Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian Parsi Food

Doordarshan on Parsi Cuisine

@Parsis are predominantly in Mumbai and the west coast of India, #DelhiGate is home to a #Parsidharmsala which has the @Parsi #firetemple in its precincts and displays the culture and flavor of the @Parsicommunity. The misunderstanding that #Parsifood is generally #nonvegetarian is dispelled when @Charlesthomson helps himself to sumptuous vegetarian #Parsithali and an unusual #Parsichai […]

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The place of Tea in Indian Culture

The place of Tea in Indian Culture

The place of Tea in Indian Culture

Indians love tea, they are crazy about it – and they even have a special word for it – chai.
India is one of the largest tea growers in the world. Tea is grown in the north and the south – in exotic places like Munnar in Kerala, Darjeeling, Assam, and Nilgiri Mountains. The tea gardens are a sight to see. Beautiful terraces are carved into the earth and from far they look like manicured gardens. Tea from Darjeeling and Assam is world famous for its aroma and taste.
Tea was introduced in India by the British during early 1900’s, those were early days of the British Raj. Large swaths of land were converted for mass tea-production. Ironically, the British introduced tea in India to break the Chinese monopoly. Tea was originally consumed by the westernized Indians, but it became widely popular over time. Today, looking at the popularity of tea one cannot tell of its origins from China.
But the story of story of tea in India goes beyond the tea gardens in exotic mountains and valleys, covered with mist and lush greenery. Tea is woven intricately into the Indian social fabric.
Chai is the common equalizer in India – from the rich to the poor. No matter what their position in life, an Indian relishes a cup of tea. The rich ones have their tea served in fancy tea-pots, delicate porcelain cups on well laid out tables with cookies and pastries. The not-so-affluent have it in more humble settings. But the joy and satisfaction is the same.
No matter where you go in India, even the remote village, you are likely to find a tea-stall, with a Chai-walla brewing the concoction, squeezing every last flavor. There is always a crowd of eager and tired folks waiting patiently for their chai. Tea re-vitalizes your body. It is a great anti-oxidant.
India has one of the largest railway networks in the world. Every train station has tea-stalls. Hawkers carry tea-buckets doling out hot cups to weary travelers as the trains pull into the train stations. One of my enduring memories growing up in India is traveling on the train in the sleeper-coach and waking up to the lilting calls of the tea-hawkers.
There are many stories of how tea brings people together. When you visit friends – tea and snacks are probably the most common offering. A cup of tea bonds friendships and heals differences. A guest rejecting an offer of a cup of tea may even hurt their feelings. The ultimate bonding is sharing a cup of tea – between two people – albeit in different saucers. When you visit a commercial establishment, as a sign of respect for the customer, tea is offered. Read more in my cookbook for Tea.
Recently, I was invited to speak and present “The Place of Tea in Indian Culture and the Kerala Tea Gardens” at the Boston Athenaeum. Here is a short synopsis. I am delighted that my Cookbooks were displayed and showcased in the museum! Thanks Hannah Weisman! Hannah is the Director of Education at Boston Athenaeum.
The museum is a historical place and encourages historical books. The Boston Athenaeum is steeped in history. Founded in 1807, the Boston Athenæum is one of the oldest and most distinguished independent libraries and cultural institutions in the United States.
Tea / Chai Recipes:
Ginger Tea
Masala Chai
Parsi Chai
Cardamom Tea
Teas of India Cookbook

More on The place of Tea in Indian Culture on ParsiCuisine.com

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Yazdani Bakery

Yazdani Bakery

There are many Irani Bakeries in Mumbai, India. You must have heard of the Kayani Bakery, but have you heard of the Yazdani Bakery? Yazdani Bakery is an Irani cafe or Persian style bakery in Mumbai, India. The bakery was opened in 1953 by Meherwan Zend, an Irani baker. All products in the bakery are handmade, and baked in diesel ovens. The bakery draws […]

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Stum Food in the Muktads and Gatha days explained from Udvada

Stum Food in the Muktads and Gatha days explained from Udvada

By Marzban Hathiram Today’s afternoon Stum – Goan potato curry with basmati rice and kachumber – a lightly tossed onion, cucumber and carrot salad with coriander leaves; some pomegranate seeds, cow’s milk, a rose and freshly drawn well water… Bon apetit! There is deep spiritual significance behind each of these offerings as they represent the […]

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Famous Mawa Cakes

The humble ‘mawa’ cake story

The year 1981 saw the release of Manmohan Desai’s blockbuster Naseeb. While it is Amitabh Bachchan’s famous image of cage-fighting, Kim’s lip-reading talent and Hema Malini’s pink boa that make the film unforgettable for most, I will always associate the film with the beginning of a love affair with the mawa cake (click here for […]

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Bring in the rain! Parsi Custom of bringing in rains by an community effort of collecting Rice, Dal and Ghee to make Khichri

Bring in the rain! Parsi Custom of bringing in rains by an community effort of collecting Rice, Dal and Ghee to make Khichri

You may have heard of the American Red Indian Dance for Rains, but have you heard of the Parsi Custom of bringing in rains by an community effort of collecting Rice, Dal and Ghee to make Khichri? In Navsari (a small town in the Gujarat State of India) often referred to as the “Dharam Ni […]

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Irani Rice Tahdig

HOW TO PERFECT THE IMPERFECT ART OF IRANIAN RICE TAHDIG by Naz When I first moved out of my childhood home, only a week went by before I found myself craving my mother’s cooking. Specifically, I missed Persian rice with tahdig—the prized golden, crispy crust at the bottom of the rice pot. Rice is the crown jewel […]

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Here comes the gourmet granny

Here comes the gourmet granny

‘Granny Sathe Jamwanu’ is a Parsi feast not to be missed. Recipes are linked complements of this ParsiCuisine.com site. Of the five ladies, 93-year-old Perin B Dittia is the eldest. She is dressed in a blue sari, her pearl necklace has blue stones to match her sari and a white-dotted blue hair-band keeps her silky […]

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Bombay Bakery’s Coffee Cake

Bombay Bakery’s Coffee Cake

Looking for Bombay Bakery Coffee Cake Recipe? Why wait for a trip to Hyderabad when you can replicate the famous cake’s recipe at home? Nostalgia is a beautiful thing — it comes with editing, and our brain selectively remembers only the very wonderful. One memory I cherish is the legendary coffee cake from the famed […]

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

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

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

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Nankhatai Recipe

Nankhatai Recipe

by Meher Mirza The Parsis especially have taken the nankhatai to their heart and it is to my favourite Parsi cookbook writer that I turned for the recipe. This is of course, my well-thumbed copy of Bhicoo Manekshaw’s Parsi Food and Customs in which she writes, “Parsis have no boundaries when it comes to good food […]

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LEVTA (Mudfish) WITH KHICHDI

LEVTA (Mudfish) WITH KHICHDI

by Jenifer Petigara Mistry Growing up in Surat and that too the old part of the city, at 10-12 years of age Makar-Sankranti was a day full of loud music blaring from the rooftops, “Kaipo Chhe” or “Kaipoch” or”aye peli peeli gayi ” or “Laali ni pi” sounds. In the narrow streets, there would be […]

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Head over to TAJ Lands End for fine dining

Head over to TAJ Lands End for fine dining

DINING From hearty Italian, to aromatic Indian to the piquant spices of fine Chinese, fine-dining restaurants at Taj Lands End, Mumbai, will make you travel the world. Savour each unique recipe perfected.     Whether it’s cooking up innovative dishes or infusing recipes with genuine flavours, winner of the Best Lady Chef, Amninder Sandhu continues […]

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Irani Café 2.0: These young chefs are here to make Parsi food cool again

Irani Café 2.0: These young chefs are here to make Parsi food cool again

by Meenakshi Iyer, Hindustan Times, Mumbai Since its opening in Gurgaon two years ago, SodaBottleOpenerWala (SBOW) has enjoyed good reviews from patrons and critics alike. Whether it is the décor — complete with a make-believe family tree of Rustom SodaBottleOpenerWala (the Parsi mascot who appears on plates, coasters and stirrers) — or the menu, that […]

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Zoroastrians and their roots

Zoroastrians and their roots

by Meher Mirza       Cyrus Dotivala talks to Zororoots participants at Surat’s Dotivala Bakery. Photograph from Zoroastrian Return to Roots team I’m going to be honest with you. I’m a Parsi but I’ve always had a somewhat tenuous love for Parsi food. Of course I liked the odd dish here and there—dhan-dar chawal, […]

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A Food Tour of Udvada

A Food Tour of Udvada

Instead of booking a table at a city Bawa eatery on Parsi new year, drive to Udwada for boi, dal-chawal and patio 1. The Hormuzd Bakery stall outside Iranshah Atash Behram stocks crumbly nankhatais and spongy bhakras; 2. Breakfast at Ahura: Parsi poro, akuri and salli par eedu with fresh pav make a jumbo breakfast at […]

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Batasa

The Batasas, Nankhatais and Kahri Biscuits of Dotivala Bakery

Dotivala The ‘Batasas’ Family of Surat UpperCrust visits Dotivala, Surat’s oldest bakery, which is known all over India for its Batasas, Nankhatais and Khari biscuits. WHATEVER you do in Surat, you cannot come away without buying Nankhatai, Batasas and Khari biscuits from the old Dotivala bakery there. It is located on Ardeshir Kotwal Road, Nanpura, […]

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