November 28, 2017

Parsi Food Menu Ad Circa 1953

A 1953 ad in the Jam-e-Jamshed Gujarati newspaper lists the daily change of menu specialties at PAC Confectioners for the festive week before Spring Equinox (Jamshedi Navroze) celebrated by Zoroastrians on March 21

First up is Gowalia Tank Dairy, opened 70 years ago by Ahmad Sahid Vora. His son Ayaz says they supplied milk, dahi, paneer, lassi and, finally, bestselling grilled sandwiches – carb treats so tasty, even fitness guru Mickey Mehta can’t resist them.

Past the dairy, Parsi Amelioration Committee Cooking and Confectionery (PAC, now at Tardeo) sold cutlets, wine biscuits and crumble-fresh nankhatai, shortbread Persian chefs learnt kneading from the Dutch docked in Surat.

Delbar Mendis shares that her grandmother Jerbai, whose husband Sir Noshirwan Engineer was the first Indian Advocate General, founded PAC in 1938 to groom self-reliant women.

Further into Forjett Cross Lane, Rajasthani Mahila Mandal has empowered women since 1956. My eyes watch a dozen of them cleanly pound spices and roll papads. My nose leads to their shop, aromatic waves of these masalas, sherbets and pickles wafting strong. “Our range is better than home-made,” Mandal treasurer Uma Seksaria swears, impossibly perfect as that sounds.

With product manufacture, sewing and computer classes, Hindi and English schools, the institution holds medical clinics and civic awareness programmes.

by Meher Marfatia


Since 1999 to date we celebrate 20 years of, now with over 637,000 hits. Not to mention the social media of facebook, twitter. Rita has authored “Parsi Cuisine The Manna of the 21st Century” and ten individual series cookbooks with matched digital e-cookbooks; She was recently invited to Gleason Library and the Boston Athenaeum, Boston, MA to demonstrate and talk about Parsi Food. Rita's Parsi Cuisine Cookbooks are a labor of love. The cookbooks began in an effort to maintain and preserve our recipes and traditions for the next generation, many of whom have been raised in USA, UK, Australia, France, Germany,Canada and other countries outside of India. Printed Paperback of the Ancient cooking book “Vividh Vani” by Meherbai Jamshedji Wadia: Through software and amazon services, We have managed to print the “Vividh Vani” in high quality paper . You can now own a brand-new copy of the Vividh Vani in strong paper bound books. These printed volumes are exactly the same antique and original books of Meherbai Jamshedji Wadia. They include photos and letters of the Wadia family. They are a legacy item for the parsi kom that can be preserved another 1000 years and more!  * This site offers free downloads of old traditional parsi cookbook volumes of the "Vividh Vani". Translation to English effort is on-going, you will find some translated recipes here. You can follow her on Twitter @ParsiCuisine and on Facebook at

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