A plant-based diet is so good for you. Vegetarians consume less saturated fat and cholesterol and more fiber and phytochemicals than standard diet followers. Add positive links between veg-based diets and lower levels of diabetes, obesity and more, and you’ve got a way of eating worth cheering for.
Want to make a Special Valentine’s Day Treat? But the weather is bad and cold outside? Pull out your Sev Vermicelli package to make a sweet vermicelli dessert. I served the dessert in a heart shape dish to add the special valentine touch!
Parsi Sev is also known as Sweet Vermicelli in Indian Grocery Stores.
Serves 10 or 4 (see separate ingredient list )
Ingredients for serving 10 :
500 grams vermicelli, white or brown roasted
125 grams ghee or oil
500 grams sugar
2 ozs rose-water or 1 tbsp rose essence (optional)
125 grams almonds, blanched. sliced (optional)
125 grams raisins or currants (optional)
1 tbsp nutmeg and cardamom powder (optional)
500 grams water (approx 32 ozs)
Ingredients for serving 4 :
100 grams vermicelli, white or brown roasted
25 grams ghee or oil
100 grams sugar (or 1/2 cup sugar if you are diabetic)
1/2 ozs rose-water or 1/2 tsp rose essence (optional)
25 grams almonds, blanched. sliced (optional)
25 grams raisins or currants (optional)
1/4 tbsp nutmeg and cardamom powder (optional)
50 grams water (6 – 8 ozs or 1 cup)
Fry the vermicelli in a wide and large utensil in ghee until golden brown color, stirring all the time.
In a separate bowl, mix sugar and water and boil.
Then add this sugar and water mix to Vermicelli.
Cover with lid, the flame being on full. After 3 minutes check if the water is absorbed and vermicelli cooked. If the water is not absorbed and vermicelli still a bit raw then reduce the heat to allow it to cook but not soggy. When completely cooked add the rose water or essence and the nutmeg, cardamom powder.
Garnish with fried almonds and raisins.
Note: Add as little water you can to make Sev fluffy and light.
This fish shaped dessert is very popular among the Indian Parsi community. It is molded in the shape of a fish because the fish is a symbol for fertility and good luck. It can be sliced and eaten as dessert.
Storage Instructions: Can be kept outside for 2 or 3 days, refrigerated for a couple of weeks, or frozen for much longer.
1 cup powdered almonds
1 1/3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 cup sifted powdered sugar (second batch)
1 tbs. slightly beaten egg white
few drops food coloring (optional)
Grind almonds until powdered.
Then add 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar, almond extract, and 2 tbs. water.
Mix together until the mixture forms a ball.
Beat in remaining 1 cup of powdered sugar.
Stir in enough egg white (1/2 to 1 tbs.) to form a clay-like mixture.
Tint with food coloring if desired.
Mold into shapes or press flat to form a block 1/2 inch thick.
Cut into squares and serve.
Combine all of above in a large mixing bowl. You may need to work the mixture with your hands to ensure that it is well mixed. I took a non-stick pan and heated up these, but be careful the mix does not burn. Use very low heat.
To prevent the mixture from drying as you work with it, rub hands with a light coating of vegetable shortening. Wrap tightly in plastic until ready for use.
Line mold with shortening.
Press the marzipan into mold and let it set overnight.
The Gulab Jamun is one of the most popular indian sweet, served at restaurants in the states.”Gulab” means “Rose” and “Jamun” means a “Drop”. Translated these are literally “Drops of Rose”. In this recipe the flavor is real kesar (saffron) *and elaichi (cardamom) * so I call these “Drops of Saffron”
The Saffron Elaichi flavor tastes so good with the sugary jamun syrup that you do not need to add any other flavor to it.
Ingredients 1 cup Milk Powder 1/4 cup Maida 1/4 tsp Baking Powder 3 tbsp Unsalted Butter 3 – 7 (to your taste) strands of Saffron soaked in hot water for 15 minutes
Milk as needed for dough
1/2 tsp Elaichi (Cardamon) Oil or Ghee to fry
Deep pan for frying
For Sugar Syrup 1 cup Sugar 1 cup Water
Method To make sugar syrup, boil sugar and water together for around 10 minutes.
Mix well the milk powder, maida, baking powder and butter. Knead to a smooth dough. Add a few drops of milk if required. Let this dough rest for about 15 minutes. Make small balls making sure that there are no cracks. If you see cracks, knead a bit more.
Fry in deep hot oil/ghee till golden brown on a low flame. Once all the gulab jamuns are fried, transfer them to the sugar syrup. Let the jamuns sit in the syrup for around 4-5 hours.
Enjoy these yummy Saffron Elaichi Gulab Jamuns as is or topped with vanilla icecream !!!
The longer you soak these gulab jamuns the better they get.
Store in refrigerator for a week.
* Spices can be bought at your local Indian grocery store or on Amazon.
“Kohra (White Pumpkin) Murambo (Preserve)” recipe is included in the cookbook .
White Pumpkin Preserve is flavored with hints of cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg with an amber caramel color which come from hours of gently simmering the grated pumpkin.
Truly, this Kohra no Murambo is a labor of love in the finest traditions of the Parsis. Kohru is white or orange pumpkin found in USA. Hence, I prefer to name it White Pumpkin Preserve in keeping with the traditions of the new land we have made our homes in.
The native Indians brought gifts of the autumn harvest to the Thanksgiving feast held with the Pilgrims. The Autumn Harvest of Sweet Potatoes, Yams, Butternut Squash, Green Beans, Peas, Cranberries, Potatoes, Corn, Apples, Pears, included varieties of Gourds and Pumpkins.
WHITE PUMPKIN MURUMBO (Pumpkin preserve or jam)
2 1/4 lb. round white pumpkin
Sugar – Weigh grated pumpkin together with its water then weigh sugar equal to half the weight of the pumpkin.
4 inches cinnamon stick
3/4 tsp. mixed cardamom and nutmeg powder
Peel pumpkin, remove seed section then grate pumpkin.
Weigh grated pumpkin together with its water then weigh sugar equal to half the weight of the pumpkin.
Put sugar grated pumpkin and pumpkin water together with cinnamon stick in a large pan.
Heat on stove and bring mixture to the boil. Lower heat cover and cook 10 minutes.
Uncover pan and continue cooking on medium heat till all the liquid has evaporated and pumpkin is golden brown.
Sprinkle cardamom and nutmeg powder and mix. Cool thoroughly and store in air tight jars.
It keeps for several weeks. Refrigerate for longer storage.
Surti Papri Chicken, Mutton or Lamb (Vegetarians can leave the meat out)
2 lbs papri (surti Papri can be found in Indian Grocery Stores. Threaded and broken into 1 inch long pieces) see picture below
1 lb Mutton, Chicken or Lamb
3/4th tsp ajwain (bishop seed or called ajmo)
2 onions thinly sliced
2 whole pods of garlic, unpeeled or 10-12 cloves
2 potatoes quartered, unpeeled
3-4 baby brinjals slit in 4
5-6 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp turmeric pwd
2 tsp red chilly pwd
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp green chilly paste or 2-3 green chillies chopped fine
Salt to taste
If possible Marinate all of the above ingredients for 2 hours for maximum taste!
In a heavy bottomed pan heat oil add onions and ajwain.
Fry onion till light golden in color.
Add ginger garlic paste, green chilli paste, all dry spices and salt.
Let all the spices sizzle, add the vegetables including garlic.
Let the veggies cook on a low flame for several minutes covered. Add water if it begins to dry up.
Check if vegetables are done, dry up all water.
Serve hot with wheat rotli / chappatis.
This recipe can also be made with mutton, you will need to add the mutton before the veggies and let it simmer till it absorbs the spices. Pressure cook for 2 whistles n dry up water after the meat is cooked thoroughly.
Dhansak is a popular Parsi dish, originating among the community centuries back. This is served with caramelized brown rice, which is rice cooked in caramel water to give it a typical taste and color. The dal cooked with mutton and vegetables served with brown rice, altogether is called dhansak.
In Parsi homes, dhansak is traditionally made on Sundays owing to the long preparation time required to cook the lentils and vegetables into a mush (in the days before pressure cooking was employed).
Dhansak is also always had on the fourth day after the death of a near one. There is no meat consumed for three days after the death of a near one. And dhansak is used to break this abstinence on the fourth day. Thus, dhansak is never prepared on auspicious occasions like festivals and weddings.
Dhansak is made by cooking mutton cubes with a mixture of various lentils and vegetables. Traditionally, four lentils Toovar dal, Bengal gram or chana dal, red masoor dal and brown masoor dal are used, but one or more of the lentils may be omitted or substituted. I make my dhansak with Lamb, Goat meat (mutton ) or Chicken. I use Toover Dal only.
The vegetables include potato, eggplant, tomato, pumpkin and coriander, fenugreek leaves: again, substitutions, such as squash for pumpkin, and sweet potato for potato, may be employed: it depends on what vegetables are conveniently at hand. After prolonged cooking in the traditional recipe (or the use of a pressure cooker), the vegetables are more or less homogenized with the lentils, which are also broken down, so that the result is a thick stew rather than a curry.
The dhansak is flavored with a spice mixture called “dhansak masala”, which is similar to “garam masala” except that the spices chosen are more aromatic and sweet rather than pungent. Cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, dried ginger, coriander seed and cumin seed, as well as a pinch of asafetida, are among the spices employed.
Onion and garlic are browned to serve as the stew’s base, and coriander leaves, green chilli and mint leaves are employed as garnish. While “dhansak masala” is sold as a ready-made mixture, the individual cook may make the spice mixture from scratch, altering the combination and proportion of spices based on personal preference. See recipe in this book.
Within the Parsi community, dhansak usually contains goat meat or mutton; it is rarely made with other meats, such as chicken, or without meat, but I use Chicken or Lamb often since my children prefer these meats.
International recipe variants for the dhansak sometimes call for pineapple chunks to provide a sweet flavour, but traditional Indian recipes prefer the use of pumpkin, squash or gourd.
Vegetarians can leave the meat out and make the dal, it comes out very good IMO.
For the Dhansak dal
1 lb. Chicken skinned and washed. (Or Lamb, Goat Meat. Vegetarians can leave the meat out and make the dal, it comes out very good)
1 1/2 cups Tuvar Dal washed and soaked for 30 minutes.
1 large onion chopped.
1 Tomato chopped.
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves chopped.(optional)
1/2 cup fresh methi leaves chopped.(optional)
5 leaves of fresh mint.
3 inch piece of yellow/orange pumpkin.
2 Potatoes peeled and quartered.
2 tsp. salt.
Water enough to cover the contents.
For the Vaghar
1 small onion finely chopped.
2 tsp. Ginger/Garlic/Chili Paste. Make paste by grinding 1 inch piece of gingerroot,
4 cloves garlic and 2 hot Jalapeno chilies.
2 tsp. Dhansak Masala. (See Recipe)
2 tsp. Dhana Jeera (Cumin and Coriander)
Salt and Black Pepper powder to taste.
Put all of the above in a Pressure cooker and cook for 10 minutes only.
Open cooker and remove meat and potatoes.
Mash the dal with electric blender or by hand. Put in a large pot and bring to a simmer.
Next do the “Vaghar”. Fry the onion in hot oil till brown. Lower heat and add the paste. Fry till aroma comes out.
Add the rest of and fry 1 minute on very low heat. Immediately add this Vaghar to the simmering dhansak dal.
Add water if needed.
Taste and add salt/spices to your taste.
Add the meat and potatoes and simmer 5 more minutes.
Serve Dhansak with Hot Brown Rice, Kebab and Kachumber.
Lord Ganesha’s favorite sweet, Modaks are sweet flour dumplings stuffed with coconut, jaggery, nutmeg and saffron. This modak recipe is a steamed version, which is also known as ‘ukdiche modak’, however there is a wide variety of this Indian dessert which includes fried modak as well.
A popular dessert from Maharashtra which is consumed highly during the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, Modaks are now made in many parts of the country as well.
Due to Lord Ganesha being ‘Modakpriya’, the one who likes modak, 21 pieces of modak are served as the offering after the puja during Ganesh Chaturthi. The easy recipe, rich flavors of nuts and saffron, all of this appeals to our taste buds and make this dish an irresistible one.
The taste, flavor and texture of mould made modak is similar to the hand made modak
This is a special neivedyam that’s offered to Lord Ganesha on Ganesh Chaturti These moulds are made up high grade Plastic & Aluminium materials.
The Outer layer is round but inner shape is of modak
These molds can be stores easily to save space and are very easy to wash and clean Make Your Modak In The Best Shape With This Exquisite Modak Mould Different Cavities modak as per necessity
LIFE TIME USEABLE * NON STICKY & NON SLIPPERY
For the filling:
1 Cup Coconut, grated
1 Cup Jaggery
A pinch of Nutmeg
A pinch of Saffron
For the shell:
1 Cup Water
2 tsp Ghee
1 Cup Rice flour
Method to Make Modak
1.Heat a pan, add the grated coconut and jaggery.
2.Stir for about five minutes. Add the nutmeg and saffron, mix well.
3.Cook for another five minutes and keep aside.
1.In a deep dish, boil water with ghee. Add the salt and flour. Mix well.
2.Cover the dish and cook till its half done.
3.Spread some ghee on the base of a steel bowl and while the dough is still hot, knead it well.
4.Now take a little dough, roll it into a ball, flatten it well, shape the edges into a flower pattern.
5.Put a spoonful of the filling onto the dough and seal it.
6.Put the dumplings in a muslin cloth and steam them for 10- 15 minutes. Serve.
Instead of baking baigan/brinjal, wash properly, wipe and apply oil and put the gas on low and try to roast it completely, turning at times. When the skin starts cracking and its roasted completely, off the gas and then mash it up. Its tastes better
Celebrate with this glorious Mango Murraba anyday. #mangoseasonison #ilovemangoes #mangoisthekingoffruits #mangolove #mango
1 kg semi-ripe mangoes (any variety, but for best results and taste, either alphonso, or, even better still, the `bottle’ mango, `batli keri’. Best to use are small green, totally unripe mangoes. But then add more jaggery, according to taste.)
White or red pumpkin can be substituted.
Peaches can be substituted.
200 gms jaggery (more, if mangoes very raw and sour. Can use sugar to substitute for jaggery, but the flavor will not be the same. If using sugar, I would suggest palm or cane sugar or raw sugar.)
1-inch piece of cinnamon
2 cups water (approximately)
Salt to taste (coarse salt or rock salt)
5 Cloves (optional)
2 Bay leaves (optional)
5 Black peppercorns(optional)
5 Cardamoms (optional)
Peel the mangoes, remove the seed and slice lengthwise. (Depending upon size of the mango, you can halve the lengthwise slices, as per requirement. Mango should be in chunky pieces, do not slice too thin.)
Pour water in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add jaggery, cloves (optional), cinnamon, bay leaves (optional), peppercorns(optional), and cardamoms (optional) and cook over a medium flame, stirring occasionally. Once the jaggery has melted, add salt, mangoes, and cook over a low flame, stirring occasionally, being careful not to break the mango slices. Cook till a syrupy consistency is achieved, then remove from heat and cool completely.
This is a pastry filled with sweet lentils and dry fruits. To top it all there are cherries, which are so festive. I specially like the red auspicious color they add, my mother used to get these added along with green, yellow and red Tutti-Frutti! ( candied fruits )
Question: Did you know why the parsis make Dar ni Pori (Sweet Pastry)?
Answer: On Ava roj(day) and Ava mahinoh(month) Poris are sent and eaten. The devout parsis go to the sea or any form of water to pray and pay respect to the water that nourishes the body, while enjoying the Dal ni Pori.
Happy Parab (Ava Mahino, Ava Roj) to all my Zoroastrian friends.
It is believed that a water body helps nourish and purify the world. On Ava Mahino, Ava Roj, which is today, Zoroastrians offer prayers to a water body such as the sea, river, lake or water well. After performing the obligatory kusti, small tokens — each having its own significance — are offered to the water body. The coconut, flowers, dry rice, dar ni pori (much like puran poli but filled with chopped nuts and lentils), saakhar (crystal sugar) and milk are offered for sagan (good luck), a stick of turmeric, a dried date, an unshelled almond and a supari (betel nut) wrapped in a green paan (betel) leaf for strength and resilience of the family is also offered. After this, the devotee prays to the water body, asking “Ava mai”, as it is fondly known, to grant him/her good luck, peace and calm. Some families fill a small bottle with this sea or well water, which is then sprinkled on the thresholds of their homes to bring purity and goodness.
Recipe of Dar ni Pori (Sweet Pastry)
Pie filled with Sweet Lentils and Dry fruits, also known as the Indian Dar ni Pori
Original recipe from my Mother Parin Homi Munshi and dedicated to her.
Also known as Dar ni Pori, Daar ni Poli in gujarati.
Dar ni Pori is a pastry to be served at tea-time.
A Zoroastrian custom at weddings: 5-7 Dal ni Poris are sent by the Bride’s family to the Bridegroom’s family.
On Ava roj(day) and Ava mahinoh(month) Poris are sent and eaten. The devout parsis go to the sea or any form of water to pray and pay respect to the water that nourishes the body, while enjoying the Dal ni Pori.
Ingredients for dal:
2 cups Chickpea Lentils (aka Indian Toor or Tuver dal )
Ingredients for Maan: 4 tbsp shortening 2 tbsp all purpose flour or rice flour
Dal: Soak dal overnight. Next day put in pressure cooker with very little water, just enough to cover the dal completely. Keep cooker on lowest heat for 20 minutes. Take off heat and add sugar and 2 tbsp shortening. Cook on low heat stirring all the time, till thick. Now add the Mava (optional and not traditional, but makes the pori extrayummy, please use 1/4 cup mava) Almonds, Charoli, mixed fruit, essence, Nutmeg, Cardamom, taste while adding. This dal filling can be cooked and kept one day ahead. Make 3 inch round balls.
Pastry: Mix together all the ingredients and knead with enough water to make a soft dough. Cover with wet cloth and let stand for at least 3 hours. Overnight is better. Roll out in 3 big balls. Omit if using Pillsburry Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets
Maan: Mix flour and crisco shortening with hands, until very smooth and light to touch. I mix it in a wide thali (wide round dish). Keep immersed in cold water.
Assemble the Pori: Take one ball of pastry and roll it out flat. Sprinkle few drops of cold water and then spread some of the maan onto the flat pastry. Sprinkle flour. Roll out another ball of pastry same size and layer it on top of the maan, again go thru the steps of sprinkling water, adding another layer of pastry and sprinkling flour at the end. Roll out last ball of pastry and put it on top. Turn edges inward and roll up like a strudel roll. Keep covered with damp cloth. Cut out one 3 inch piece from above roll, put flour on hands and twist the roll, press down the twists and shape into a round ball. Flatten this ball out and lift it and form a cup shape in your hands, put in this cup the dal ball. Seal edges together with a little water. Now is the hardest part – flatten this out till it is 1 inch thick circle, 5 to 6 inches round.
Bake on a hot tava (griddle) on medium heat, keep it white as possible. Add a little ghee to help. I find it useful to wear oven mitts while pressing down the pori on the griddle and keeping it moving around. Do both sides. (NEW Use “Puff Pastry”)
The pastry layers will show cooked (when you cut it apart to test) if it is done.
Flatten the pastry sheets out, take a big ball of dar flatten it at least 1 inch thick and fold the puff pastry.
Take a big tray with a non-stick liner or small round foil plate spray with Pillsbury Cooking Spray and bake with the folded side on bottom.
Bake at 400 F for 15 to 20 minutes till nicely light-brown. Watch carefully or the pastry will become dark-brown which is not preferred.
Practice makes this Pie – “Pori” perfect.(Pun is intended, for those of you who know that the meaning of “Pori” in Gujarati is also “Girl”!!!
It is believed that a water body helps nourish and purify the world. Keeping the environment clean helps our body stay clean.
Indian Parsi Zoroastrians offer food and prayers to a water body such as the sea, river, lake or water well. After performing prayers, small food tokens are offered to the water body. Coconut, flowers, Dry Rice, and a Pie called dar ni pori are offered for good luck.
Of course, the food offered is distributed to the poor children in India who are hungry and not wasted. Family members can also partake of this pie.
Some families fill a small bottle with this sea or well water, which is then sprinkled on the thresholds of their homes to bring purity and goodness.
On the day of baking Grind 1/2 tsp saffron and add to yogurt. Keep aside this is your wet mix.
Prepare a 13 by 9 inch glass tray by applying melted butter and sprinkling flour.
Sift and combine the flours in a large bowl.
Add to the flour mix, 1/4 cup of almonds, baking powder, salt, cardamon and nutmeg. Keep aside this is your dry mix.
In a mixer, cream the sugar and eggs. Add eggs one by one.
Alternate and add the dry mix and wet yogurt saffron mix a small portion at a time (see video). Blend well.
Pour out in the baking tray.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Put tray in oven for 5 minutes till dough is hot. Now add all of the melted butter to the bubbly kumas, mix well and stir with a spatula till all the butter is absorbed. This is essential to a fluffy and moist kumas cake!
If desired sprinkle 1/4 cup of chopped almonds on top.
Bake 350 degrees for 40 minutes in a pre-heated oven. Now and then check with inserting a toothpick or a blunt knife, to make sure kumas cake is baked. If the knife comes out clean without sticky dough, know the kumas is done.
Recipe is adapted from the cookbook of Niloufer Mavalvala.
Homemade Yogurt / Indian Dahi is very good for indigestion, heart burn and good health. For example when you are taking antibiotics for a Virus or Flu, the good bacteria in your body are wiped out by the antibiotic. Yogurt culture replaces the good bacteria and your immunity increases.
Ingredients 2 pints half and half cream (optional for creamy yogurt, else use 2 pints regular milk)
3 cups milk (4%)
1 cup whole milk yogurt as a starter (organic is better)
Boil cream and milk to a full boil. Bring to full rolling boil again for 15 times.
Cool till lukewarm to a finger dipped in. This might take 4 hours to cool. Do NOT put in refrigerator to cool.
Add yogurt starter and mix with electric mixer or by hand till completely blended.
Pour into a glass (heat proof) vessel. Cover with foil loosely.
Ferment for 12 to 15 hours overnight in a warm place.
In the morning store in refrigerator to chill. Serve cold.
1. I usually start the whole process in the morning and finish at night. Then the trick is to have the yogurt to ferment overnight in a warm environment. Hot summer temperatures of 90 degrees and above are ideal for yogurt making. In winters cover with blankets, use yogurt makers, keep in warm oven of 100 degrees or whatever area of house is the warmest. Yogurt should be formed in 12 to 15 hours. Store in refrigerator for use.
2. Instant Pot has a yogurt setting and it works well.
3. Put oven on for 100 degrees and then shut off. Place the yogurt to ferment / set overnight.
4. Make it in the hot, hot summer! High heat of 95 degrees in the summer months, makes the yogurt making process easier. Of course not in a air-conditioned room!
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.
1 cup flour 1 cup wheat flour pinch salt 2 tbsp oil oil for deep frying
METHOD: Mix the above ingredients and add 1 tbsp of water at a time to make a soft dough. Allow dough to rest for approx 1/2 hour. Make a ball and roll onto a floured board. Rub oil with fingers onto the flat dough and roll up like a pancake.
If crisp puris are needed, don’t put oil. Cut the roll into small pieces and make into balls. Do a few at a time otherwise the dough will dry up. Flatten them and with a rolling pin make rounds.
Fry in hot deep oil and while frying keep pouring hot oil onto the puri with a spoon. Take oil and drain in colander. Serve immediately.
1 onion sliced into rings – for garnish (I don’t like onions so made a bed of romaine salad lettuce and sliced tomatoes. Salt and black pepper sprinkled on top)
Mix all the ingredients, except the garnishes, and leave for 20-30 minutes.
About 20 minutes before serving, place the paneer on a drip pan and bake in the pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes. (Oven Temp: 400 F Degrees)
Remove from oven, brush with oil and bake again for 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can grill on a griller or a tandoor or barbecue pit. (The drippings should definitely have a means of escape, or else the paneer will get soggy)
It is no exaggeration to say that Parsis, the Zoroastrians of India, take their food seriously – very seriously.
Love of good food and drink plays a central, oftentimes quirky, role in nearly every aspect of our culture.
When our babies sit upright for the first time, we celebrate by making them sit on top of laddoos (Indian sweet). At Parsi weddings, the clarion call of jamva chaloji (let’s eat!) has a hypnotic appeal.
Weddings are judged almost entirely on the quality of the pulao dal (rice and lentils) and the freshness of the patrani macchi (fish steamed in chutney). For any other occasion or milestone, we scrupulously avoid fasting, proscribed in our religion as a sin.Food is etched into our identity, and in many cases it is quite literally written into our names. Indeed, Parsi surnames provide a veritable smorgasbord of edible associations.
One family, with its roots in the western Indian city of Surat, evidently failed spectacularly in the art of cooking and, therefore, earned the surname Vasikusi, which means stinky food. Other Parsi last names include Boomla, the Gujarati term for the Bombay duck, a slimy fish which has a dedicated fan following in the community, and Gotla, which is a fruit seed.
One particularly unusual variant of surnames ends with the suffix khao, suggesting a desire to eat or greediness. A Papadkhao, therefore, could be a devoted consumer or hoarder of crispy fried papadums. The existence of Bhajikhaos (vegetable-eater) demonstrates that not all Parsis were raging carnivores. Curiously, a number of surnames revolve around cucumbers (kakdi): aside from Kakdikhaos, we also find Kakdichors (cucumber thief).Many surnames incorporate the suffix wala or vala, which indicates a vocation or association with a particular food or item.
While Sodawaterbottleopenerwala is perhaps the most famous of Parsi last names, numerous others point towards professional vocations in service of good cuisine.In colonial Bombay there were Masalawalas hawking spices, Narielwalas balancing coconuts, and Paowallas serving up the city’s distinctive Portuguese-influenced bread (and presumably keeping a tab on Paokhaos).
Around the time that Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy, the Parsi philanthropist and opium merchant, introduced ice cream to Bombay (now Mumbai) in the mid-1800s, we begin to hear of Icewalas. And much later, in the 1930s, a Jeenadaru Cakewala in the city’s Fort district promised cakes that were the “highest in quality and purity”. Complementing such individuals were Canteenwalas, Confectioners, Messmans, Bakerywalas, Hotelwalas, and Commissariats.
There is, however, some ambiguity associated with such names: the wala suffix could also indicate a fondness for a particular food. Messrs Akhrotwala, Badamwala, and Kajuwala could have been cornering the market for walnuts, almonds, and cashews – or they could have just really enjoyed eating them. Ditto for Peppermintwala, Limbuwala (limes), Papetawala (potatoes), Marghiwala (chicken), Biscuitwala, or Paneerwala (cottage cheese). Food-related last names have also left a unique imprint upon the geography of Mumbai. In the neighbourhood of Dhobi Talao, you can walk by one Parsi fire temple named after an Idawala (ida means egg) and another that bears the name Sodawaterwala.
Pitha Street, a small lane near Flora Fountain, derives its name from an old Parsi tavern (pitha).Pitha Street leads us to an important point: Parsis have also had a longstanding fondness for drink. Aside from consuming liquor, they dominated the trade in spirits across colonial India. From Multan to Madras, thirsty Indians knew to seek out Daruwalas and Darukhanawalas who ran liquor stores, or Pithawalas and Tavernwalas who operated sit-down establishments. Some Parsis crafted surnames that specified the precise type of alcohol they sold or produced, such as Winemerchant, Rumwala, and Toddywala. Refreshmentkeepers must have been more ambiguous about their holdings.
By the 1920s and 1930s, the Parsi penchant for liquor became a source of tension with someone who otherwise enjoyed friendly relations with the community: Mahatma Gandhi. The Mahatma beseeched Parsis to give up drinks and shutter their liquor booths, but very few raised their glasses in support. Then, in 1939, Gandhi caused Parsis to confront the unthinkable – bidding adieu to their beloved Parsi pegs – as he pushed Bombay’s government to adopt prohibition. Outraged community leaders creatively argued that a dry law would violate their religious rights and accused the Mahatma of “racial discrimination”. Some irate Parsis flooded Gandhi’s mailbox with letters written in tones that made the otherwise calm Mahatma blush. “One writer uses language of violence which certainly brings him within penal laws,” Gandhi stated. Ironically, one of the key architects of the government’s prohibition policy was a teetotaller Parsi, MDD Gilder. Today, the community has a much bigger problem on its plate. For the past several decades, Indian census figures have chronicled our rapidly dwindling numbers, largely brought about by declining rates of marriage and childbirth. We are an ageing community where deaths vastly outnumber births.
But for Parsis, the love of food has even transcended death. In certain funerary ceremonies, we honour our departed by leaving behind some of their favourite foods at a fire temple. In order to help reverse our demographic decline, the community has doubled down on holding matrimonial meets for youngsters. Recognising that food can be a potent unifier, organisers of these meets lure in participants with sumptuous meals.
This strategy has met with mixed success. One Zoroastrian youth organisation recently held a competition to document embarrassing dating experiences, prompting a young woman to write a poem complaining that her date “was interested only in his food plate”. She won the competition’s top prize: two tickets to – you guessed correctly – a dinner at an upscale restaurant in south Mumbai. Will such prizes and food-centric matrimonial programmes ultimately yield results? We hope they do. And we hope that more Parsi youth bond over their abiding love for food, so that a community that lives to eat, lives on.
Parinaz Madan is a lawyer and Dinyar Patel is a historian.
Congratulations to our member Erik Treasuryvala for his Pav Bhaji Masala and Pav Bhaji recipes.
Erik says – Pav Bhaji has its origins in the civil war of America in the 1860s. Read more here…
Erik is a member of the Facebook Parsi Cuisine (PC) group and regularly shares his creations with us. I am very impressed by his diligence and ability to create such mouth-watering foods. We wish Erik many successes in his cooking ventures.
Home made Pav bhaji Masala
Ingredients for 240 ml cup 2 small Black cardamoms or badi elaichi 2 tbps Cumin (Jeera) 4 tbps Coriander seeds (Dhaniya) 2 tsp peppercorns 3/4th tbsp fennel seeds (saunf) 6 red chillies 2 inch Cinnamon or Dalchini 6 cloves or Laung 1 tsp amchur powder (dry Mango Powder)
Method 1. Dry roast all the ingredients one after the other on a medium heat on a pan till they turn flagrant.
2. Add dry mango powder/ amchur powder to the hot pan to get a good aroma
3. Cool the ingredients completely then powder in a blender if needed seive it
4. Store in airtight container.
Who Invented The Famous Indian Dish Called Pav Bhaji?
Pav Bhaji has its origins in the civil war of America in the 1860s. Because of the civil war, there was a huge demand for cotton. Due to this, the traders at the Bombay cotton exchange used to be very busy especially during the night when new cotton rates used to be telegram-ed from America. Thus they used to return home late and the annoyed wives would not serve them food. So to solve this problem the street vendors used to collect the leftover bread from the Jesuit priests and mix all the vegetables, mash them together and used to eat them with the bread and butter. Thus pav (bread) bhaji (vegetables) was born.
Thus from the humble beginnings, the street of Bombay to being a household item in the entire nation Pav Bhaji has come a long way.
Here are 5 different variants of pav bhaji
1. Jain Pav Bhaji -no onion, no garlic version of the regular pav bhaji made using raw bananas instead of potatoes and mashed peas. This is available in Gujarat and parts of Maharashtra.
2. Kathiawar Pav Bhaji – region has local spices added to it, giving it a very distinct taste, and it is usually washed down with a glass of buttermilk.
3. Kada Pav Bhaji – is the same as regular pav bhaji except that the vegetables in it are not mashed up i.e. the chopped and cooked vegetables are kept intact, whole.
4. Punjabi Pav Bhaji – is loaded with whole spices (garam masala), excess butter and often accompanied by a glass of ‘lassi’.
5. Kohlapuri Pav Bhaji – variation where red chilli powder is substituted by Kolhapuri kanda lasun chutney to make it a more spicy, garlicky version of the pav bhaji.
2 medium potatoes approx 1.5 cups chopped 1/2 cup green peas 3 cups chopped cauliflower 1/2 cups chopped carrot 1 large onion chopped 1 tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste 2 medium tomatoes chopped 1/2 cup chopped capsicum 1 teaspoon red chilly powder 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder 1/4 teaspoon cumin-coriander powder 1 teaspoon ready made pav bhaji masala powder or homemade – see above 1 teaspoon lemon juice Salt to taste Butter for serving 2 tablespoons concentrate chopped coriander leaves Pav (soft buns) for serving
1.Chopped potato, cauliflower, carrot & green peas into a 2-3 liter capacity pressure cooker. Add 1/2 cup water & salt to taste.
2.Close the pressure cooker with a lid & cook over medium flame for 2-whistles. Turn off the flame. Open the lid after pressure releases naturally; it will take around 5-7 minutes.
3.Mash the boiled vegetables gently with potato masher or using the backside of a large spoon until little chunky texture. You can mash cooked veggies into a texture you like – with small chunks or smooth with no chunks at all. The texture of your bhaji would depend on how you mashed the veggies.
4.Heat 2-tablespoons oil & 2-tablespoons butter together in a pan over medium flame. Add chopped onion & ginger-garlic paste. Sauté until onion turns translucent.
6.Add 1½ teaspoons red chilli powder, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1-teaspoon cumin-coriander powder & 1-teaspoon readymade pav bhaji masala powder. Stir & cook for a minute.
7.Add 3/4 cup water, mix well & cook for 2-3 minutes. Add boiled & mashed vegetables & 1-teaspoon lemon juice.
8.Mix well and cook for 4-5 minutes. Taste for the salt at this stage & add more if required. Turn off the flame. Add chopped coriander leaves & mix well. Bhaji is ready for serving.
9.Cut the pav buns horizontally into halves. Heat grill over medium flame. Add a tablespoon of butter & place halved pav buns over it. Grill both sides until light brown spots appear, it will take around 30 seconds for each side to turn light brown. Transfer to the plate. Grill remaining pavs.
10.Transfer prepared bhaji to a serving bowl & garnish with a cube of butter. Serve hot with butter Grilled pav, sliced onion & lemon wedges.
I thank Parsi Cuisine to give me this platform to share my Recipes & my Pics & Posts related to Food.
Editor’s Note: Sweet and Crispy Parsi Puri stays for a long time like a month. It is fondly called Tal Papra. Made from sesame seeds (Tal), cardamom and nutmeg powder, and caraway seeds.
As I get ready for a very important prayer day tomorrow, here’s an old recipe not very commonly made today.. Tal na papra… A sweet puri infused with sesame seeds, cardamom and nutmeg powder, and caraway seeds.
Equal proportions of plain and whole wheat flour are mixed with powdered sugar, a generous quantity of sesame seeds and the fragrant powders, ghee, a little water and mixed into a hard dough and rested. The dough is then rolled out into very very thin puris…almost tissue like.
The unique feature of these puris is that they are dry roasted on the griddle first and then fried in boiling oil… And it has to be done simultaneously and fast… Or you have burnt stuff… Hence the stove setup and the need to have quick hands…
My granny Dinamai used to make hundreds of these papra and store them in large aluminum boxes as we went to the village during vacations. I used to devour unimaginable quantities without any thought to the effort that goes into making them.
Today as I made them for the first time, I remembered Dinamai and sent up a small prayer in her memory, and apologized for the trouble I must have caused her. The papra I made were nowhere compared to what she used to make, but brought back memories of childhood and good times…
For me, women like Dinamai were the ultimate role models. They labored, under the most harsh conditions, without a murmur of protest, and gave all they had for the benefit of their spouse, children and family. For me, Dinamai was more emancipated and a greater symbol of feminity than those shrill voices we hear today, or the so called ‘hot chicks’ who can’t hold a ladle in their hands and consider cooking beneath their dignity or who need 10 hours of sleep and then some more…
Behdin Dinamai Behdin Nariman, may your Ruvan progress ahead! @ Udvada
Recipe of Tal Papri puri
1 cup plain maida flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup sesame seeds (Til)
1 tsp cardamon or nutmeg
1/4 cup ghee
Water enough for mixing the dough
Oil for deep frying
All the above except the oil for frying is mixed into a hard dough and rested. The dough is then rolled out into very very thin puris, almost tissue like. (See photos). Fry in hot oil till crisp, drain and cool.
On New Year day, Birthday, Anniversary or a Festive occasion the parsi auspicious dish to make is Dhun Dar.
“Dhun” a gujarati word means “wealth” and “Dar” is a translation of the indian lentil called “Dal” which come in various lentils of Toovar dal, Masoor dal, Channa dal, Urad dal and so on. The dal used in dhun dar is toover dal.
Parsi Dhun Dar
( Also known as Mora Dal Chawal)
Chawal (Steamed Rice)
2 cups basmati Rice
4 cups water
1 tbsp Salt
2 tbsp Oil or ghee
2 inch piece of cinnamon stick (broken)
5 cardamom pods (broken)
Wash the Rice then add the required water, ghee, Salt and all of above.
Put in a large flat bottomed pot with a cover and bring to a rolling boil.
Next lower heat to lowest setting and cook covered, on full flame for 20 minutes.
Keep covered till ready to serve. (Note – do not open cover unless you need to. this keeps the steam in and the Rice soft)
3 cups Dal ( Toovar Dal also known a pigeon peas )
2 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Turmeric
1 pod Garlic
1 tbsp Cumin seeds
3 cups water
1 large Onion, finely sliced
2 tsps butter or ghee
Wash the Dal well then add water, Salt, Turmeric and allow to cook till tender in a pressure cooker (15 minutes) on low heat.
Mash the Dal with a hand grinder or potato masher. Make it nice and blended.
Add 1 tsp. butter or ghee (this makes the Dal shiny).
Fry the sliced Onions, chopped Garlic and fry in Oil till light gold.
Then add the Cumin seeds and remove from stove.
Add all the fried items to the Dal, cover to keep the aroma in. Keep warm.
GANTHODA Ganthoda is a powder made from the root of a long pepper. This powder is known by several other names, which include pipramul and peepramul; however, ganthoda is a word native to India.
Ganthoda powder mixed with ginger powder, water and jaggery is an Indian natural remedy for gastric discomfort and joint pain, according to Spices Online.
Ganthoda powder is used in many Indian recipes and in tea as an ayurvedic treatment.
The Parsi Vasanu (click for recipe) includes Gandhoda powder. Vasanu is eaten in cold winter weather early in the morning for maximum benefits.
COMBINED USES Individuals who want to increase their magnesium intake to prevent bone problems may find the most benefit in drinking milk or consuming milk-based dairy products. This is because some milk-based dairy contains both calcium and magnesium, which work together in this respect. This may not be ideal for a person with lactose intolerance or irritable bowel syndrome, as milk can trigger a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms. Some people add ganthoda powder to milk to ease these discomforts, although there are no studies to prove its effectiveness.
CONSIDERATIONS Although magnesium is FDA-approved for use, ganthoda is not. Neither magnesium nor ganthoda are FDA-approved to cure illnesses, so before using them to treat or prevent any illness, speak to your physician. Magnesium is an important mineral to consume and although it is possible to consume enough through diet, your physician may suggest that you take a supplement to meet your needs. Ganthoda has no known contra indications or side effects, but since no studies are published on its effectiveness, speak to your physician before consuming large quantities of it.
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.
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
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.
Home-made Sweet Yogurt is a traditional parsi dish for Birthday, Navjote, Wedding, Jashan and other auspicious occasions. Mitthu Dahi is served cold with Sev, Ravo or just by itself.
Dahi is very good for indigestion, heart burn and good health. For example when you are taking antibiotics for a Virus or Flu, the good bacteria in your body are wiped out by the antibiotic. Yogurt culture replaces the good bacteria and your immunity increases.
Ingredients: 2 pints half and half cream
3 cups milk (4%)
3 cups sugar
32 oz whole milk yogurt container (organic is better)
1/4 tsp saffron (ground), (optional and to taste)
1/4 tsp cardamom powder (optional and to taste)
Boil cream and milk to a full boil. Bring to full rolling boil again for 15 times.
Next add sugar and simmer for 15 minutes. Take off heat.
Cool till lukewarm to a finger dipped in. This might take 4 hours to cool. Do NOT put in refrigerator to cool.
Add yogurt, saffron and cardamom and mix with electric mixer or by hand till completely blended.
Pour into glass or plastic (heat proof) vessel. Cover with foil loosely.
Ferment for 12 to 15 hours overnight.
In morning store in refrigerator to chill. Serve cold.
Tips: I usually start the whole process in the morning and finish at night. Then the trick is to have the yogurt to ferment overnight in a warm environment. Hot summer temperatures of 90 degrees and above are ideal for yogurt making. In winters cover with blankets, use yogurt makers, keep in warm oven of 100 degrees or whatever area of house is the warmest. Yogurt should be formed in 12 to 15 hours. Store in refrigerator for use.
Make it in the hot, hot summer!
High heat of 95 degrees in the summer months, makes the yogurt making process easier.
Roll out pastry like a roti and put the dar ball in it. Close the pastry around with your hands and pinch to seal. Press with the palm of your hands and using flour and a rolling pin press to have a flat 2.5 cm pori.
Beat one egg with some milk and apply on pori. Vegetarians can use water.
Place in butter paper (parchment) on a oven proof tray.
Pre heat oven to 200 C and bake for 20 minutes. The pori should turn light brown not dark. TIP: Remember it is only the pastry that is being baked, dar is already cooked.
Remove from oven and brush on both sides some good old pure ghee.
If pori is not cooked on the bottom, flip over and put in oven for 6-8 minutes.
Pori will stay wrapped in butter paper in refrigerator for a week. If you freeze these after cooling, they will stay for 6 months.
These are made for a baby’s “Besnu“. This is when a baby starts sitting upright on his/her own bottom.
These are made for a baby’s “pag ladoo ceremony“. This is when a baby starts walking and standing on his/her own feet.
1/2 Cup Rice flour
2 tbsp All purpose flour
2 tbsp butter
3/4 cup water
Ingredients for Stuffing
1 cup freshly grated coconut
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp almond flakes
3 tbsp raisins
Let us first make the stuffing, take sugar, milk, coconut, almonds and raisins in a deep dish, let it cook in a simmer flame, until the liquid is completely absorbed. Take it off the flame, let it cool.
In another sauce pan take water and let it boil, when it starts boiling, reduce the flame, add rice flour and all purpose flour to this and mix well with a spoon. The flour will absorb the water and it would look clumpy. Take it off the flame, when it touchable hot, add butter to the flour mix and knead well to a smooth dough.
Now divide the dough into 10-12 equal balls. Work with one ball at a time, keeping the rest covered. Grease your palm with butter/oil/ghee, knead the dough ball well. Make flat patty out of it, keep a 1 or 2 tbsp of filling inside it and cover it with dough to make a ball shape.
Repeat the same with rest of the dough.
Once all the dough balls are shaped. Take a colander, lay it with a muslin cloth, place the made balls/ladoos in the cloth, cover it with a lid or foil. Place it in a steamer and steam cook for about 10-12 minutes.
Allow to cool.and place it for the pag ladoo ceremony.
Ghee is easy to love. It’s unbelievably delicious, like ultra-rich Irish butter that’s been gently caramelized and transformed into a smooth spread. It’s also shelf-stable and has a generously high smoke-point, making it pretty much the ideal cooking oil. Oh, and did we mention its distinct flavor and deep roots in well-established Ayurvedic practices?
Ghee is clarified butter, a.k.a. butter that has been simmered and strained to remove all water. In France, clarified butter has uncooked milk solids, yielding a product with a very clean, sweet flavor. In comparison, ghee is cooked over low heat until the milk solids have a chance to start to brown lightly, creating a slightly nutty, caramelized vibe. It is shelf-stable, with a high smoke point and deeply nutty flavor. Ghee has played a key role in Ayurveda for centuries, where it’s prized for its anti-inflammatory, digestive, and therapeutic properties. It even appears in the Vedic myth of creation, when the deity Prajapati created ghee from nothingness and poured it into the fire to form his offspring.
Why we love it:
Clarifying butter by removing water creates a higher smoke point—about 465º F compared to butter’s 350º F. The clarifying process also removes casein and lactose, making ghee suitable for the dairy-sensitive. The absence of water even makes ghee shelf-stable, meaning it can be stored without any refrigeration for extended periods of time. Just be sure to keep the jar away from steaming stoves, food, and anything else that can introduce bacteria. (If you start to detect an off flavor, scrape off the top level, and store it in the fridge instead.)
2 Sticks of unsalted butter
1 pot (thick bottom)
Jar for storing
Heat the butter in the pot on very low heat.
Wait till the foam, fat and salt floats on top.
Immediately strain into your jar.
To make ghee at home, start by simmering a saucepan of butter until the milk solids sink, then cook over a very low heat until they turn golden brown. (A pound of butter needs at least 45 minutes, and bigger batches need even longer.)
Butter is around 20% water, so removing water through simmering creates an 80% yield. In other words, one tablespoon of butter is lost per every five tablespoons of ghee, which is why ghee can get pricey. The jarred stuff is even more expensive because of the labor that goes into making it!
Skim off rising foam, then strain the remaining liquid through a fine mesh strainer until only the browned solids remain. You should be left with a golden-hued liquid: ghee.
Ghee cooks without much splatter or burning, making it ideal for high-heat cooking. Rub down a batch of vegetables before roasting, use a dollop to sautée garlic and ginger . Ghee can be used like any other cooking fat, but using it as a finishing oil really allows that rich flavor to come through.
Addiction warning: Ghee’s unmistakable taste is hard to quit in parsi fried eggs.
Vasanu is a very well-known health food in India. Traditionally, it is made in the winter in India, and has been reported to give vitality and strength.
Made with fresh dry fruits – Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachios, Dates and several other natural healthy ingredients like Musli, Kamar Kakri, Char jat nu Magaj, Ginger, Wheat – ghau nu dudh, water-chestnut, poppy seeds (khus-khus), cardamom, nutmeg and so many Aryuvedic ingredients plus spices that are carefully selected and blended for their vigor-giving properties. Recipe for Vasanu is here if you want to make it yourself, hard work!
It is mouth-watering and zesty with a blend of tastes that will remind you of times gone by. You will recall and relive the memories when your mother, grandmother or favorite aunt lovingly putting a delectable morsel of Vasanu in your mouth.
Healthy, all-natural and invigorating, it makes an excellent winter health food.
Place your nuts in a food processor and run it until you get a pretty fine texture. It’ll take about a minute.
Add your dates, coconut, and 2 teaspoons of the coconut oil and pulse until combined. You want it to be a consistency that will stick together, so if you think you need more “glue” add the 3rd teaspoon of coconut oil.
Put the mixture out into an 8×8 pan and spread it out evenly. Place it in the fridge to harden up a little and then cut into bars or squares.
Store in the fridge and enjoy as a nice healthy snack!
Crush the cardamom pod and remove the seeds and grind the seeds into fine powder.
Tie plain yogurt in a clean muslin cloth and hang it in refrigerator (tie the ends of cloth to the rack) for 6 – 8 hours with a bowl underneath to collect the whey. Alternatively, hang it above the kitchen sink for couple of hours and then refrigerate for an hour or so.
Remove the thick yogurt and mix in sugar, cardamom powder.
Divide into 3 mixing bowls, stir in red and blue food color in two bowls, keep the 3rd white.
Layer each into serving cup, I used a cocktail glass for special color effects.
Garnish with sliced almonds and serve shrikand immediately.
Suggestions: Use full fat yogurt for better taste.
Variations: You can also add honey instead of sugar if you wish.
It 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 Diet Detox & Cleansing.
Papeta par eeda aka Potatoes and Eggs is a easy dish to make anytime. Have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner, it is fully satisfying and yummy. A Egg Fritata is similar and made in a pan just like this parsi favorite. Enjoy with fresh Rotli or toasted bread.
Kheemo, Chicken Liver / Kaleji / Aleti Paleti can be served for a bigger meal.
Serve with Toasted Bread, Naan or Rotli.
Papeta par eeda can be made without eggs for vegetarians.
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.
Few of my friends went to Sodabottleopenerwala and relished the Parsi cuisine there! While talking to me, their demand arose for home cooked versions of the restaurant dishes!
So, on a recent potluck lunch, I made Parsi Berry Pulao and teamed it with some parsi ‘ kachumber’ on the side.
Mumbaikars who’ve been to Britannia Cafe at Ballard Estate can’t forget this…It’s the one and only Berry Pulao that has no match elsewhere. I love Parsi cuisine because of two things, the lavish use of dry fruits and the dishes are just mildly spicy.
Parsi Berry Pulao was an instant hit in a family and also in my friends circle ! I have made the vegetarian version today, but you team it with chicken or mutton as well.
Ahhh !! Berry pulao. The thought of the soft fluffy rice and the tartness of the berries is enough to make my mouth water. I used a mix and match of 3-4 different family recipes and here’s what I came up with… this Persian Recipe will definitely impress all of you !!
2 cups basmati rice
1 cup soya mini nuggets (You can also use chicken/mutton instead of soya)
1 cup fried onions
½ cup green peas
1 carrot (diced)
5 large onions (sliced)
3 mushrooms (sliced)
2 large potatoes (diced)
½ cup mixed berries ( I have used rainsins, blackberries and cranberries)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
½ inch ginger ( grated)
8-10 Almonds ( sliced)
2 green chillies ( finely chopped)
2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp ghee
2 sticks cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
Salt to taste
Wash the rice well and soak it in water for around 30 minutes before cooking.
Slice 3 large onions and deep fry them on low heat till they are well caramalized and turn crispy. This is one of key ingredient in making this aromatic pulao.
Heat the ghee in a deep thick bottomed dish. Once it is heated, add the cumin seeds and let it sputter on low heat.
Add the ginger and garlic and fry
Add the green chillies. Fry
Now, add the 2 sliced onions and fry till the onions have slightly caramelized
Next, add the potatoes and cook on low heat till the potatoes are cooked.
Now, add the diced carrots and let it cook for around 3 minutes.
Keep this mixture aside.
In the same dish, caramelize the sugar on low heat.
Add the rice and the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Add the potato mixture that you had kept aside to the rice as well.
Give it all a good stir. Cover the pan and let the rice cook on medium – low heat till well done.
Garnish the pulao with the fried onions and the sliced almonds. Mix well.
Switch off the heat and leave it covered for around 20 minutes before serving.
Enjoy this pulao with some Parsi ‘ kachumber’ on the side !! Totally Yummilicious !!
Step 1: Soak overnight in hot water, then peel and chop and fry :
1/2 kg Almonds
1/2 kg Pistachio nuts, shelled
250 g Charoli
Step 2: Grind to a powder individually:
250g Suva (Dil)
1/2 kg Dried water chestnuts
450g Lotus roots
25g Pholi musli
10g Punjabi salan
25g White pepper
25g Kali musli
50g pipri mool
50g saalam panjo
50g kajar kas
50g karlu batrisu
50g jabar jas
Step 3: Grind lightly – should be left a little course:
30g white cardamoms
25g vai varin
350g dry ginger
250g udad daal
25g chana dal
150g khus khus
100g variali (saunf)
200g dry coconut
Grind as directed in the steps
Heat a little ghee in a shallow frying pan and fry all powdered individually, a little at a time, adding them to the mixture with ghee, as they are fried. Mix well, place on low heat and cook, stirring continuously, to prevent burning.
Make a sugar syrup of one-thread consistency, using enough water just to cover sugar. Add fried ingredients together in a large pot, keeping a few nuts aside.
In another pan, cook dil with ghau nu doodh till thick. Add about two cups water, if needed. Pour dil mixture into sugar syrup.
When thick, add crushed spices, mix well and remove from fire.
Pour into a dish, cool cut into pieces and store in a cool place.
Not good for diabetics unless you substitute sugar with Splenda.
Vasanu will stay for a month. Having a thick layer of ghee on top prevents it from spoiling.
Even without a New York restaurant of his own right now, Floyd Cardoz remains one of the city’s most recognizable, celebrated chefs. It’s been half a decade since he closed Tabla, the highly decorated modern-Indian restaurant he ran with Danny Meyer next door to Eleven Madison Park, but even as he spent that time moving through several other kitchens — and winning a season of Top Chef Masters — he never fully returned to the elegant, thoughtful Indian cooking that first made his name. It’s one reason why anticipation is high for Paowalla (named for Mumbai’s bread vendors), the restaurant he’ll open in Soho later this year.
When it opens, Paowalla will join a fast-growing roster of ambitious new Indian restaurants in New York. Babu Ji, which was opened last year in the East Village by Jessi and Jennifer Singh, is one of the city’s biggest success stories. Many people say it does for Indian food what Momofuku did for ramen, and New York‘s Adam Platt called it one of 2015’s best new restaurants. Just a few weeks ago, Delhi-based chef Manish Mehrotraopened a midtown outpost of his own high-minded gastronomic laboratory,Indian Accent, which has been named among the best restaurants in Asia. (It’s also worth noting the success of high-end Indian joints like Dishoom in London and MG Road in Paris.)
That’s no guarantee that pappadams will become the next pork buns, but it does feel like the making of a full-blown trend. And Paowalla is being hailed by some watchers as Cardoz’s big return to the kaleidoscopic flavors of his home country — even though he already had that return with his restaurant the Bombay Canteen, which he opened to great acclaim in Mumbai last year, three decades after the chef first left.
Cardoz says he first got the idea for a restaurant in India when he was working at Tabla: “I always told Danny I wanted to do a restaurant back in India,” he explains. The chef waited, though, until he found a partner familiar with working “in the system,” as he puts it. When CEO Sameer Seth, who opened North End Grill with Cardoz in 2011, and COO Yash Bhanage, then based in Singapore, approached him in 2014 with their plan to start something in India, he knew he’d found his team.
The restaurant celebrated a year in business last February, and it is still the toughest reservation to get in India’s biggest city. Ask Seth why he thinks it’s so successful, and he might as well be talking about the farm-to-table movement that took hold of Manhattan in the last decade: “It’s important to get the flavor of the place you’re in,” he says. “You see the inspiration we have here. The small restaurants are the best ones.”
Before Bombay Canteen’s opening, high-end restaurants in Mumbai were, with few exceptions, aping cuisines from other countries, more likely to serve imported asparagus than crisp roundels of bitter gourd, or overpriced salmon in lieu of the fiery fish curries you’ll find at no-frills, fluorescent-lit canteens all over town. “It was high time people went back to Indian food,” Seth explains of their decision to focus on the country’s native cuisine. So Cardoz’s menu, which he developed with chef de cuisine Thomas Zacharias, is full of adaptations of regional delicacies that make the most of India’s bold, brash flavors.
There’s a salad made from baby fenugreek, delicate and bitter, like a cross between alfalfa and watercress, and deep-fried golden anchovies make the case that all fries should be prepared with tiny fish; there are also gussied-up versions of quintessential street foods, and witty updates of anachronistic Raj-era snacks — ingredients and dishes that, before the Canteen, were too humble for most high-end kitchens. Roshni Bajaj Sanghvi, one of the city’s most prominent food writers, says it “epitomizes everything about food in Bombay today.” She adds, “I can safely say 20 other places have opened since, trying to do what the Canteen does.” Rahul Akerkar, whose restaurant Indigo is the granddaddy of India’s fine-dining scene, described the Canteen’s cooking as “friendly, familiar — fun food. We have a word in Hindi — chaatpath — it sits well in the mouth.”
Cardoz, meanwhile, says the appeal is something even simpler: “If you tell the story of the provenance of a dish, people will eat it.” He adds, “People need to believe that you’re not being cute and you’re not fucking with them.” Paowalla won’t be a new version of the Bombay Canteen, but it will be informed by that same ethos. “The really important thing at Bombay Canteen was using only Indian ingredients. So will [Paowalla] be adapted for New York? Yeah, it will be,” he says. “There will be a lot of local, northeastern seafood. There will be a few Indian terms on the menu, but not too many, because humans don’t want to feel dumb. I’m going to tell you what things are.”
Paowalla will reflect much of what people loved about Tabla when it first opened, though without the table linens and Madison Avenue décor. Cardoz thinks the time is right for New Yorkers to embrace serious Indian cooking again: “People have tasted things now, they’ve traveled, they understand that there’s more to Indian food than chicken tikka masala and naan.” He laughs. “I didn’t even eat naan until I was 19.”
Even still, this is New York City, and diners have come to expect certain things. Cardoz clearly understands what makes restaurants work in Manhattan: “I have a wood-burning oven. I have a farmer who’s growing me fenugreek. I want to try and use sorghum,” he says. Also, because this is Soho, there will be brunch. “We do restaurants really, really well in New York,” Cardoz explains. Yes, he wants to do things with Indian food that New Yorkers possibly haven’t seen, but he also wants his new place to be as much a reflection of his adopted home as the Canteen is of his birthplace: “I want Paowalla to be a quintessential New York restaurant.”
1/2 cup plain flour (maida)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour (gehun ka atta)
1 tsp oil
salt to taste
For the stuffing:1 cup noodles
2 boiled potatoes (mashed)
2 Onions (cut into half circle shape)
1 tomato (chopped)
1 capsicum (chopped)
soya sauce ( 1 tbl spoon)
black paper, chat masala
MethodFor The Roties:
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and knead into a soft and pliable dough using enough water.
Divide the dough into equal portions and roll out them,
Heat a tava (griddle) and cook each roti lightly on a medium flame and keep aside.
For the stuffing:
Heat 2 tbl spoon oil in kadahi and add ginger-garlic paste.
Fry for 2 mins, then add mashed potatoes, chopped tomato and capsicum, add half of the onion (half of the onion we need at the time of serving)
Add chilly powder, salt, black paper and make a good mixture, make tikkies of equal shapes and keep them aside. Part 1 is completed.
1 cup coconut, grated. (frozen grated coconut)
1 1/2 cup Sugar
3 tablespoon Cream
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and cardamom powder
Few drops red colouring
1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon butter
1/2 cup pistachio nuts optional Method
1. Grease a tray with butter.
2. In a pan add grated coconut and sugar and put on medium fire. Blend well stirring constantly with wooden spoon for 2 minutes.
3. Add cream and blend well.
4. Cook, stirring constantly till mixture leaves sides of pan and coats the spoon.
5. Add vanilla essence and few drops of red coloring to give mixture a good pink colour. Mix well.
6. Turn out into tray, sprinkle nutmeg and cardamom powder over surface and spread out mixture evenly to 1 cm (1/2 inch) thickness.
7. Cool for 15 minutes, then mark into 3 cm squares and allow to cool completely. Sprinkle pistachio nuts if desired.
8.Break into pieces along marking lines.
Note: this coconut delight will keep for 15 days refrigerated
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.
Wash sago well and soak it overnight with water just enough to immerse the sago. The next day morning, all water should have got absorbed by the sago and it will be soft and fluffy.
Boil potatoes and cube it and keep aside.In a non stick pan, add ghee and temper with mustard if desired and then jeera, followed by curry leaves. Add the cubed potatoes, little salt and fry for a minute.
Add the sago, required salt and stir well. Add ghee if needed and keep in medium flame for 4- 5 minutes, until transparent and soft. Make sure you stir to avoid sticking to the bottom. Add crushed peanuts (roasted).
Give it a stir and lastly squeeze the lemon and toss well. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
The sago should get soaked well, then only it gets cooked easily too. So make sure you soak atleast 8 hours.
Do not soak in more water. Just wash and add water to immerse the sago. Otherwise if you add more water, then becomes gooey.
After you add sago and keep frying, as the sago gets cooked, it turns transparent. Make sure all the sago gets cooked.
As it gets cooked, tends to be sticky but dont worry, it wont be too sticky.
Mustard is purely optional. So you can avoid it.
If you over cook the sago and keep frying, after turning transparent, it again starts to turn white.
Sabudana khichadi is an Indian dish made from soaked Sabudana (Sago). It is usually prepared in western parts of India especially in Gujarat & Maharashtra. In the major towns of Maharashtra like Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur, it is available as street food and is widely enjoyed by everyone throughout the year. It is the dish of choice when somebody is observing a fast during Navratri. Tapioca is soaked for some time and then is fried with cumin seeds, Rock salt, red chili powder, green chillies and other optional ingredients such as fried peanuts etc. Khichdi is usually garnished with coriander leaves.
Sago is nearly pure carbohydrate and has very little protein, vitamins, or minerals. The addition of Peanuts to Sabudana Khichadi adds to the protein, vitamins and minerals content making it a complete dish. The Sabudana Khichadi is filling in nature and has a high energy content, therefore, it serves as ideal food during fasting.
1 cup sabudana(sago)
1/2 tsp Sugar
2 Green Chillies chopped lengthwise
1/2 cup peanuts
1 boiled and peeled potato
2 tsp Oil
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 Pinch Hing (asafoetida)
2 tbsp grated fresh Coconut
1 tsp Lemon juice
Salt to taste
Few Coriander leaves
Few Curry Leaves
How to make sabudana khichidi :
Washing And Soaking:
Wash the sabudana in water 2 -3 times. Then soak them in water just enough to cover the top of the sabudana. Use a flat bottom vessel for soaking. Soak the sabudana in water for 6 – 8 hrs before you plan to make the khichdi. Every 2 – 3 hrs fluff them with the help of a fork. Later if you feel that the sabudana still has a hard center then sprinkle some water on them and wait for 30 mins for them to get soft. Fluff again with a fork and check. Repeat the process till you get perfectly soft centered pearly sabudana. Each and every pearl will be soft and well shaped. Also the sabudanas will double in volume.
Chop the potatoes into small cubes.
Heat the oil/ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds and hing. When the cumin seeds crackle add the green chillies and curry leaves.
Add the chopped potatoes and stir well. Let them cook till they are light brown on the outside. Add sabudana mixture and mix gently. Let it cook for 10 – 15 mins stirring occasionally and scraping the sabudana layer from the bottom of the vessel. When the pearls get translucent and shiny sabudana is ready.
Then add crushed peanuts, sugar and salt. Stir and make sure every thing gets mixed well.
Add the grated coconut and garnish with coriander leaves.
Sprinkle some lemon juice over it and serve hot.