims have popularized a local variety of the dish, known as Khao mok, which is popular throughout the country. Chicken and beef are the most common form but there is also a goat version that is eaten almost exclusively by the Muslim population. Along with Thai Massaman curry (Musulman Curry) and satay it is one of the most notable Muslim Thai dishes. Biryani is also another name for heena.

Sri Lankan Biryani

In Sri Lanka Biryani is most popular amongst Muslims and is usually served with chicken, beef or mutton. In many cases, Sri Lankan biryani is much spicier than most Indian varieties. Popular side dishes include Acchar, Malay Pickle, cashew curry and Ground Mint Sambol.

A popular form of biryani uses string hoppers as a substitute for rice. It is often served with scrambled eggs or vegetables.

Dam Pokht/Dam-pokhtak

During the Safavid dynasty, a dish called “Berian Polo” was made with lamb or chicken, marinated overnight – with yogurt, herbs, spices, dried fruits like raisins, prunes or pomegranate seeds – and later cooked in a tannour oven. It was then served with steamed rice.

In its more original form, in some cities the dish is known as “Dam Pokht/Dam-pokhtak“. The compound in Persian means “steam-cooked”—a reference to the steamed rice that forms the basis of the dish. This name is still in common use in Iran alongside “beriani“. In Southeast Asian countries such as Burma/Myanmar, this older, general Persian term is in common use, as ‘danpauk‘.

In the central Iranian city of Isfahan, Berian is made with cooked mutton or lamb, which is stewed and minced separately, and then grilled in special small round shallow pans in an oven or over a fire. The meat is generally served with powdered cinnamon in a local bread, usually “noun-e taftoun”, but also occasionally “noun-e sangak”.

Iraqi Biryani

Al Biryani is one of many famous dishes from the traditional Iraqi kitchen. It is widespread in Iraq as well as many other middle eastern countries. It is also very popular and considered a staple cuisine throughout the Kurdish territories. Different variations of biryani can be found in the different regions of Iraq. It is believed that the cooking style of “Dum” or “cooking in steam” style of cooking has its origins in Arabia.Typically with Iraqi biryani the rice is usually saffron based with either lamb or chicken being the meat or poultry of choice. Iraqi biryani is usually quite mild in terms of its spicyness when compared to its south-east Asian variants. Some variations include vermicelli or mixed nuts and raisins spread liberally over the rice.
Malaysia’s Nasi Beriani
In Malaysia and Singapore, the dish is called Nasi Beriani or Nasi Beryani or Nasi Briani or Nasi Minyak. It is commonly served with Rendang dish and Sirap Bandungbeverage especially during wedding receptions of Muslim Malays community. Nasi Beriani Gam, a special version of the dish is famous and favourite in the southernMalaysian state of Johor, especially in Muar and Batu Pahat.


In Singapore, the dish is called Nasi Briyani by the Malays or simply Briyani by the Indians (note the different spelling and pronunciation: “briyani” as opposed to “biryani”). It is a very popular dish amongst the local population, especially Singaporean Indians and Malays, being a choice serving at weddings of both these communities. There are also speciality restaurants, commonly in Little India and Arab Street, and also regular Indian Muslim food stalls in coffee-shops all over the island that serve several types of briyani; distinctly Indian or Malay. The very common types come in either the chicken, mutton or fish versions, always accompanied with Achar (a pickled combination of cucumbers, onions, red chillies and pineapples) or Raita and a hard-boiled egg (in South Indian versions only). There are also Afghan, Iranian and Turkish manifestations of this dish available in some restaurants.

Filipino Dish

There’s a version of Biryani in the Philippine’s Pampanga region on the northern island of Luzon and in the predominantly Muslim areas of the southern island of Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago. The Kapampangan Nasing Biringyi is related to the Malay Nasi Beriani, see Kapampangan cuisine.

In the southern island of Mindanao, biryani style rice dishes are served during big celebrations.

Thallapakatti Briyani

This variety of briyani is quite popular in south India particularly in Dindigul, Tamil Nadu.There are quite a number of eateries serving this type of briyani. Thallapakatti literally means turban in Tamil.

Dindigul Biriyani
Originating around Dindigul in Tamil Nadu, India is prepared using a small rice called seeraga samba and with special ingredients.

Shrimp Biryani
Shrimp Biriyani ~ Also it called Baluchi Biryani.

This particular variation of Biryani brings out the tender and delicate flavor of shrimp. Unlike other kinds of biryanis, it’s quicker to prepare and does not require long hours of complex marinating procedures. It’s usually served with a side of baingan masaledar.

Fish Biryani

The Fish Biryani is has same spices as Sindhi Biryani or Shrimp Biryani and uses different varieties of fish instead of shrimp,beef, mutton of chicken. In Europe and North America, salmon is the most popular fish used in Fish Biryani. It is also known as fish khichdi in Britain.

Daal Biryani

The Daal Biryani is offers the addition of Daal to the ingredients of vegetable biryani. Addition of daal along with basmati rice, colorful vegetables, spices and fragrance enhances nutritional value to make it a sumptuous dish.
Other Types

Bangladeshi home-made beef biryani

Iraqi Biryani (as served in Amman,Jordan)

A Pakistani version of the Bombay biryani.

Sri Lankan Chicken Biryani

Chicken Dum Biryani

Sindhi biryani from Pakistan

Iranian Biryani’s (Isfahan)

A dish of Burmese biryani (locally known as danpauk),
as served at Kyet Shar Soon in Yangon, Myanmar

Nasi Biryani sold in Bukit Batok,Singapore

A fish biryani cooked in Pakistani style

Healthy Patrani Machchi


A healthy Patra-Ni-Machchi recipe, only with some mustard oil to give flavor. Pomfret wrapped in a tangy marinade and steamed in a banana leaf.


  • 1 fresh pomfret (medium sized)Banana leaves

    For Marinade:

    4 Tbsp curd

    1/2 Tbsp turmeric

    Some chopped garlic

    1 1/2 Tbsp mustard oil

    Chilli flakes

    1/2 Tbsp salt

    Half lemon, juice

    For Garnish:

    Green chillies



Mix all the ingredients to make the marinade for the fish.

Coat the fish properly with the marinade mixture. Let it rest for about 10 minutes, so that the flavors assimilate well.

Wrap the fish nicely in a banana leave and tie it up.

Place it in the steamer and let it steam gently for about 20 – 25 minutes.

Once done garnish with lime wedges, coriander and green chillies.

Patrani Ni Machi

Patrani machi is a Parsi steamed fish preparation. Fish coated in a coconut chutney mixture, wrapped in banana leaf and steamed.

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 Recipe

Creamy Coconut Chutney

Creamy Coconut Chutney

This chutney may be used on Patra ni Maachi, Salmon Baked Fish, Sandwiches, Potato Pattice and as a condiment.


4 tbsp desiccated coconut
1 cup cream of coconut
2 small bunches Coriander
4 green Chilies
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp Salt
I lime, juice of
2 tsp cumin seeds
4 cloves Garlic roasted
1/4 black pepper
3 chopped green chillies
1 tsp vinegar (white)


Grind all the above ingredients either in a chopper or blender with enough water, to make a smooth paste.

Taste to your liking adding more sugar and/or lemon juice, add salt to your taste.