Navroze / Nowruz / Nooruz is on March 21, 2020.
Commemorated in a grand and elaborate fashion, preparations for Navroze begin well in advance. Houses are cleaned to remove all the cobwebs and painted new. They are then adorned with different auspicious symbols, namely, stars, butterflies, birds and fish. New attires are ordered and made especially for the festival. On the day of Navroze, people dress in their new and best clothes and put on gold and silver kustis and caps. The doors and windows are beautified with garlands of roses and jasmines. Color powders are used for creating beautiful and attractive patterns, known as Chok or rangoli, on the steps and thresholds. These intricate and creative patterns display the sanctity of the festivals. Moreover, fish and floral motifs are a favorite among rangolis and considered highly auspicious.
Guests are welcomed by sprinkling rose water and rice, followed by applying a tilak. Breakfast usually consists of Sev (a vermicelli preparation roasted in ghee and choc-a-bloc with dry fruits) which is served with yogurt and enjoyed by young and old alike. After breakfast, it is time to visit the Agiary or Fire Temple to offer prayers. Special thanksgiving prayers, known as Jashan, are held and sandalwood is offered to the Holy Fire. At the end of this religious ceremony, all Parsis take the privilege to exchange new greetings with one another by saying ‘Navroze Mubarak’. Back home, special delicacies are made marking the lunch as an elaborate and delicious affair.
Various Parsi dishes, such as Sali boti (a mutton and potato preparation), chicken farchas, patrani machchi (fish steamed in a leaf), mutton pulao and dal, kid gosh and saas ni machchi (a thick white gravy with pomfret) jostle for space on the table. However, the most significant dish that forms an integral part of Navroz celebrations is pulav (rice enriched with nuts and saffron, aka biryani). Besides, plain rice and moong dal are a must on this day. Desserts too are not behind in terms of variety, the most important being falooda. It is a sweet milk drink made from vermicelli and flavored with rose essence. Lagan-nu-custard, or caramel custard, is another favorite on this occasion. The entire day is spent by visiting friends and relative and exchanging good wishes and blessings.
Suggested Menu for the Navroz day:
by Homi M
1 packet instant mousse mix
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Pour it in !
Pour milk into a bowl
Add packet of instant mousse mix
Beat with electric mixer on low speed until thickened.
Whip at highest speed for 3-5 minutes
Spoon & Enjoy!
Spoon into dessert dishes.
Top with a cherry
Chill for 1 hour or freeze for 15 minutes
ParsiCuisine.com invites kids of all ages — from the littlest to college students — to submit their recipes, stories about their efforts, and photos of their creations for possible publication in our column The Kids Cook. We can’t promise that all submissions will be accepted for publication, but we do promise that each submission will receive a prompt and encouraging reply from one of our staff.
Get your kids cooking! We’d love to hear from them!
If you have lactose problems, this milk will help. Easy to make at home.
Almond Milk is very easy to make and it is so much better than the supermarket versions.
Much tastier and NO SUGAR.
Almond Milk Recipe
1/2 Cup Almond Flour *
2 cups water
To make Almond Milk follow these steps:
Soak half cup of almond flour overnight in refrigerator.
In the morning, crush in a blender.
Add real milk (optional) to make this creamier or skip to keep it Gluten free.
Drink immediately or refrigerate for use later.
Enjoy with added sugar, I like it without sugar.
Add a touch of Vanilla Essence (I used this product)or Almond Essence.
Can be used as substitute for some milk related recipes
* Almond Flour is made from almonds that have been blanched to remove the skins, then ground to a fine texture that is great for baking.
It is a go-to ingredient for gluten free and low carb baked goods, and a must-have for paleo and other grain free baking recipes.
By Rita Jamshed Kapadia
250 gm mutton mince
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 green chilli, coarsely ground
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp clove-cinnamon powder or garam masala
2 Tbsp potatoes, boiled and mashed
5 mint leaves , chopped coarsley
1 Tbsp chopped coriander
Salt to taste
Bread crumbs, to coat
4 eggs, whisked (to coat the cutlets)
Oil to deep fry
In a bowl take the mince and massage it with your hands for 3-4 minutes.
Now add the ginger paste, garlic paste, green chilli, turmeric, red chilli powder, clove-cinnamon powder, mashed potato, pudina, dhaniya and salt. Mix it well.
Make medium sized round patties (makes around 5-6). Coat the cutlets with bread crumbs from both sides. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Whisk eggs. Coat the refrigerated cutlets in the egg mixture. Deep fry in hot oil till golden brown from both sides.
Squeeze some lemon juice on top if you want.
It’s that time of year again! Wishing a safe and wonderful school year to students of all ages!
Welcome to Parsi Cuisine. It’s always a great idea to involve kids in the kitchen. As a mom and an avid cook for my family, I initiated my daughter and son into baking cookies, cakes, making scrambled eggs (akuri), pancakes, pizza and helping in the kitchen ever since they were just three. Nowadays, with gadgets and IPad as a distraction, getting them to help in the kitchen will make them feel useful and responsible. It also gives us a chance to spend some quality time together. You can start as young as a pre-schooler and even have your teens off the Play Station to whisk an egg!
Stimulates the senses: While whipping up a dish, a child can smell ingredients, touch and feel the texture, taste the flavors and see the different colors of materials. At an early age, my kids learnt about different kinds of fruits, vegetables, pulses, food items and colors, by simply arranging the ingredients on the kitchen counter.LearningFor children who are five years and above, it’s also a way to learn Math skills with measurements and quantities.
Kids of that age are curious and can be taught about healthy eating, nutrition, how food is grown and the basic science behind the food chain. With recipe books, children also learn to read and follow simple instructions. This recipe book is intended for kids to learn and enjoy cooking so they continue for the rest of their adult lives.
For children under 12 we recommend an adult watch over and enjoy the team cooking experience.
By Dr. K.S. Parthasarathy
The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention has found that in North Carolina, 61 children of Asian descent (specifically, Indians, Pakistanis and Afghans) have elevated blood lead levels (BLLs). They used non-edible (kumkum, sindoor, surma) and edible(saffron, turmeric) items that had high lead levels. Some children ate Balgutti Kessaria (an Ayurvedic medicine) which contained very high lead levels. The CDC is diligently following up these cases.
High blood lead levels in the Indian population are a very serious issue.
A recent meta-analysis identified 1,066 articles on blood lead levels in various Indian populations (Environment International, December 2018). The researchers estimated that lead exposure resulted in 4.9 million Disability Adjusted Life Years – 4.9 million years lost due to ill health, disability or early death. Worldwide, this number for 2016 is 13.9 million years.
Researchers from Aligarh Muslim University and King George Medical University reported in Indian Pediatrics of January 2018 that 44.2 per cent of children in their study had blood lead levels above 10 microgramme per dL (100 ml), the WHO cutoff.
Researchers from CMC Vellore reported similar results (Indian Pediatrics 2014). They found that 31 per cent (21/67) of the children with elevated blood lead levels had poor cognitive scores. If the US CDC reference level of 5 microgramme per dL is accepted, 90 per cent of preschoolers in the slums of Vellore have high BLLs, Dr. Venkata Raghava Mohan a researcher in the Vellore study responded to this writer’s query.
Values in the DOE report ranged from 101 ppm to 130,797 ppm.
The central and state governments must enforce the rules strictly and act now against this eternal source of lead for the sake of our children.
The WHO (Lead Poisoning and Health, August 2018) cautioned that lead is toxic; it accumulates in the body and affects multiple systems; it is particularly harmful to young children. Once in the body, lead is distributed in the brain, liver, kidney and bones. Teeth and bones store them; it accumulates over time. Specialists usually assess human exposure to lead by measuring lead in blood.
“Lead can affect children’s brain development resulting in reduced intelligence quotient, behavioural changes such as reduced attention span and increased anti-social behaviour and reduced educational attainment. Lead exposure also causes anemia, hypertension, renal impairment, immuno-toxicity and toxicity to the reproductive organs. The neurological and behavioural effects of lead are believed to be irreversible.” WHO added.
Pregnant women exposed to lead will have lead-tainted bones that may release lead into blood and act a source of exposure to the developing fetus.
There is no safe threshold for lead exposure.
If we have to go by the US experience, lead-tainted paint will be a major source of lead poisoning in India. Universal screening of children may not be feasible. However, preventive steps must start now.
Reports from BARC in the 1990s highlighted the need to screen lead in spices, herbal remedies and ceremonial powders.
Blood lead levels that were considered previously to be safe are now understood to compromise health and injure multiple organs, even in the absence of overt symptoms.” We must keep this WHO assessment in mind while formulating our policies.
(Dr K.S. Parthasarathy is a former Secretary of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board.)
Khichri is a free-form dish, allowing for many variations. Although any type of lentil can be used like Mung, Tuver, or Masoor, the most common parsi version uses Tuver dal.
White Basmati rice is used since it is easy to digest but brown rice can also be used for more fiber and minerals in your diet. The spices are variable depending on your taste and liking. So is the ratio of lentils to rice. The consistency can be runny or dry as desired, however make sure the dal and rice are thoroughly cooked and soft.
The lentils and ghee are now a days available in Whole Foods, Amazon or local Indian Grocery Stores like Patel Brothers, Apna Bazar, etc
Khichri is the Ayurvedic detox food. Khichadi, pronounced kich-ah-ree and sometimes spelled “kitchari” or “khichdi,” has long been used to nourish babies and the elderly, the sick and the healthy during special times of Detox and Diet Cleansing.
This khichri was made in a Instant Pot. It came out moist, soft and took less time to make!
1/2 cup rice white or brown basmati or jasmine rice
1/2 cup Mung Dal (split) or Tuver Dal
2 cups water
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
2 tbsps oil or Ghee
2-3 tbsp clarified butter (ghee)
1/2 chopped medium Onion
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
Wash and clean the rice and dal and soak in water for 15 minutes.
In a Instant Pot and press “Brown” button.
To temper: Finely slice the onion and fry in oil till golden brown. Add cumin seeds and count to 3.
Add dal, water, salt and turmeric and bring to rolling boil on high heat. This is crucial to khichri coming out well done.
Add rice and bring to boil again.
Cover instant pot and set timer to 9 minutes.
Cook for 9 minutes covered and then keep instant pot on warm till you serve.
This rice dish goes well with kids, give with a little sugar added to 1 year old.
A khichri cleanse consists of eating khichri for breakfast, lunch and dinner for 3 consecutive days. The theory behind this regimen is to give the digestive tract (intestines) a chance to rest, regulate and heal itself.
Khichri has the primary and essential nutrients for the body, while being gentle on the digestive system. After the cleanse, stagnation in the cleanser’s digestion and metabolism is alleviated , allowing him/her to resume a normal healthy lifestyle and diet.
Drink one cup of hot water with lemon upon wakening.
Allow 30 minutes before eating breakfast.
Do yoga in this time or walk.
For breakfast eat 1 cup of cooked khichri.
For lunch and dinner eat khichri until full, avoid overeating.
For snack eat vegetable and fruits.
Repeat for 3 consecutive days.