Bahman mahino is over!
Chicken and other meat recipes are at http://www.parsicuisine.com/Recipes/recipes/meats/
Check off the squares!
Let us know your comments below. 🙂
Parsi Batasa Recipe
Using yogurt, yeast and more certainly makes them soft on the inside and, crunchy on the outside. I have had the hard and crisp, dunk in Chai batasa all my life. Batasa from Navsari, Surat, Udvada.
Make them and write cookbooks for these delicacy. Now these I took these babies out of the oven early to keep them soft. Still the great taste and satisfaction of a batasa!
1 cup unsalted butter softened
3 1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp yeast
1/2 -1 tsp salt
2.5 tbsp yogurt
1 cup warm water
1 tsp. Caraway Seeds
In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, salt, yeast and baking powder.
Now add the rest of the ingredients and add some of the warm water.
Knead the dough, I got a soft dough stick but good enough to form balls. Make small balls, using water on your palms if needed to make the balls.
Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350F for 1/2 hour and then check. My batasa were brown and done! Note I took these babies out of the oven early to keep them soft. Prefer soft rather than the I have had the hard and crisp. 🙂
If you want them very hard and crispy inside and outside, bake 1 and half hours more at 250 F and then bake at 200F for the 30 minutes more.
Savor with Fudino + Leeli Chai (Tea)
In parsis a ancient “Chhathi na lekh” ritual is performed on the sixth day after a baby’s birth.
In parsi community, the belief is that on the 6th day after the birth of the child, the angels of destiny quietly enter the house around midnight to pen the destiny of the newborn.
Traditionally, on the eve of the sixth day after the birth, the mother of the newborn lights a divo. The divo along with a red pen and paper are placed on a flat surface, for the angels to write the future of the newborn. Place a photo of Zarathustra, a Fravahar and an religious idol that holds meaning for your family.
In addition, you can take some Red kumkum (what we use for tili) powder and soak it with water. Next press the baby’s foot in the red water solution. Next press the baby’s foot on the piece of paper and catch the baby’s foot imprint on a blank paper. You can do for both feet. These little footprints are to guide the angels to where the baby is. Later it becomes a keepsake.
The mother holds the baby in her lap, making sure the babys head is held well and does not roll. At this stage of just 6 days, the head has to be held firmly.
Next, mother and father say a small prayer while placing their hands on the baby’s head. Three Yatha Ahu Vairyio and an three Ashem Vohu prayers.
Ceremony is over. May the angel of destiny visit (Chatthi mai) and bless baby.
The gujarati word “Chatthi” literally means “sixth”. “Lekh” means “written word”. Chatthi mai is the angel of destiny.
In Gujarati Hindu it is an actual pooja ceremony.
Comments & from Facebook Worldwide Zoroastrians Group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/worldwidezoroastrians (for the protection of the individuals names are not included, if you want your name with the comment please contact us):
1. Yes for us our mum had done n I have done for our two daughters. my mother did it in Calcutta for us. Actually my sasu said to keep the clothes. Peravi ni devana. N those handkerchiefs are used as Goodluck.
2. I did it for both my children.. and, we finalize the child’s name and the mom whispers it in his/her ear when we do this divo for the chhatti na lekh ceremony…
3. Never heard of it…. is it a Hindu ritual?
Answer Arbez, it is rooted in hindu customs. Living in India with Hindus, for 700 years and more, we parsis adopted many rituals and even sanskrit in weddings.
yes all the gujjus n Jains do the chatthi ceremony !Theres a red pen placed on a blank paper ,a divo , flowers chokha and kanku is placed to on the paper and kept overnight.
my mum has mentioned this and I believe I have seen a piece of paper somewhere in my house which was the “chatti ni lekh” for either my brother or sister. I’ve definitely heard of this.
4. N then we officially named the children
5. Yes the tradition continues in our flys
Thank u for sharing
6.We have been doing it always for all new born babies in the family since generations!!
7. My mom did for both my kids…she had also kept new set of clothes with socks n topi..
8. Mine was done. I still have the red pen
9. Yep we all had this including my daughter
10. Yeah. My mum and mum-in-law did it for both my kids
11. Never heard of it. But loved reading about it. Definitely sounds borrowed from Hindu culture. We’re moving further and further away from all such rituals as the modern world gives us no time. I mean on Day 6 it’s all about managing the stitches, coaxing out the milk, burping and pooing, dealing with visitors and never sleeping.
12. Yes yes…. Done for both my daughter’s
13. My Mom did it for both our daughters!
14. Yes my mom did it for me and I for my son. My mom in law had also performed the ceremony for her children and grandchildren. Actually its the Mamaiji who does the rituals. The paper and clothes are to be carefully preserved and never discarded.
15. Yes granny did this for everybody.. However it is totally a hindu ritual to be honest, but totally ok.. Divinity is one, nothing wrong in creating good vibrations and spiritual blessings with our Avesta mantra too..
16. Yes, for both my kids. And practiced this for generations in our family
17. THIS IS BEING DONE SINCE AGES BY PARSIS.
18. My fui did it for both my boys ❤️
19. My grandmother did it for me and my sister. Even have my chhati nu kapru still.
20. Since ages we are doing this. I still have that special pen with me. My mom did for both my children
21. Yes my mom had dobe for both my sons. I still have that paper and pencil
22. Yes my parents did it for me and my bro and my children. I too got an opportunity to do for my three grandchildren.
23. I did it for my granddaughter. I wrote down all good wishes for the baby and her parents and then my husband and I read them out. Took a new dress, bonnet and a silver rattle and put all that and the good wishes list in a plastic bag and told my daughter to put it away safely. As per my MIL, if there is a court case then this bag should be taken for good luck.
24. Me too….did for all three grandchildren of mine 🥰 and yes my daughters too
25. I have done it for my nephew’s child.
26. Angel of destiny…. Vidhatamata
We also. Put a white plain paer, a kitto, a new red colour cloth or a frock or a shirt along with kankoo, chokha ne divo
27. Never done it.
28. Yes still followed. My sasu did this in addition to all stated above she kept a set of red colored clothes. A full set with socks cap n booties
29. Also a set of handkerchiefs. And also its on this sixth day that the baby’s fui names them. With a small poem
Sry if I m wrong with the words
Aan paan peepal pan
Fui e paryu _____ naam.
In place of the dash the name is said
30. Sasu did for my 2 boys n I did for my 2 grand kids
31. Yes it is followed in all parsee homes. My grand mother and mother would perform this ritual, but with a difference. The mother and child should not even cast their shadow on the diva and the paper and pen, as the mother has to be away as she not as yet completed 40 days after child birth. When we summon the Angel’s who are pure celestial beings then nothing should cross their path which will hinder the way of the angel. Also no Male is supposed to enter the room where the ritual is being done. We call it Chhathi mai na lekh.
The mother can say her prayers privately wishing well for the child. The ritual must be performed after dark.
This is how the ritual is performed as was being done is olden times, but we bring in changes to suit our convenience.
To each their own.
May all babies be blessed with all good things and their destinies bring them loads of happiness and good luck always.
you are spot on. The ritual is usually done by the child’s grandmother.
32. Yes, we have been doing it in our family for generations. Both sets of grandparents did it for our first grandson.
33. Yes, we have been doing it in our family for generations. Both sets of grandparents did it for our first grandson. After my dad passed I found our chatthi clothes in his cupboard…
34. Yes, we did with our first born in 1971. Big believer!🙏
35. Nice article, but how can the mother do the divo, as she has her periods. Neither can she or her husband pray.
This ceremony is done by the paternal grandmother.
She does everything mentioned in the article.
my dad did it.
36. Yes my mother did it for me and then she did it for my daughter. And after the ceremony officially whispered her name into her ears.
37. Yes I have done it for my brother and sister kids
38. Yes ceremony is performed by the child’s mamai or bapai not mother (as mentioned in the article)as she cant light divo and pray for 40 days..
39. It is so beautiful😇I am a Parsi married to a Hindu and we had very similar rites for our son on the 6th day. We too placed the symbolic red pen for the angels to write his destiny. A diya is lit, paper and pen are placed on a sandli (patlo) and the child is bestowed with his given name which the grand father whispers in the baby’s ears. A ceremony is performed with the mother holding the baby and the child’s footprint is marked out with kumkum.
40. Yes we did chatti ceremony for our kids but an elderly member performs the rituals as mother has to be away from holy rituals and prayers for 40 days.on that day no nonveg cooking is done in house.
A red pen, red ink n new red colour clothes are also placed and prayers are done
Generally we name the baby on that day.
41. Yes I did for my grandchild just 2 months back.
More to come!
Please comment here and let us know your family stories, folklore. Comments are always welcome and we learn together.
Indian Parsi Cuisine Cookbooks. Know the Joy of Cooking Good Food leads to Good Health and a Good Life!
Contact Rita for a free personal autograph and signed copy at Rita@ParsiCuisine dot com (Offer valid only for USA).
Ancient cooking book “Vividh Vani” by Meherbai Jamshedji Wadia (as is from original volumes in Gujarati)
First published at the turn of the 20th century, this mammoth book of two parts totaling 1500 pages carries over 2000 recipes, ranging from traditional Parsi to continental and Indian cuisines. Written in an era where all cooking was done on wood stoves and without fancy gadgets, no running water and no refrigeration, Vividh Vani offers us an in-depth look at the hard life of the traditional Parsi lady of those times.
I have put out a guide to OLD measures and weights used in the old cookbook Vividh Vani. (Tipri, Ratal, Maund, Seer/Sehr, Navtak and Tola). Do write back if you have used the cookbook and let us know how the dish comes out.
Old weights converted to 21st century measures.
TIPRI is 1 Cup approx.
RATAL is 500 grams
In 1956, For metric conversion, Government of India defined the Seer as follows:
One Seer = 0.93310 kilogram exact
The UN (1966) set One Seer = 2.057 pounds on average. This is approximately 2 pounds and One ounce
1 Maund = 40 Seer = 100 Troy Pounds Exact
1 Seer = 80 Tola
1 Tola = 11.66375 gram
Cake Molds and antique tools used in the kitchen by Parsi Cooks Circa 1867
Printed Paperback of the Ancient cooking book “Vividh Vani” by Meherbai Jamshedji Wadia
Products from Amazon.com
Source: Vividh Vani by Meherbai Jamshedji Wadia has been a classic reference book for thousands of Parsi ladies over one hundred years. (Click here download 2 volumes in gujarati language. Please be patient as the volumes are large)
Falooda – a drink for the hot summer with Rose, Cream and yummy ice-cream. Hot Summer Days call for Cold Falooda!
by Rita Jamshed Kapadia
In the Persian language it is called it Faloodeh or Paludeh. The Indian word “Falooda” is a Hindi and Urdu word. Falooda is Bengali as well !
Prep time 15 minutes
Cooking time 0
6 tbsps. of Falooda Sev (broken into small pieces)
4 tsps. of Tookmuria (subja seeds)
900 ml (1 1/2 pint) milk
Sugar * Diabetics can leave out the sugar or replace with sugar substitute
4 tsps. rose water or rose syrup or 1 drop of rose essence
4 scoops of vanilla ice cream
Boil the Sev in water for 3 minutes or till soft and drain
Soak the Tookmuria (subja seeds) in 1/4 pint milk
Mix remaining milk and sugar and pour into 4 tall glasses
Divide the seeds, milk and cooked Sev into 4 glasses layering each glass.
Pour the rose syrup on top which being heavier will drift down making a lovely swirled effect. Alternatively use Orange Syrup and Orange Falooda Sev
Chill in refrigerator
Before serving add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, Orange Pineapple Icecream
Serve with a saucer underneath for spills and a straw for drinking. I add a piece of fruit to complement like Pineapple chunks, Starwberries, Blueberries or even a rose petal.
Audh Parsi Audh
Audh is a better mood elevator than a bar of chocolate! The primary ingredient in this is rice flour and coconut milk.
It is one Parsi dessert which is forgotten but now remembered. Just made it again today for Father’s Day
Do you remember this?
Hint: Audh is served as Dessert.
- 1 1/4 cups fine rice flour
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 225 grams ghee
- 2 cups coconut milk extracted from 1 large coconut
- 3 1/2 cups hot water
- 1 1/2 cups rosewater
- 1 tbsp almonds, blanched and slivered
- 1 tbsp peeled cardamom, coarsely crushed
- A pinch of salt
- Boil water, add rice flour and sugar gradually, stirring continuously.
- Add one-third of the ghee to flour mixture, keep on medium heat and stir till absorbed.
- Add coconut milk, salt, rosewater and ghee alternately till all are absorbed.
- Keep stirring and cooking till mixture forms a ball and leaves sides of pan.
- Sprinkle half the almonds on a greased tray and spread mixture over it.
- Smooth out with a greased wooden spoon or greased hand and cover with cardamoms and remaining almonds.
- Press into mixture.
- Cool, cut into diamond shapes and serve.
Parsi Mawa Cupcakes by Rita Jamshed Kapadia www.ParsiCuisine.com
Mawa is also known as Khoya, Mava or khoa This is a dried evaporated milk solid. The milk is slowly simmered in a large iron kadai, till all its moisture evaporates and it reduces to solids. In Indian cooking, especially in northern parts of india, khoya forms a base of almost all sweets, mithai.
• 100 grams Mava (Aka Ricotta Cheese or Khoya)
• 200 grams Butter
• 250 grams Sugar
• 4 Eggs beaten
• 300 grams Refined flour (maida)
• Baking powder 5 grams
• Milk as required
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line the cupcake moulds with paper cups.
In a bowl, add sugar and butter and beat together till light and creamy.
Break the eggs into another bowl and whisk with an electric blender till frothy.
Add Mava to the butter mixture and continue to whisk.
Put refined flour and baking powder into a strainer and sift the mixture into the butter mixture.
Add the eggs and mix. Add a little milk to get the correct consistency.
Put the batter into the cupcake moulds and place them in the preheated oven and bake at 200°C for twenty five minutes.
Keki Pirojshah Illava of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada who is celebrating his 100th birthday on June 7 epitomizes the Parsi approach of “khaaavo, piyo ne majah karo (eat, drink and be merry),” notes a brief write-up by Meher Panthaky, erstwhile director of the Ontario Zoroastrian Community Foundation. He eats his favorite British breakfast of eggs and bacon every day and loves his Parsi bhonu of marghi and gosh, dismissing any vegetarian dish as “Ai su ghas phoos? Bota kah chhe (What is this fodder? Where is the meat)?” Come October and he will ask “khariya (trotters)?” He enjoys his tipple of “Old Monk” rum and champagne, with mango ice cream being his favorite dessert.
Lovingly addressed as “Keki Pappa” by family and friends, with his strong will power, at the age of 98 he made the arduous journey to Bombay to attend grandson Nekzad’s maratab ceremony. Undeterred by a weak back, he insists on being independent and refuses to use a walker.
Before relocating to Canada in 2002 to be in the company of his son Aspi and family, Keki was in London, UK, working at the Heathrow airport for over 37 years. The Bombay born centenarian spends his retirement years “reading all available newspapers (ask him anything on current affairs), solving crossword puzzles and watching wrestling” bouts on television with a gleam in his eyes, reports Panthaky. He loves English poems and couplets and when in the mood will very sweetly recite some beautiful verses.
Congratulations to our member Navaaz Mehta.
I personally had the pleasure to sample this baked cauliflower in NY.
Navaaz worked hard to get the ingredients for these 2 large trays of cauliflower trays in cold and rainy winter days!
Fresh heads of Cauliflower are scarce in NY markets at this time of the year (Christmas 2018) and Navaaz had to visit several supermarkets to get the right amount needed for the 2 trays.
In addition, Copious amounts of cheese, her special sauce makes this dish so creamy and delicious. The side-dish disappeared in 10 minutes after being served!
2 Medium Trays of Baked Cauliflower
For Each Tray here are the ingredients. Please double if you are making 2 trays:
Large cauliflower Head – about 2 & 1/2 pounds.
1 stick of butter
2-3 Tbsp of chopped Garlic
1 pack of Chopped up Bacon (Optional)
2 Tbsp of All Purpose Flour
1 Pint of Heavy Cream (you can use Half & Half)
Cheese – Shredded American and half a big Block of Velveeta
1 Cup Breadcrumbs ( I used Panko)
Wash and clean Large cauliflower Heads – about 2 & 1/2 pounds.
Break/separate florets & place in Steamer, sprinkle 2-3 pinches of salt.
Steam until 75% cooked.
Melt 1 stick of Butter
Add about 2-3 Tbsp of chopped Garlic
Saute for a minute then add the steamed cauliflower
Saute until very light brown and then spread it all in a dish/tray which should be lightly brushed with Butter.
Cook 1 pack of Chopped up Bacon (Optional) to the consistency you like (I like mine Soft)
Drain it on a paper towel, then layer it on the cauliflower.
Next – prepare the Sauce – make a Roux with half a stick of Butter and about 2 Tbsp of All Purpose Flour
Add 1 Pint of Heavy Cream (you can use Half & Half) & mix thoroughly on Very Low Flame.
Add cheese – Some Shredded American and/or half a big Block of Velveeta (I used Both) and keep stirring on Medium Flame so there are No Lumps.
When it’s quite thick, pour it all over the Cauliflower & then sprinkle the top with Breadcrumbs ( I used Panko).
Bake in a 300 Degree Oven for 45 minutes approx.
Check to make sure the bottom doesn’t burn.
Once it’s all set, place under the Broiler until it looks well Browned and Voila, it’s ready to be served & enjoyed!
While vacationing in Dahanu a couple of years back, and driving back to Gujarat from the Maharashtra state. I saw fisher women selling promfrets, pronounced locally as pamplets on the roadside. Dahanu is a coastal town and a municipal council in Palghar district in the state of Maharashtra, India. It is located 110 km from Mumbai city.
They had freezers in their lovely home to store their catch. However the fresh fish would be sold within 2 hours and if you wanted any pamplet or prawns you better rush there in the morning.
These fishermen and fisher women live along the coast line of Dahanu with their houses on the beaches. Living a simple life they make a living catching the ocean bounty. I talked with the mother and father whose son was coming to USA to study. Now that’s progress !
Patra ni Maachi chutney is very easy to make. With fresh cilantro, lemon juice and other ingredients. The same chutney can be used to make chutney sandwiches at a later time.
Banana leaves are found in US in many Indian, Korean and Chinese Stores. The word “Patra” literally means “Leaf” in gujarati. “Maachi” means “Fish”. So do not be intimidated by the strange words, translated, the dish is Fish wrapped in Banana Leaf with delicious Chutney.
I have found pamplets in US in HMarts, called by a different name – plammuro. These are a bit yellow and not as white as found in India. They do have the same look, taste, texture and feel.
Some wiki facts:
|Atlantic pomfret, Brama brama|
Pomfrets are perciform fishes belonging to the family Bramidae. The family includes about 20 species.
They are found in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, and the largest species, the Atlantic pomfret, Brama brama, grows up to 1 m (3.3 ft) long. Fish meat is white in color.
Several species are important food sources for humans, especially Brama brama in the South Asia. The earlier form of the pomfret’s name was pamflet, a word which probably ultimately comes from Portuguese pampo, referring to various fish such as the blue butterfish (Stromateus fiatola). This fish also called as ‘Maanji’ (ಮಾಂಜಿ) in Tulu and paplet in Urdu, Marathi and Nawayathi.
- Several species of butterfishes in the genus Pampus are also known as “pomfrets”.
- Some species of pomfrets are also known as monchong, specifically in Hawaiian cuisine.
- Above referenced from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I found a substitute fish here in the US called “Palmunaro” in H-MART. They are similar to pamplet from India.
|Recipe for Patra ni Maachi with Leeli Chutney.
Grind together for chutney:
[amazon_link asins=’1496075293′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’1447-5689-3485′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b07e3e78-6b27-11e8-91de-393a0bc4b9c2′]
VIDEO : https://youtu.be/8ymliZBw7QU
From Deven Parlikar
My grandmother had such a strong influence in my culinary journey. As a Parsi woman married to a Maharashtrian man, she introduced the world of amazing Parsi food to all of us, her family!! One of my absolute favorite dishes she made was her “Nana jhinga nu Patiyu” – a Parsi Shrimp Scampi of sorts. And she always said that there are as many variations of this as there are Parsi cooks in this world.. so this is her recipe with my variation
Nana Jhinga Nu Patiyu
Shrimp 2 lbs
Ginger/Garlic Paste 1 tbsp
Chili Powder 2 tbsp
Turmeric 1.5 tsp
Onion 1 med sized chopped
Green Chili 1 chopped
Tomatoes 4 med minced
Tomato Paste 1 tbsp
Roasted Ground Cumin 1 tbsp
Jaggery 1 tbsp
Apple Cider Vinegar 1 tbsp
Curry leaves 2 sprigs
Mint 1/3 cup chopped
Cilantro 1/3 cup chopped
Avocado Oil 1/4 cup
Salt to taste
I use shelled and deveined prawns from Trader Joe’s here in the US. Their wild caught Argentinian Shrimp is plump and flavorful. I marinate the prawns in GG Paste, Chili powder, turmeric and salt and set aside. In a thick bottomed Kadhai or wok, heat avocado oil (you can use any oil you prefer except olive oil), add curry leaves and let them sputter, use a splatter screen, add the chopped chili and onion and cook until onion changes its color a bit. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they mush up, top it off with tomato paste and cook until oil separates. Add the mint and cilantro to this and mix well. You will get a wonderful aroma wafting in the kitchen even without any of the powder spices. Now add the marinated shrimp and mix well, add the roasted cumin, jaggery and vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar, but you can use Palm vinegar or malt vinegar) mix well and let it cook for about 7 minutes. This dish is sweet and tangy and very flavorful. Taste for tang and sweetness and adjust as necessary with jaggery and vinegar. I love to eat this with a crusty baguette although my Aji always served it with dhan daal (a parsi version of tadka dal) and chawal. We have both a baguette and rice and Daal tonight.
A mildly robust Estancia Merlot brings out the unique flavor of this dish, since this one has a nice bouquet of plums, bramble berries and red cherries that compliment well with the spices in the Patiyu.
Cheers to my beloved grandma in Heaven!! There isn’t a day that we don’t think of you😊
My Online Cooking Class with a live demo of several Omeletes, The Spicy Parsi Poro, Kharo Plain Omelet and different Akuris was a heart-warming success. The boiled egg akuri was completely a new dish for many! I enjoyed doing the class and my many thanks to family and friends for attending. Stay tuned for the next one. Please do send suggestions on what you would like to see demoed. Mawa Cakes, Cutlets, Kabab, Parsi Patio, Jamshed’s Kheemo 🙂
Best – Rita.
Rita and team demoed a full menu of Indian Spice Omeletes and Akuris:
Parsi Masala Poro
Kharo Plain Poro
Vegetarian Omelet (with no eggs)
Gluten free Omelet
Boiled Egg Akuri – which was an entirely NEW dish by Rita
Omelets or the favorite Parsi Poro is a popular Sunday breakfast, served with tomato ketchup or strawberry jam and hot crisp bread toast or buns.
It is also a favorite sandwich on a picnic.
Poro (pun intended of porio) also means “Boy” in gujarati and some folks pun this for a girl to get her porio !!!
Here is the Spicy Parsi Omelet Recipe Link and you will find many Akuri recipes here on site – http://www.parsicuisine.com/omelete/
I am holding an on-line Cooking Class on May 24 th and want to invite you to have some fun and learn how to make mouth-watering Omelet – the Parsi Poro. A fusion of Western and Eastern (Indian Parsi) cuisine. The spicy Omeletes are very easy to make and I use readily available ingredients in North America. Poro is a delicious zangy omelet made with all natural ingredients and garnish, healthy and sumptuous as a quick meal. This will be a live demonstration and we will make both from start to finish.
What: Online Cooking Demonstration Class – via Zoom
When: Sunday, May 24 th, 4 – 5:30 PM
Please sign up early as limited Zoom slots are available.
The fee is $25 and includes an e-book. PayPal Button is below.
Please feel free to share this with your friends. Thanks, stay safe and healthy.
The paypal information is as follows:
• Go to paypal.com and login with your paypal account.
• Choose Send or Request Money and then Send Money
• In the text box enter Rita@ParsiCuisine.com
• Enter the amount and then sending to a friend option.
• Add a note explaining # of people, kids ages etc.. if necessary
• Click Continue and choose How you want to pay. You may use a Credit card, Paypal balance or Bank debit. It is better for you as you are not charged any fee in that case.
• Click next and then send payment now.
If you are unable to send the payment by paypal, we will accept a few checks but the preference is of paypal. Email Rita@ParsiCuisine.com for her address to mailing the check.
Memorial Day Grill Seekh Kebab Video from Rita Kapadia
Omelete / Parsi Poro
- This Omelet called Parsi Poro is a popular Sunday breakfast with tomato ketchup or strawberry jam and hot crisp bread toast or buns.
- It is also a favorite sandwich on a picnic.
- Poro also means “Boy” in gujarati and some folks pun this for a girl to get her poro !!!
- 2 eggs
- 1 onion chopped fine (see the poro style chopping technique)
- 1 green chilies chopped fine (optional)
- 5 tsp chopped coriander leaves
- 1 tsp small piece of ginger and garlic crushed paste
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cumin powder
- A pinch of black pepper
- 2 tbsp ghee or oil for frying
- Deep bowl for mixing
- Deep non-stick pan for frying
- 2 Buns or Slices of Bread
- Chop the onions the poro style.
- Chop coriander leaves and chilies.
- In a bowl, beat the eggs with a fork till frothy..
- Add in all the above ingredients and mix well.
- In a frying pan heat the oil till hot and pour the mixture in.
- Sprinkle a little oil over the top, taking the oil from the pan. As soon as the lower side is cooked and turns light brown, gently turn the omelets to cook the other side. This omelet is served flat.
- Serve with hot bread or toast on the side or as a sandwich.
- Add raw mangoes, ripe mangoes or bananas, chopped, to the above ingredients, adding a little gram flour.
- Add ¼ tsp Dhansak masala for flavor
- Using a flat slotted spatula to turn(flip) the omelet over and drain when taking out helps.
- If omelet browns to a dark color or breaks, no problem flip quickly to other side and cook very little, it is done.
Technique to chop onions (Poro) Style
- Peel and cut onion in two pieces.
- Lay flat and make horizontal cuts using the tip of your knife
- Next make vertical cuts
- Next slice downwards and you will get small square shaped onion bits.
Recipe by Rita Jamshed Kapadia
Makes 24 pieces
- 6 oz salted butter (melted)
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1/4 cup grated blanched Almonds for cake mix
- 1 cup wheat flour
- 1 cup rava (fine grain semolina)
- 1/2 cup cake flour or baking plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tsp cardamom powder
- 2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cup yogurt (Measure the yogurt and keep in glass container at room temperature covered, the day ahead.)
- 5 -7 strands of Saffron (see video for use of saffron)
- 1/4 cup grated blanched Almonds for Garnish
- 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 by Rita Jamshed Kapadia
Makes 24 pieces
6 oz salted butter (melted)
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup grated blanched Almonds for cake mix
1 cup wheat flour
1 cup rava (fine grain semolina)
1/2 cup cake flour or baking plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 tsp cardamom powder
2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 cup yogurt (Measure the yogurt and keep in glass container at room temperature covered, the day ahead.)
1/4 cup grated blanched Almonds for Garnish
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.
To all our Mothers who cook to make the happy foods! Memories and Love ever lasting – Happy Mother’s Day!
|Do your Grocery Shopping Online – click here for indian and other groceries.|
|We’ll teach you how to keep everything from your countertop to your dinner plate germ-free!|
|– Disinfect Your Groceries During the Coronavirus Outbreak. Spray Lysol on plastic bags and let sit for 5 minutes before empting groceries.|
|Will Cooking Food Kill the Coronavirus? Yes – cook till the raw meat is no longer pink.|
|3 Ways to Help Small Children During the Coronavirus Pandemic|
– read cultural parsi and indian stories frequently from here.
– cook and teach using our children’s cookbook
– free recipes for chilren HERE
|70 Recipes for a Quarantine Dinner Party|
Khaman na ladoo
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.
We used to get Nankhatai like these in Surat, India from the famous Dotivala Bakery. 2 khatai wrapped back to back in wax paper together. Now making them in USA, makes my day during the Covid-19 lockdown.
– 4 cups All-purpose Flour
– 1.25 cups or 10oz of Sugar (I used confectioners sugar)
– 1 lb or 4 sticks unsalted butter (my butter was salted)
– 8 tbs semolina (sooji)
– 1.5 tbs Vanilla essence
– 1.5 tsp cardamom
– 1.5 tsp nutmeg
– Pinch of Salt (not used since my butter was salted)
– Preheat oven to 350F
– Cream butter and sugar in mixer until very light
– Add Cardamom, nutmeg and salt
– Add Vanilla, semolina and Flour beating constantly till dough is light and fluffy
– Roll lightly into balls and place on cookie sheet fairly apart as the mixture will spread
– In the oven for 15 – 20 minutes, watch carefully
After they are completely cooled, place 2 nankhatai and wrap first in plastic wrap and ties as shown above. Next wrap in wax paper as shown below.
Prepared this almost like our Parsi Egg Akuri
300 Grams Paneer/Cottage Cheese
3 medium onions finely chopped
1 green chilli finely chopped
1 Finely chopped spring onion
1 tsp Ginger-garlic paste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp jeera powder
1/2 tsp dhana powder
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
Chilli powder to taste
2 medium tomatoes chopped
Cilantro finely chopped for garnish
Heat oil in a non-stick pan.
Add onions and saute till light brown.
Add green chilli, spring onion and saute for a minute.
Add all the spice powders and sauté for a minute.
Add tomatoes. Saute for a minute.
Add paneer/cottage cheese.
Mix well. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
Garnish with cilantro.
Serve with chapattis or toasted bread.
Red hot mutton cooked to perfection amid sizzling hot spices, crowned with beautiful golden potato shreds. (Salli)
4-5 Tbsp of oil
1 bowl of chopped onions
2 Tbsp ginger garlic paste
300 gm of boneless mutton or chicken
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
1 1/2 tsp roasted coriander
1 1/2 cumin powder
1 bowl of chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
2 tsp vinegar
1 tsp garam masala
3 tsp chopped coriander
1 bowl of Sali/fine potato shreds
Salt to taste
Heat the oil in a pan and add onions to it.
Fry till turn golden brown
Add ginger-garlic paste, mutton, red chilli powder and turmeric powder.
Now mix in the the roasted coriander powder, cumin powder followed by tomatoes, stir again.
Add a little sugar and vinegar to taste.
Add garam masala and salt, mix well.
Reduce the flame and cover till cooked for about 30 to 40 minutes.
Add chopped coriander and give it a final stir.
Garnish it with more coriander leaves and top it up with lots of Sali.
Photo Credit: Jasmine Baria
Mubarak to all Mazdayasni Worshippers – Parsee (Parsi) Zorastrians around the world
Adar roz and Adar Mah is a very auspicious day for fires. We may even consider this day as the birthday of fires.
The day prior to this roj Daepadar is regarded as the birthday of all hearths and hearth fires, and that is why many Parsi homes decorate their cooking places with vermillion and turmeric paste and draw the Afarganyu, chipyo and chamach over there.
On the auspicious day Adar mahino Adar roj several sacred fires were consecrated. The most important fire for all us Zoroastrians – the sacred Iranshah – also celebrates its birthday on this auspicious day.
May we always make ourselves worthy to aspire for the blessings and protection from our sacred Iranshah.
Ceremonies prior to the marriage
Rupiya Peravanu literally means gifting rupees in Gujarati language. This ceremony marks the unofficial engagement when both the families acknowledge the acceptance of the marriage alliance. On this day, ladies from the groom’s family pay a visit to the bride’s house. The bride is presented with a gift of silver coins with the usual sagan.
Refreshments are served and the grooms family return home. The bride’s family now adds more silver coins to those presented and go to the groom’s home, where this ceremony is repeated. Presents of silver coins are prepared by the ladies of both the bride and bridegroom’s families in the homes of the marrying parties, each group going to the other’s home. This betrothal is often performed quickly after a marriage is arranged.
Adrâvvûn or Adravanu (Engagement)also known by the older name of Nâm pâdvûn.
The adravanu or the engagement is the time when the groom’s family gives the bride a new set of clothes, accessories and jewelry. Generally, this ceremony is performed at the bride’s family home, though the ceremony can also be performed at the groom’s family home.
The doorways of both the homes are decorated with flowers and chalk designs (colorful rangoli).The relevance of adravanu is fire (“adra” synonym fire). The theme is reflected by lighting a divo and the red color of the sari worn by the bride and red bangles gifted to the bride by the groom’s family.
Two lamps are lit, one in each of the homes of the marrying parties. Once again the ladies travel to the home of the other party and place a silver coin upon the lamp. It is at this occasion that formal gifts are exchanged. This includes the exchange of wedding rings.
Madasoro / Madavsaro
The Madavsaro ceremony is done four days before the wedding. The families of the bride and the groom each plant a young tree in a pot, amidst recitation of prayers by the family priest and place this at the entrance of their individual homes. This is generally a mango plant and is treated as a symbol of fertility. The soil in which the tree is planted is mixed with flakes of three types of metals (usually gold, silver etc), paan (betel leaf), supari (betel nut), haldi (turmeric) and dry dates. The plant is watered every morning till the eighth day after the wedding and then transplanted elsewhere. Varadhvara are made fresh and served to the guests.
The Adarni ceremony is performed a day before the lagan (wedding). The third day before the wedding is regarded as the day for gift exchanging. On this day the groom’s family visits the bride’s home to present her with all the gifts like clothes and jewelry. The ritual is known as Adarni. The bride herself may also go over to the groom’s home for this tradition but the groom cannot do the same. The relatives, neighbors and friends are treated to a traditional meal of sev and yogurt / mitthu dahi, boiled eggs and bananas.
Later, on the same day the supra ni reet & pithi chorvanu can take place.
Supra ni reet
The Supra ni reet is similar to the Hindu mehndi-haldi ceremony and is organized a day before the wedding. Carrying out the tradition, four married women are given a supra each, containing auspicious items like paan, supari, haldi, dates and a piece of coconut. While singing ritual songs, these supras are exchanged seven times among the women cross-wise, length-wise and breadth-wise. A fifth lady sits in the middle with khalbatto and dry turmeric. After the four women finish passing the supras, all five join hands to beat the turmeric along with some milk in the pestle and this paste is applied by all to the groom and bride at their respective homes.
The Marriage Day
Before the marriage ceremony, the bride and groom go through the Nahan ritual. This is done for the purification of the body and soul wherein the dastoor of each family symbolically bathes and purifies the man and the woman by reciting prayers & making each of them drink the “taro” and eat a few pomegranate leaves. The tradition goes that after the Nahan ritual has been performed the bride and groom cannot touch any person outside the family or caste. The bride then dresses in her white ornate wedding saree given by her parents, while the groom wears the traditional Parsi dagli and pheta or pagri (black cap).
Parsi groom’s traditional attire
Auspicious days, such as new moon day or Hormazd, the first day of the Parsee month, are generally favoured for the wedding ceremony, coming on the fourth day of festivities. The first day of these is known as mândav-saro, when a twig of a tree, generally a mango-tree, is planted near the door, symbolic of a wish for fertility. This is followed by two Varadh-patra days when religious ceremonies in honour of the dead are performed.
With the marriage ceremony occurring in the evening of the fourth day the bride and bridegroom will have prior taken baths, known as nân. The marriage must be performed in front of an assembly of witnesses, the Parsi Marriage and divorce Act requires at least two witnesses as well as the priest.
The ceremonial dress of the Parsees is the Jâmâ-pichhoir of which the bride wears a white variety, with the bridegroom sporting the mark of a Kunkun on his forehead.
A few hours before the ceremony a procession forms carrying gifts to the bridegroom’s house, usually accompanied by music. It then turns to the house of the bride where, typically, the marriage occurs. The assembly, once seated, awaits the arrival of the groom who is greeted at the door by the mother of the bride. Here a fresh Kunkun mark is placed upon his head.
During the ceremony rice is often used as a good luck symbol, with the bride and groom sprinkling each other with cupfuls of rice. So as to remove any evil destined for the groom an egg is passed round his head three times then thrown to the ground and broken, destroying the evil with it. A similar ritual is then performed with a coconut, and then with a small tray of water which is thrown to the ground.
At a point during the evening the groom will dip his hand into a water-pot (var-behendoo) which was part of the dowry. Into this pot he drops a silver coin, as a mark of appreciation for the gift.
When the bride and groom take their seats the groom sits to the right of the bride and they both face east. Rice is placed on trays either side of the couple to be thrown while they recite their benedictions. Candles, fire being an important symbol in the Zoroastrian faith, are placed either side also. The couple is flanked by a pair of witnesses, usually married relations. A curtain of cloth separates the couple.
Two priests officiate. The couple is asked by the priests whether they consent to the marriage. He then joins their hands, a custom known as Hâthevârô, “hand-fastening”. The senior priest places the right hands of the couple into each other. Then a piece of cloth is passed round the chairs of both and tied together enclosing them in a circle. The priest then fastens, seven times, with raw twist their right hands which are grasped by each other. The prayer of Yatha Ahu Vairyo is recited throughout.
The curtain is then dropped and the couple throws rice over each other, the first to do so is said to “win”.
The senior priest then blesses the couple by saying:
May the Creator, the omniscient Lord, grant you a progeny of sons and grandsons, plenty of means to provide yourselves, heart-ravishing friendship, bodily strength, long life and an existence of 150 years!
Various questions are then asked to the bride, groom and witnesses. Once they have replied, affirming that they have entered into this with righteous mind the priest will recite admonitions and benedictions. Then the couple symbolically eat from the same dish, a rite known as Dahi-Koomro. At the close of the ceremony, as well as at several junctures prior, nuptial songs may be sung.
A wedding feast then occurs at which toasts are made to, God, the couple, the sacred fire temples, the guests and the host. Fish, a symbol of good luck, is served.
Like any other marriages all over the world, the wedding rituals and customs of our Parsi community are also spread over a couple of days. In Parsi wedding, the wedding celebrations are divided into three parts- pre wedding rituals, wedding day rituals and post wedding rituals. As marriage is encouraged as a religious ritual in our Parsi religion, we consider marriage to be an occasion of social as well as religious celebrations.
At the wedding venue, a stage is set for the couple and before they step on it a ritual called achumichu is performed with the groom first. Herein, the bride’s mother takes a tray with a raw egg, supari, rice, coconut, kharekh and water and begins the ceremony with her son-in-law to be. First, she takes the coconut and circles it around the groom’s head seven times before breaking it on the floor to his right. The same is done with every other item on the tray, except the water, which is thrown on either side. The bride then steps onto the stage for her future mother-in-law to perform the same ritual.
During the Ara Antar ceremony the couple is made to sit facing each other. However, a cloth is held between them, so they cannot see the other. Then, each of them is given rice. With a length of thread, the priests circle the couple on opposite sides of the curtain seven times and as the seventh round ends, the couple showers each other with the rice from over the curtain. It is believed that whoever throws the rice first will dominate the other partner!
At this point a ceremony called Chero Bandhvanu takes place. The couple sits besides each other with the seven strands of string binding them. The witnesses sit besides them and diyos or lighted lamps are placed on tables on either side. Priests begins an hour-long marriage prayers or aashirwaad and showering of rice and rose petals ceremony. At the end of the prayers the bride and groom exchange wedding rings. The priests now wish the couple the var and bairi. Fire from the agiary is brought to them to pay their respects.
Fun-filled ceremonies take place on the completion of the lagan. Groom’s sister-in-law begins extracting money from her new brother-in-law first haath borvanu. She makes the groom put his hand into a glass of water, which he cannot remove until he pays up. This if followed by pag dhovanu wherein the groom is threatened with milk on his shoes unless of course, he pays. Later, chero chorvanu ceremony takes place. Herein, the sister-in-law removes the seven strands of string binding the couple, again on payment. At the end of it all the newly wed couple pays a visit to the fire temple for blessings.
Parsi weddings are well known for their enormous catered feasts. Everyone enjoys as food, drink and music flows freely throughout the night. The traditional dinner is a lavish four-course (or more) meal.
The wedding day finally ends with the couple being escorted home by the bride’s family and the achumichu being performed once again by the groom’s mother for the newly wed couple in togetherness.
2 cups all purpose flour
1 stick unsalted butter or margarine
1/2 to 1 tsp salt (to your taste)
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp double acting baking powder
1 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 cup warm water
Mix all of the above ingredients to form a ball of dough. Allow to stand for 15 to 30 minutes.
Roll into small balls and lay them on ungreased baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees for 30 minutes, then at 200 degrees for 3 hours.
Now turn off the oven and leave batasa in the hot oven for another 3 hours. Remove from oven and cool, store only when completely cold.
Batasa are very good with hot tea/coffee. The best way is to dunk the batasa into the hot tea, immediately remove and pop into your mouth!
Tip: The balls should be round when placed in the oven. While baking they will flatten slightly on the bottom as shown in the photo.
Need something in these covid-19 days to snack on? Avoid a super market trip. Stay home and make these Butter Biscuits. Be safe.
These melt in your mouth butter biscuits are made from all purpose flour and basic ingredients you will fine in your pantry.
Butter Makhania Biscuits or Batasa
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened. (1 Stick or 8 oz American )
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp double acting baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup warm water
Mix all of the above to form a ball of dough. Allow to stand for 15 to 30 minutes.
Roll into small balls and lay them on ungreased baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees for 30 minutes, then at 200 degrees for 3 hours.
Now turn off the oven and leave Batasa in the hot oven for another 3 hours. Remove from oven and cool, store only when completely cold.
These were made in United States and with a standard conventional oven.
Recipe is from cookbook by Rita Jamshed Kapadia
1 1/2 cup Plain flour
1/2 cup Butter
1/4th cup Oil
3/4 cup Sugar powder
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Milk
1 1/2 tb sp. Vanilla essence
For Honey syrup
1/4 cup of water
4tb sp.of honey
2 tsp. of rose water
Mix together to make the syrup
4 tsp mixed fruit jam mixed in 1 tbsp of water and warmed in microwave for 30 seconds.
4 tbsp desiccated coconut.
Sieve together flour, salt and baking powder 2 times.
Cream the butter and oil for few minute.
Add sugar powder and beat
Add eggs one by one and beat.
Add vanilla essence and milk and beat a little.
Add dry ingredients slowly and mix with the help of spatula.
Bake in a rectangular baking dish at 350 F for 35 min.
TEST: Check with knife/toothpick to see if it is done (knife/toothpick comes out clean if done)
Remove the cake, and place on a wire rack and when its still warm.
Prick the back side of the cake with skewer and slowly drizzle the honey mixture on top. It will absorbed by the warm cake.
Cool completely. Flip it and on the top side of the cake spread the mixed fruit jam mixture. Sprinkle the desiccated coconut on it.
Parsiana August 7, 2016 – A selection of recipes from a bygone era when food was cooked over wood stoves. By Farrokh Jijina.
Pickled Lady’s Fingers, Daal Madrasi and Coffee Jelly.
RE-Print of Original Gujarati Volumes available as a paperbacks in new glossy paper. Printed in USA. Click below to purchase:
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:
Indian Cooking Class 1
Recipes used in the Indian Cooking Class
by Rita Jamshed Kapadia
This Dhansak is vegetarian and has no meat. It is modified to be suitable for western taste. The Spicy Dhansak recipes and photos are in my Cookbook available on Amazon
Vegetarian Dhansak Dal (Lentil) Recipe
1 cup Yellow Split Peas washed and soaked for 30 minutes in water
1 tsp. Salt.
1 tsp. Turmeric.
3 cups Water.
1 tsp. Butter for glaze.
1 small onion finely chopped.
2 tbsp. oil.
2 tsp. Ginger/Garlic/Chili Paste. (2 cloves garlic + 1 hot green pepper + half inch of ginger).
1 tsp. or less of black pepper.
1 tsp. each of Coriander and Cumin powder.
1 tsp. Dhansak Masala. (optional)
Rinse the dal and put all of the above ingredients in a Pressure cooker or Instant Pot. Water should be enough to cover the dal by 2 inches. Cook for 20 minutes.
Mash the dal with electric blender or by hand. Transfer to a large pot and bring to a simmer. Add 1 tsp. Butter for glaze if desired.
Next do the tempering. Sauté the onion in hot oil till brown. Lower heat and add the paste. Sauté till aroma comes out. Add all the dry spices and sauté.
Immediately add this tempering to the simmering dhansak dal.
Add water if needed.
Taste and add salt/spices to your taste.
Yellow Split Peas are called Indian Tuvar or Toor lentils.
Dhansak Brown Rice Recipe
1 cup Basmati rice washed and soaked for half hour
2 cups water
1 tbsp. oil
1 small onion. (or caramel sugar instead the onion )
1/2 inch stick of cinnamon
2 Cardamom pods or 1/2 tsp. of cardamom powder
1/2 tsp. Salt (to taste)
Chop the onion into very fine slices. Heat oil and brown onion till dark brown, keep water handy and add immediately before the onion becomes black. This is the way to give the flavor and color to the rice. ( Or add caramel sugar for the same brown color).
Add rice and the rest of ingredients.
Bring to a boil uncovered, now put on lowest heat and cook 20 minutes till rice is done.
Kachumbar Salad Recipe
1 large onion
1 Cucumber (optional)
Coriander Leaves (optional)
Mint Leaves (optional)
Green Chilies (optional)
Salt or Vinegar to taste.
Chop onion into very fine slices. Crumble with hands and mix in salt or vinegar.
Add chopped tomato, cucumber, chilies, coriander and mint.
Garnish with Lemon Wedges and serve with Dhansak
Dhansak: Parsi Cuisine Paperback
Dhansak: Parsi Cuisine Kindle
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tbsp Semolina fine
1 – 1/2 cups coconut milk or plain milk
4 tbsp sugar or less if desired
1 1/2 tsp essence of vanilla
3/4 tsp Nutmeg powder
1 tsp Cardamon powder
1/4 cup Charoli or Almonds (finely chopped – optional)
1 tbsp cup ghee
More ghee as needed for making the chapat
Non-stick pan or a crepe pan
Beat the eggs and mix with sugar
Let the sugar dissolve.
To this mixture, add the flour in small amounts, at a time, and stir continuously till it forms into a smooth paste or batter. (Do not let the flour form lumps).
Add the charoli, almonds, vanilla essence, nutmeg, cardamon and a 1 tbsp ghee to the batter.
Add milk little by little to make a crep like batter. Thinner than pancake batter.
Let this batter rest covered for 1 hours
Heat a crepe pan or frying pan and put 1 tsp ghee.
After the ghee has melted, pour 1 tbsp of the batter and tilt the pan so that the batter covers its surface.
Keep on low flame till one side is golden colored, then flip over and cook the other side.
When both sides are cooked, fold the pancake into four and remove on a plate.
Repeat this process for the remaining batter.
Serve hot or cold, either on breakfast or evening tea.
Editors Note: There are many variation of these pancakes.
You can add cardamon instead of vanilla essence.
Omit the nuts. Add fruits on top while serving.
Make sugar less if diabetic.
Use Splenda or a sugar substitute
No syrup required since sugar is already added.
Ancient cooking book “Vividh Vani” by Meherbai Jamshedji Wadia. Re-print paperback and digital free download.
Free PDF of the cooking books “Vividh Vani” by Meherbai Jamshedji Wadia is available on this ParsiCuisine.com website.
Click here to DOWNLOAD the digital version PDF (Volume 1) (file will open in new tab)
Click here to DOWNLOAD the digital version PDF (Volume 2) (file will open in new tab)
Order the REPRINT of “Vividh Vani” by Meherbai Jamshedji Wadia on AMAZON. Links below or contact us.
Volume 1 Product details
- Paperback: 792 pages
- Language: Gujarati
- ISBN-10: 1724206532
- ISBN-13: 978-1724206534
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.8 x 9 inches
Volume 2 Product details
- Paperback: 778 pages
- Language: Gujarati
- ISBN-10: 1724202332
- ISBN-13: 978-1724202338
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.8 x 9 inches
Considering India just celebrated its independence of 70 years from the British Raj, this makes the bakery one of the longest surviving and thriving business in modern day India.
During their reign in India, the Dutch established in Surat a warehouse on Dutch Road, in which five Parsi gentlemen were employed as bakers. When the Dutch left India at the end of their rule they handed over their ovens to one of them, Mr. Faramji Pestonji Dotivala whose descendants over time developed and perfected the Surat biscuit recipes. The Dotivala bakery in Surat continues to this day, making it one of the longest surviving businesses in India.
Cyrus Dotivala and sons, 7th Generation of the world class Dotivala Bakery that was established in Surat in the year 1861, almost 158 years ago, keep it running !!!.
The demand for Dotivala’s bread grew and soon he took to drying it in his ovens to achieve the desired dryness and texture. He also shaped it differently. This became known as the first Irani biscuits. They are still very popular in Surat.
These biscuits and delicacies are so popular in my home. I make them many times in US for my family and friends. Please see my cookbook for recipes of Batasa, Nankhatai and other biscuits:
Traditional Surat Biscuits – Khari Biscuit, Nankhatai, Batasa and Wine Biscuits- all Indianised descendants of original products of the old Dutch bakery in colonial-era Surat that was taken over by Parsi Surtis after the Dutch left.
When these gora sahibs also left, there were no takers for Dotivala’s bread. And the bread, which was fermented in toddy for a longer shelf life, soon became dry due to loss of moisture. Dotivala sold it cheaply to the poor.That was when it was first noticed that the bread had developed a light and crisp texture. And because it was low in calorie content, and easily digestible, it was prescribed by doctors to ailing patients.
As the name suggests, this one is a traditional Parsi dish, popularly known as papeta per eeda translated as Eggs over potato matchsticks or Sali. Click here to make Sali at home or purchase the sali in an indian store, matchsticks in american grocery store.
3 large potatoes – peeled and finely sliced
3 cups Sali or potato matchsticks
2-3 Tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 green chilli finely chopped
1 tsp chopped garlic
2 onions – sliced
1 Tbsp chopped coriander
Heat oil in a large frying pan, add the cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle.
Add the green chilli, garlic and onions. Cook until softened. Add the potato slices / sali to the pan. Cook without coloring for 5 minutes.
Pour in enough water to come just below the contents of the pan. Cover and cook over a low heat until the potato is tender. Sprinkle the coriander.
Mix ingredients and level out again. Make four indentations in the mixture, about 1/2″ away from the pans side. Break an egg into each hollow.
Cover and cook until the eggs are just set. Cut into 4 segments and serve with bread and salad.
by Rita Jamshed Kapadia
Lagan nu Custard is made with eggs and is delicious!
Recipe from my mother Parin Homi Munshi. More recipes in cookbook. Order HERE.
6 cups milk or 3 cups heavy cream
1 slice bread
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence OR 1 tsp Rose Essence
3 tsp Charoli nuts Garnish (or garnished with almonds, pistachios – your choice)
Boil the milk, on slow heat, till two-third is left. Let it cool. Avoid this step if using heavy cream.
Mix in a blender the cold milk or cream, sugar, eggs, bread slice and vanilla essence.
Put in baking dish and mix in Charoli nuts and/or Pistachios and Almonds.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes.
The top should be golden brown.
Cut into rectangles and serve at room temperature. This custard can be made ahead and refrigerated for a week.
This Chicken Soup improves immunity and helps during a flu or cold.
1 lb or 4 chicken drumsticks
2 Tomatoes chopped
1 large red onion sliced
2 inch piece of cinnamon stick
2 tsp Ginger Garlic paste (adoo lasan)
1 tsp salt or to taste (optional can omit for a low sodium diet)
1 tbsp canola oil
4 cups water or as needed
1 pressure cooker
Clean and remove skin of 1 lb chicken with bones, and marinate in adoo lasan. Keep for 2 hours
Chop onion and fry in oil till sauted light brown. Add salt and cinnamon stick.
Add chopped tomatoes
Add the marinated chicken and saute for 5 minutes.
Add enough water to make soup. I make this chicken soup in a pressure cooker.
Crock pot, one pot or any vessel will work.
Cook for at least 30 minutes in the pressure cooker, lower heat and time after high pressure whistle.
Add fresh coriander and potatoes later if you prefer.
2 oz canola oil
2 – 4 oz butter (to tastes and diet needs)
1 cup coarse semolina
1/2 cup bisquick
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
2 oz chopped / slivered almonds
1 oz raisins
1 tbsp Ghee or Oil
1 – 2 tsp vanilla essence (to taste)
2 tbsp rosewater (optional, I like to use either vanilla OR Rose)
1 tsp ground cardamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch of rock salt
In a large non-stick vessel, heat the oil and butter over low heat
Add the semolina and saute for 10 minutes until golden brown.
Add Bisquick and continue sauteing for 3 more minutes.
Caramel – in a small pot, heat 2 tbsp of the sugar and melt into a golden brown syrup. Take care not to burn the sugar. Next lower the heat and add the rest of the water. Bring to a boil and shut off the heat. The syrup should be “1 string” consistency.
Add the syrup, vanilla essence, cardamon, nutmeg, rock salt to the semolina and Bisquick. Be careful because there will be a froth rising and can boil over! This is why you need a large pot. Cover quickly and let it cook for 30 seconds.
Garnish: In a separate pan, heat the ghee/oil and fry the raisins on low heat till plump. Add the chopped/slivered almonds and fry for 5 seconds. Cool.
Spread garnish over the malido and serve warm.
This malido will keep well in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. You can freeze for 6 months and de-frost, warm and use it.
Papri / Daran recipe for Malido adapted from the Vividh Vani cookbook.
This recipe was adapted from the cookbook: “An Adventure in Exotic Parsi Indian Cooking by Nergis Karanjia and Nergis Unwalla“ (click on link to purchase)
India is gearing up to celebrate one of the biggest festivals, that is Holi. Holi is said to derive its name from the mythological character Holika, who was the evil sister of the demon king Hiranyakashyap. After the night of Holika Dahan on Choti Holi where a bonfire is lit, people play rang wali Holi with their friends and family. After all, what’s Holi without being drenched in a bevy of colours and water?
Different regions celebrate Holi in their own special ways; however, what makes all the regions alike is the love for food during this festival. If it’s Holi, it is important to prepare savoury delicacies that are handy and easy-to-grab, considering you are drenched in colours and water and wouldn’t want any hurdles in munching on your favourite foods.
We list down some easy-to-pick and eat savoury items that you’d want to prepare during Holi.
6 Delectable Thandai Recipes
The winter clouds are giving way for the bounty of spring,and Indians across the country are all geared to celebrate Holi in less than a week. Cheeks smeared in hues of pink, green, yellow and red, getting drenched in coloured water or devouring the festive special delicacies; there is a reason why Holi is one of the most loved and widely celebrated festivals of India. Different regions of the country have their own local take on the festival. In Mathura, the festivities may last more than week. It is known as ‘lath mar Holi’, where women beat men with sticks and sing songs. In Bengal, Holi is celebrated as Dol jatra or swing festival where idols of Krishna and Radha are worshipped, and everybody plays on swings and with colours. In South, people worship God Kaamdeva. Like all festivals in India, food plays and intrinsic role in Holi celebrations too. For the longest time, gujiyas and dahi bhalla have dominated the great Holi spread. If there is anything that comes as close in terms of popularity is the thick, creamy and ever-so-delightful Thandai.
Also known as Sardai, thandai is a special beverage, native to India which is prepared extensively during festivals like Holi and Shivratri. The drink is made with the goodness of a mixture of almonds, fennel seeds, magaztari seeds (watermelon kernel), rose petals, pepper, cardamom, saffron, milk and sugar. Thandai could be made in many flavours and is immensely popular in the northern part of the country such as Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
Here are some delicious thandai recipes you can make for your Holi party!
It is nutty, it is creamy and it is loaded. This thandai recipe is decadence overload. It is made with the divine mixture of almonds, cashew nuts, pistachios, watermelon seeds, poppy seeds, green cardamoms, cinnamon and pepper corns boiled in milk. The chilled beverage is an answer to all your cravings.
It is nutty, it is creamy and it is loaded. This thandai recipe is decadence overload
Fans of Ice-tea raise your hand. This ultimate chilled concoction is one fusion you must try this festive season. Made with the flavourful goodness of Assam tea, almonds, khus khus, fennel seeds and cardamom, this refreshing and fragrant beverage is an instant mood-lifter.
This ultimate chilled concoction is one fusion you must try this festive season.3.Almond Milk Thandai
Amidst all the play, chatter, endless singing and dancing, it is natural for you to need some fuel to make sure the energy levels don’t take a dip. This wonderful and refreshing beverage is made with the goodness of almonds, aromatic spices and protein rich seeds.
This wonderful and refreshing beverage is made with the goodness of almonds, aromatic spices and protein rich seeds.
This one’s for those who are not yet ready to say goodbye to guavas. Try this lush and wholesome guava flavoured thandai loaded with nuts and aromatic spices. There, there we can see you slurping already.
Try this lush and wholesome guava flavoured thandai loaded with nuts and aromatic spices.
5. Soya Thandai
If you happen to be a vegan, then this one’s for you! Here’s a fragrant treat that even you can’t say no to. Soya milk boiled with the thandai spice-mix of cardamom, fennel seeds and dry fruits is a treat for soul.
Soya milk boiled with the thandai spice-mix of cardamom, fennel seeds and dry fruits is a treat for soul.
What happens when a festive dessert meets festive beverage? It gives birth to another culinary marvel just like this thandai phirni. This quick and decadent dessert brings the lush goodness of milk and a nutty charm of almonds, pistachios, cashew nuts and a whole lot of spices.
This quick and decadent dessert brings the lush goodness of milk and a nutty charm of almonds
Here’s wishing you all a very Happy Holi.
PHOTO: Naurooz / Nawruz table is from a local library exhibit in Lexington MA.
by Soli Dastur
Long long time ago, King Jamsheed of the Iranian Peshdaadiyan Dynasty founded the festival of Naurooz (meaning “new day” in Persian) to celebrate the coming of spring after the cold, dark winter. If you recall that in those times Iran was a pastoral community, and this festival marks the triumph of good over evil with light literally defeating darkness as Naurooz falls on the Vernal Equinox, when night equals day, and subsequently the hours of daylight increase.
History and Practice of Naurooz
Today, Naurooz is celebrated the world over by people influenced by pre-Islamic Iranian culture. What makes Naurooz unique is that it is the only holiday celebrated by several religious communities in various countries.
Among the best-known customs of Naurooz is the Sofreh (spread) Haft-sheen/seen, with seven gifts of Nature with names beginning with the Farsi letter “sheen” or “seen”. A week or so before the holiday, grains of wheat and lentils are placed in bowls to sprout into a mass of greenery, symbolizing growth. The table is also laden with fruit, nuts, sweets and snacks, candles, and the holy book, the Khordeh Avesta for Zoroastrians. A bowl with goldfish and a basket of colored eggs, indicating new life, are also placed on the table. Custom dictates that visitors who come to share the holiday with you should be sprinkled with fragrant rosewater and asked to look into a mirror to make a wish. Some say that this ritual symbolizes that you smell as sweet as roses and shine as bright as a mirror throughout the new year.
The Haft-Sheen table symbolizes the holiday spirit in much the same way the Christmas tree promotes a special festive mood and the table is kept replenished for thirteen days.
To the Zoroastrians, the sixth day is called the “Naurooz Bozorg” or “greater Naurooz” as it is celebrated as the birthday of Holy Zarathushtra.
Nowadays in Iran, the celebrations end on the thirteenth day, Seezdeh Bedaar, with people going for a picnic by streams and rivers. The sprouted lentils are thrown into running water, carrying away the bad luck of the previous year.
(Acknowledgement: Above compiled from various Naurooz writings from Internet)
The Haft-Sheen/Seen spread contains seven specific things together with a number of additional items on the Sofreh that will signify renewal, happiness, wealth, good health or anything that you desire for the New Year.
Here are these items:
Haft Sheen/Seen Sofreh (spread) for Naurooz
This table has items beginning with the Farsi letter “sheen”. This is the original custom of the Iranian Zoroastrians.
1. Sherab . (wine)
2. Sheer . (milk)
3. Sherbet Naranj . (orange juice)
4. Shagufeh . (buds)
5. Shama . (candle)
6. Shakar . (sugar)
7. Shahed . (honey)
This table has items beginning with the Farsi letter “seen”. This is the custom adopted by the Islamic people so as not to include “Sherab” or wine.
1. Samanu – a sweet pudding made from wheat germ, symbolizes wealth.
2. Seer . (garlic) represents health.
3. Seeb . (apple) represents beauty
4. Somaq . special berries that represent the color of the sun rise,
5. Serkeh . (vinegar) represents maturity and patience
6. Sonbol – the hyacinth flower with its strong fragrance heralds the coming of spring
7. Sekkeh . (coins) represent prosperity and wealth.
Hamā Anjuman Prayers for Naurooz In English, Farsi and Gujarati
In 2010, then FEZANA President Rustom Kevala requested a Naurooz Committee to create some Hamaa Anjuman prayers for the whole gathering to pray together during Naurooz days. I was volunteered to create these prayers in a book form in English as well as in Gujarati, and later in Farsi, so all our Humdins can use the book. After a lot of communications with Vadaa Dasturjis, Mobeds, Scholars, we created 8 short prayers for this book, printed it and distributed to all FEZANA Associations who chipped in their share for the cost of printing.
We like to acknowledge valuable and timely help from a number of people to compile this Naurooz Prayer. Special thanks goes to Dastoorji Dr. Feroze M. Kotwal, Late Dastoorji Dr. Peshotan H. Mirza, Mobed Mehraban Firouzgary, Ervad Dr. Ramiyar Karanjia, Ervad Dr. Jehan Bagli, Rastin Mehri, Joseph Peterson and his website, www.avesta.org, The Zarathushtrian Assembly website, K. R. Cama Oriental Institute staff, Rustom Kevala, Homi Gandhi, and many others.
My very good friend, Joseph Peterson, has been publicizing this book in his excellent website: www.avesta.org front page by presenting its front and back covers. (please see their photos attached)
Due to this advertisement in this website, over the years we have many requests for the book and our very efficient FEZANA Admin, Ms. Zenobia Damania, has been sending them requesting a donation to FEZANA. Zenobia informed me that a very few copies are now left.
Since Navroze will be here in a few weeks, we thought it will be good to present this whole book for all our Humdins all over the world. A soft copy of this book is attached to this WZSE. Hope it will be used by some of our Humdins all over the world during the upcoming Navroze.
These short prayers in this book is NOT JUST FOR Navroze. They can be used at any time. And we are making a strong appeal to all our Humdins, teachers, Mobeds and Mobedyars to use one of these prayers before a class or a get together so all Humdins can pray together.
Their encouragements and suggestions made this Prayer Book possible.
Yenghe Haataam Prayer in Farsi, Gujarati and English with Translation
One of the 8 prayers in this Naurooz book is one of our 3 pillars of our religion, Yenghe Haataam. We want to present this short beautiful prayer in Farsi, Gujarati and English with its English translation.
1. In his scholarly opus: The Divine Songs of Zarathushtra, Dr. Irach Taraporewala points out that Yenghe Haataanm verse is a later version of the original Zarathushtra’s Vohukhshathra Gatha verse Yasna 51.22.
Let us see this Vohukhshathra Gatha verse Yasna 51.22:
Vohukhshathra Gatha Verse Yasna 51.22:
Yehyaa moi ashaat hachaa Vahishtem yesne paiti,
Vaedaa Mazdaao Ahuro! Yoi aaongharechaa hentichaa,
Taa yazaai khvaaish naamenîsh Pairichaa jasaai vantaa.
Vohukhshathra Gatha Verse Yasna 51.22 Translation:
(Zarathushtra says:) I ween whom by reason of his Righteousness
in every act of worship as the best Mazda Ahura doth regard;
both among those who have been and who are;
these will I revere in their own names
and will devotedly reach upto them.
2. Dr. Irach Taraporewala writes: “This verse is the original of the Yenghe Haataanm verse. The main difference between the two is that in the Gaathaa verse the holy men both past and present are spoken of, while in the later Yenghe Haataanm verse the Righteous ones both men and women have been mentioned.
The first half of the Gaathaa verse has been reproduced almost word for word, with only the later changes of grammar and spelling. The second half of the Yenghe-Haataanm is entirely different. The idea of bringing in both men and women is a decided improvement. On the other hand, the last two sentences have been practically omitted and so the later verse Yenghe-Haataanm has lost a great deal of the force and beauty of the original.”
3. This whole paraphrasing of Gatha verse brings up an interesting question:
How many other Gatha verses were paraphrased like the above?
4. And we count Yenghe Haataanm as one of our three prayer pillars together with Yathaa and Ashem; then why can’t we recite Zarathushtra’s own words Yasna 51.22 instead of Yenghe Haataanm sometimes in our Hum Bandagis?
Let me leave this thought with you all!
May the Flame of Fellowship, Love, Charity and Respect for all burn ever eternal in our hearts so we can do HIS work with humility, diligence and eternal enthusiasm!
In HIS SERVICE 24/7!
Atha Jamyaat, Yatha Aafrinaamahi! (May it be so as we wish!)
Love and Tandoorasti, Soli
By Rita Kapadia
Recipe for Agarni Ladva
2 1/2 cups gram flour (not superfine variety)
500 ml. milk (optional to remove sugar impurity)
1/2 tsp. cardamom powder
3 cups ghee for deep frying
2 fine hole shallow strainer metal spoons, or use a colander with holes (be innovative)
1/2 tsp vanilla or rose essence or rose water
1/2 tsp. nutmeg (javantri powder)
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 1/2 cups water
Few drops saffron (kesar) or orange food color
1. Put sugar and water in a vessel and boil.
2. When sugar dissolves, add milk.
3. Boil for 5 minutes till scum forms on top.
4. Strain and return to fire.
5. Add color and boil till sticky but no thread has formed. One string tar is not needed.
6. Add cardamom powder and mix. Keep aside.
1. Mix flour and milk to a smooth batter.
2. Heat ghee in a heavy frying pan.
3. Hold strainer on top with one hand.
4. With the other pour some batter all over the holes.
5. Tap gently till all batter has fallen into hot ghee.
6. Stir with another strainer and remove when light golden.
7. Keep aside. Repeat for remaining batter.
8. Immerse boondi in syrup.
9. Drain any excess syrup.
10. Spread in a large plate and sprinkle little tsp. of hot water over it.
11. Cover and keep for 5 minutes.
12. Shape in laddoos with moist palms. (For Agarni Lavra shape into cones)
13. Cool and keep open to dry, before storing in containers.
Shortcut: Buy Boondi ladoos from store, crush and shape into cone shaped agarni lavra.
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:
Nice one – so good had to share!
“Patio” is a outdoor sitting area and a yummy parsi tomato based sauce to be enjoyed !
How about having the “Parsi Patio” with “Dhan Dar” on a warm sunny deck (patio).
Of course the wierd shrimps love basking in the sunshine and look like aliens!!!
BAWATIPS: Tips for a Majja Ni Life
Mumbai owes a lot to the Parsi community be it the far sightedness of its visionary thinkers. or their benevolence that helped set up some of the city’s most well-known landmarks, educational and health institutions. In the same breath, the community is also known and loved for its quirky and ‘ unique sense of humor.
Celebrating this, is an interesting venture set up by 22-year-olds Hormuz Bana and Viktor Daruwala. The young duo have set up Bawatips, a social networking community that acts as a platform to post funny one-liners that are typical to the Parsis. It became a hit with the community as well as others. Today, the page boasts of over 7,COO likes.
“It started one night when Viktor called me up after a drinking session at a local bar and said that like the brotips (by the famous character Barney Stinson, from the TV series How I Met your Mother) we should start something like Bawatips that shares everything about a bawa. So, next morning we came up with ten lines and Started the community,” says Hormuz. The background of their posts has clinking beer mugs as an ode to a Parsi’s love for alcohol. Even the font has been chosen after much deliberation. “We prefer to think that the bawas aren’t a dwindling community, but just few in number. Hence, we use the Futura font by which we mean that there is a future,” he adds.
‘When we say, ‘I phone’ we mean ‘this’ phone, you idiot’ and ‘Leave the mustard, try lagan nu custard’ are a few funny examples that otic will come across while browsing the page. Then again, many of their lines also use foul language. Quiz them about the elders getting upset about the use of such language, and Hormuz reasons, “It is common with the community, and though, some at first might not have liked it. others took it in jest and understood that we aren’t out there to make a mockery of anyone.” They wanted to post their thoughts in a fun way without hurting anyone’s sentiments — religious or otherwise. Bana, who also doubles as a priest takes care of this aspect.
“We never expected it to get this popular. So. we fell tliat the best way to take this further would be to print some of the quirkiest quotes on tees. Between 30 to 40 percent of our buyers were non-Parsis. They had Parsi friends and connected the tips with their cTaziness.”shares Bana.
LOG ON TO www.facebook.com/bawatips
CALL + 91 9819816262
COST: Rs 350
Note the indian gujarati parsi word Lavra is a plural form. Singular one is spoken as Lavro.
Ladoo is a term for small round balls. Usually boondi ladoo, besan ladoo, moti-choor ladoo, coconut ladoo and many other ladoos. You get the drift right?
Nothing is written below is compulsory, do everything happily according to your choice and convenience.
Agarni can be done either in the seventh month or ninth month. Seventh month is preferable. It should be done either on a Thursday or a Sunday.
Unlike a Baby Shower, this ceremony is not about the Unborn Child. It is about, celebrating a woman standing on the cusp of MOTHERHOOD. It is about, filling her lap, Saree Palloo (metaphorically and literally) with goodies to sustain her health, happiness and prosperity.
Generally, it is done only in the first pregnancy, as at the time of second pregnancy you have already attend Happy Motherhood.
Mother in law gets everything new for her daughter in-law (Paag thi Matha sudhi) New Green coloured saree (sign of fertility) or vehvan na kapda rakehela hoi to te sivravini pheravana.
What to buy:
250 gms. green moong (lentils , a sign of fertility)
250 gms. Wheat ( a sign of prosperity, Gherma dhaan ni kami nahi rahe)
250 gms. Rice (Gherma dhaan ni kami nahi rahe-Prospertiy)
One choli ne saaf kidheloo navu coconut (may the life be as fruitful and useful as the coconut tree)
Bijoroo is a fruit but difficult to get one instead put Pomegranate, slit a little and stick a coin inside (may there be prospertiy, ghanta ganai nahi tetli roji rahe)
One Big larvo boondi no (small, small boondies mithai are joined together and made into a shape of a cone, may there be so much support in your life from all the people, family and friends and well wishers surrounding you to reach the pinnacle of success)
Seven small larva to be taken to Vevahis house (from both side), more to distribute among family and friends.
Sagan nu..Paan, badam, kharek, sopari, sakar
Twin banana if available
Jewellery (if you wish to give) or one sagan nu envelope to both the mother and father to be.Achoo Michoo keep ready at both the houses.
In the morning the pregnant, to be mother takes a bath with dooh fool, and gets dressed in her new finery. Make the couple stand together and do sagan (tili) to both, now the vahumai holds out her saree palloo the other 4 or 6 women in the house will help to hold. Keep a cloth in the pallo (so that the saree does not get spoilt and becomes easy to empty out the Khoro)
Mother in law will first put all the sagan nu saaman (paan, badam.etc)Now put Seven fistful one after the other (dont make it full fistful, she has to carry the weight for seven times of full green moong Repeat point no. 2 with rice Repeat point no. 2 with Wheat. Put Nariyal (coconut) Twin Bananas
Agharni no larvo (big one)You may give her any jewellry if you so desire or one envelope sagannu.Take ovarna, kissi, koti and wish them Dadar Ahurmazad ne Ava Ardivisur Banoo ni madad thi Hasti Ramti saare divase, bachaa ne lai ne bharye khore vaheli ghere phdharje and let the girl come down the patla with her right foot.Give the girl a sip of water and Proceed to dear mothers (vahevais) house, with small ses and seven larvas. (Mother will take away 2-3 larvas and replace them from the ones she has got)Achoo michoo karine, take the children in, and the mother, with the help of other women in the house picks up the cloth from four corners and keeps it in her palloo or supra.
Mother does tilli and repeats all of the above.
The girl gets off the patla. Empty out the khoro in a supra. and both the Mother and mother in-law breaks (do not cut) the tonch (point) of the larva puts it in the girls mouth point facing towards the mouth (the baby slips out safe and fast ( at the delivery time () Coconut, Dadam (pomegranate), Larvo has to be eaten, rest of the things can be taken any day after the next day along with some fresh flowers and sakar (sugar) to the sea, river water (dariye vatoo karvanoo).
The couple can go to the agiary and pray to Ahura Mazda to give you safe and fast delivery, ne hasta ramta bachaa ne lai ne gahre aviye. Mother from boys side can take the khali kidhelo khoro in a cloth to her home.
These lavras are kept in the mother’s lap with a full set of Saree clothes, whole coconut decorated with tilli (red kanku to be used), sugar cubes (sakar) and flowers.
The easiest way is to buy ready made boondi ladoo. Take your cone from the Parsi Ses “Paro”and line it with parchment paper in the cone. Break the boondi ladoos and fill the cone tightly, pressing down to compress.
Refrigerate for 2 – 3 hours or overnight. The cone will come out looking like an agharni lavro. Roll gently in chopeed almonds and sprinkle with rose water. Apply Silver Foil varakh if you have any. OR wrap each lavro in coloured cellophane paper, tie with a ribbon (red) in a bow at the top.