Cooking on Valentine’s Day can be a gift from the heart
I would like to take you on a journey into the culture, and nuances of the Parsi Cuisine of India. I would like to present to you the famous Story of Parsi immigration (into India) and their welcome with “Sugar in the Milk”.
One of the oldest stories of Sugar and Milk in Parsis (Parsi / Parsee Zoroastrians) folklore, comes from the time when they came over from Persia (modern day land of Iraq and Iran and other countries) to save themselves and their religious faith. They landed in Sanjan a port in the Indian State of Gujarat. The King Jadhav Rana, who was the ruler of the land and a good one. The language of Indians and Persians was different, so to welcome the strangers and communicate that the land was already filled with people to the brim, he sent them a full glass of milk. The Zoroastrian priests immediately got the message and since they were peace loving religious people, they wanted to send back a message that they would make the land and community richer and more prosperous by their good values, knowledge and hard work. The Parsis added sugar to the glass of milk. The King Jadhav Rana was so impressed with this gesture that he granted them asylum and welcomed them with gifts and helped them settle in the new land of India. Parsis thus settled and assimilated, blended in India like sugar in the milk.
Parsis even though a minority, have enriched the Indian economy, even fighting in the independence movement with Mahatma Gandhi against the British Rule. The major industrialists like the Tata’s, Godrej and Dadabhai Navroji are among the most well-known Parsis.
The Indian and global Parsi community is well-known, for its charity, philanthropy and support for good causes. Their core belief is “Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds”. In keeping with their promise to King Jadhav Rana in 936 CE, at the time of being provided shelter, the Parsis have endeavored to sweeten the country by their good deeds.
You may have heard of many Parsis, including the rock icon and lead singer of Queen – Freddie Mercury, Harvard University’s Director of the Mahindra Humanities Center – Dr. Homi Bhabha and the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonic Orchestra’s Conductor – Zubin Mehta. The Tata Company is one of the largest in the world and now owns premier automotive brands like Land Rover and Jaguar. The founder of the business empire was a Parsi: Jamshedji Tata.
The Parsi connection to the British Royal family spans generations. Queen Elizabeth of England, Prince Charles, Prince William and Kate Middleton enjoy Parsi banquets held in their honor.
Navroze on March 21 the day of equinox marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the year in the Zoroastrian Fasli and Kadmi Calendar. The Parsis who immigrated to India celebrate the same on March 21st each year and the festival is called Jamshedi Navroze. Falooda drink or Rose Milk is enjoyed to mark the celebration of spring with nature’s Tookmuria (subja seeds), Sev, Milk, Ice-Cream and Rose.
Over 400 Recipes and Stories are available in Rita’s Parsi Cuisine Cookbooks. These are a labor of love. The cookbooks began in an effort to maintain and preserve Parsi 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.
Cookbooks on Parsi Cuisine are sold on Amazon and at ParsiCuisine.com
on the web at www.ParsiCuisine.com
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.
Rita Jamshed Kapadia has the recipe blog established 1999, ParsiCuisine.com, 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 12 individual series cookbooks with matched digital e-cookbooks; She was recently invited to Carlisle’s Gleason Library and the Boston Athenaeum, Boston, MA to demonstrate and talk about Parsi Food. You can follow the author on Twitter @ParsiCuisine and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ParsiCuisine.
Simple watermelon and feta cheese kebabs.
The flavor of watermelon and feta cheese explodes in your mouth. Try it sometime.
1 cup cubed watermelon pieces
1 cup cubed feta cheese
Drink Indian Cumin Lassi
Salted Lassi is healthy and nutritious for your body. This drinks is like the indian chaas which is very good for the digestion. Enjoyed as a breakfast drink to cleanse the body of toxins.
Plain Yogurt 1 cup
Water 1 cup
Coriander leaves 3
Cumin powder a pinch
Salt to taste
Method of preparation:
Wash coriander leaves and grind them with little amount of yogurt using a juice blender.
Add remaining yogurt, cumin powder, a cup of water, salt and blend again thoroughly.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve immediately.
~ Dahi Aanthelu Kaju Gos ~
(Curds Marinated Smoked Tender Lamb in Cashew Cream)
by Rohinton Batlivala
▪️1 kg tender baby goat mutton (shoulder portion). Clean n cut into large chunky pieces – ‘meat-on-bone’. Wash in 3 running waters with a sea salt rub before the last rinse. Keep aside in boiyu (colander) to drain out.
▪️4-5 large onions cut fine (Vagharno kando) fried crisp golden brown. Keep aside
▪️2 tblsn freshly stone-crushed ginger/garlic paste.
▪️1 cup curds
▪️100-125 gms broken cashew nuts blended in a mixie to a smooth thick creamy paste with just about enough water and keep aside.
▪️1 tomato cut small n fine (optional)
▪️1/2 cup freshly cut cilantro (kothmir) (optional)
▪️1/2 tsp nutmeg pwdr or grated nutmeg
▪️Oil + pure desi ghee
MARINATE the mutton with salt, g/g (as above), 1/2 tsp haldi, 2-3 tsp red chili pwdr (Kashmiri), 1/2 tsp jeeru pwdr, 1-2 tblsp sakelu dhana pwdr, 1-2 large tblsp full biryani/tandoor masala (I always use only Jeff’s ‘Sunday Special’ masala for the last 20-25 years as did my mum from many years before), 1/2 tsp full All Spices Garam Masala pwdr (agn Jeff’s), 1 cup curds, 2 tblsp crisp golden fried onion barsihta (crushed) and 2 small ladles of oil (I use Leonardo Brand ‘All Cooking’ Olive Pomace Oil). Rub the masalas, crushed fried onions n salt along with the curds n oil well into the meat and leave to marinate for atleast 4-6 hrs or best left overnight in the refrigerator but remember to remove from the fridge atleast half an hour before you start cooking.
In a thick bottomed pan or pressure cooker add 2 tblsp desi ghee on medium to high flame and splutter in it 2-3 small bay leaves, 4-5 green cardamoms, a thick stick of cinnamon, 2-3 star anise, 4-5 cloves and 1/2 tsp full peppercorns then immediately add in the marinated mutton pieces first and then after a minute or two of roasting n stirring continuously add the marinade masala too.
Add 1/2 glass water into the empty marinade dish to wash up all the leftover marinade to use later. Now fry well stirring the pot frequently for atleast 5-7 min then add in the remaining crisp golden fried onion and continue cooking on medium to high flame for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato n cilantro (both optional) and continue roasting stirring occasionally adding little little leftover marinade masala water lowering the flame to medium to sim.
After about 12-14 minutes in all frm the start when u see oil beginning to float, add in the cashew paste and keep stirring to mix it all up well. Add 1/2 tsp nutmeg powder or simply grate a little bit of nutmeg over it like we do for our sev n ravo n mix it in. When it all begins to bubble again, let cook now on full sim adding more water frm washing up the leftover cashew paste in the mixie.
After 3-5 minutes of sim cooking chk for salt and adjust the taste as per your requirement then add desired quantity of water (1-1.5 glasses), tightly cover and by very slow cook method cook for 35-45 minutes on full sim or alternately for quick cooking, shut the cooker lid and cook on high flame until two whistles then lower to full sim and slow cook until 2 more whistles then shut off. Let cool till the lid pops on its own. Now simply smoke it up with a hot burning charcoal placed in the centre of the pan in a steel bowl n pour a tsp of hot melted ghee or oil over it and cover up the whole pan tightly with an air tight lid for the meat to consume all the charcoal smoke within itself to give you the rustic woody flavour n taste. Voila you are done!
Serve hot garnished with golden fried potato wedges and some lightly fried broken cashew nuts with hot hot rotlis or nan, yumm. Enjoy… 💕👌
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By Aban Kekobad
This is my version of the Mawa cake and I am sure you will find many versions online. It is a rich dense cake bursting with flavour -so it’s just-once in a while indulgence!
Layered Falooda Ice Cream Cake
(cardamom flavored cake layered with falooda ice cream)
The word Parsi means Persian and it is evident that Parsi cuisine is influenced by their Persian roots as much as it is by the food culture of their adopted home, India.
Me being me wanted to create something extravagant in terms of flavours and visually of course! 😜 My thoughts behind this pastel pink cake is to pay a little homage to the Grand Parsi Cafes and their fading elegance illustrating vintage Bombay. ***In my head this is what the ‘Memsahibs’ of Malabar hill would indulge into during a tea time conversation with her equally fancy friends at one of these Parsi cafes in Bombay.
So Falooda derives from the Persian word ‘Faloodeh’ and I also wanted to make the signature Parsi Mawa Cake hence I combined the two and made an ice-cream cake with flavours of Persia which has always had a strong influence on the Parsi cuisine such as ROSE, SAFFRON, PISTACHIOS etc.
For Falooda ICE-CREAM
Heat 200 ml of evaporated milk in a pan and bring to boil. Add sugar and rose extract. Let it cool. Add lightly whipped cream (200ml) to it and fold in well. Add a drop of pink gel, cardamom powder and saffron. Beat this mixture with an electric mixer for 5 min and put it in a freezer. After an hour beat this mixture again and refreeze it until you are ready to use. (I made my ice cream on Monday and was nibbling on it for a couple of days before it served the purpose.
For the cake. I followed the Chiffon cake method as the mawa would make the cake extremely dense anyway and I am not a fan of to dense cakes. So to make it a little lighter I followed the light airy chiffon cake method which helped a little in retaining the airiness.
For the cake
Beat egg whites of 3 eggs to form a soft peak. In another bowl take the egg yolks of two eggs and one whole egg. Beat until frothy. Add one cup sugar, 2 cup flour, pinch of salt and 1/2tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar. Add 3 tbs oil. 1/2 cup milk. Beat well again. Add mawa, cardamom powder, saffron extract and beat until everything is well combined. The amount of sugar is entirely personal choice. Now carefully fold in the Meringue which was prepared earlier. Transfer the batter into lightly greased aluminium tins and bake for 45 minutes at gas mark 5.
Once the cakes cools slightly remove it from the tins and place it on wire racks to cool completely. Soak chia seeds in water and also boil rice noodles. Defrost the ice cream so it is soft enough to be assembled between the cake layers.
Now in a non-stick tin (the one which has separate base and side) assemble the cake and ice cream. Cake at the bottom, topped with ice cream then another layer of cake and then more ice cream to finish off. On the top most layer, mix soaked and drained chia seeds and boiled and well drained rice noodles. Freeze this for at least 3-4 hours.
Remove the ice cream cake 10 min before serving and garnish. Carefully separate the base from the sides and dig into the ever so delicious ice cream cake!
Roses are my favorite flower, Strawberries my favorite Fruit and Custard favorite dessert, so here’s putting all 3 together for a sweet symphony!
This recipe was created for the weekly competition for “Parsis Exchange Recipes” Facebook Group.
A cup of tea shared with another person is known to create a new karma each time. So next time you have a cup of tea with someone, have good thoughts, and share good words.
Health value: Antioxidant
Removes Headaches, Muscle aches, soothes and relaxes.
2 cups water
4 tea bags, black tea
2 cups milk, or lowfat milk
4 slices fresh ginger root, about 1 inch thick
1-1/2 Tbsps. honey
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. sugar (optional)
Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Add tea bags, reduce heat, and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove tea bags, add remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Strain and serve. Serves 4 cups.
Mava ni boi, I made for a library presentation of my cookbook.
Mava ni boi is a fish-shaped dessert made from ricotta cheese, sugar, cardamom and vanilla. Fish is a symbol of good luck, prosperity and fertility.
Using a mold* make these fish shaped desserts. The ingredients are not really fish but just sugar, ricotta cheese and flavoring.
Making time: 45 minutes (excluding refrigerating time)
Makes: 12-15 pieces (depending on size of molds)
Shelf life: 3-4 days
500 grams – soft fresh white mava
(Ricotta Cheese boiled down can be substituted)
300 grams – powdered sugar
1 tsp – cardamom powder
5 to 6 drops – decorating color as desired
1/4 cup – crushed almonds, pistachios, mixed
One Fish shaped mold required.
To unmold place the mold carefully in hot water making sure the water does not go into the mold. Let it warm for 5 minutes. Next put a plate upside down on the open side of the mold and flip around. The mava ni boi should come out easily onto to the plate.
A Parsi Baked Dish
Chicken Mahivalla / Chicken in Cream
Serves 6 to 8. Make ahead – Kulfi stays in freezer for a long time.
16 oz. whipping cream
1 can (14 oz.) evaporated milk
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
2 tbs. pistachio pieces
1/2 tsp. pistachio flavoring
2 drops of green coloring (optional)
Variations: Vary flavor and color to your imagination
Audh is a better mood elevator than a bar of chocolate! The primary ingredient in this is rice.
It is one Parsi (forgotten but now remembered) dish
Audh can be ready in less than 1 hour.
Audh is served as Dessert.
New York’s ice-cream wars have really ramped up in recent years, spurred on by a bevy of excellent new shops and stakes-raising creations like the black-and-white-cookie ice-cream sandwich and, uh, Kanye West Ice Cream Week. The latest contestant in this frozen-treat frenzy isn’t even ice cream as Americans understand it, but is instead the ultradense kulfi. New York is certainly no stranger to this classic Indian treat, which can be easily found in the freezer aisles of Indian grocers in Queens and at restaurants like Junoon and Tamarind. But the cardamom and pistachio version being made at the recently opened Babu Ji, which comes to Alphabet City by way of Melbourne, is the one you’ll want to make your regular fix this summer.
“We have such a long summer, days with 100 percent humidity, and having no proper electricity, kulfi is the only thing that cools you down in the afternoon,” Jessi Singh, the restaurant’s chef and co-owner alongside his wife, Jennifer, says. “That’s what mom or grandma makes for you to cheer you up.”
Nostalgia is all well and good, but what makes Singh’s kulfi so impressive is the time he invests into doing it right. The whole process takes up almost an entire day, beginning with the cooking of the milk base, to which the cardamom, pistachio, and honey are added. This alone takes five to six hours — kulfi is traditionally made with fattier buffalo’s milk, so Singh needs to cook the cow milk he uses longer to get the right creaminess — and involves constant stirring. Afterwards, the milk is brought down to room temperature and frozen for 12 hours in traditional metal molds that Singh smuggles back from India.
What comes out of the freezer has a texture more like chewy mochi than silky soft-serve. It’s smooth and uniformly dense, intensely creamy and aromatic, the kind of ice cream that you can actually bite into. When you finally, regretfully, get to that last bite, you’ll find a ring of cardamom and pistachio — something delightfully, if unintentionally, reminiscent of that summertime classic, the King Cone. There’s only one flavor available right now, but eventually Singh plans to offer a clove-and-ginger-charged chai and, longer down the line, local fruit flavors.
Hindi Name: Nariyal ka doodh
Coconut milk is obtained from grated coconut kernel. It is a very popular ingredient in South East Asian cuisine. The rich taste of coconut milk is due to the high oil content. It can be consumed raw or used as a substitute to milk in the preparation of various dishes. In some countries, it is also used to make a type of summer drink or added to cocktails. Coconut milk is also preserved and sold commercially in a tetra pack.
While adding coconut milk to curries you can avoid curdling of the milk with these tips. After adding the coconut milk keep the heat low and do not let it boil. Keep stirring frequently while adding the coconut milk and also while it cooks for a couple of minutes. Let it simmer uncovered. If this doesn’t work mix a teaspoon corn flour to the milk and then add it.
It is packed with vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5, and B6 as well as iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
It contains high levels of saturated fats therefore its consumption is advised with care.
Coconut milk also has medium chain fatty acids that may help promote weight maintenance without raising cholesterol levels.
Coconut milk contains lauric acid, also found in mother’s milk that is known to promote brain development and bone health.
Coconut milk is a great source of Vitamin E that helps in the nourishment of the skin.
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.
4 Tbsp curd
1/2 Tbsp turmeric
Some chopped garlic
1 1/2 Tbsp mustard oil
1/2 Tbsp salt
Half lemon, juice
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.