A Parsi Story: Sugar in the Milk
I would like to take you on a journey into the culture, and nuances of the Parsi Cuisine of India. I would like to present to you the famous Story of Parsi immigration (into India) and their welcome with “Sugar in the Milk”.
One of the oldest stories of Sugar and Milk in Parsis (Parsi / Parsee Zoroastrians) folklore, comes from the time when they came over from Persia (modern day land of Iraq and Iran and other countries) to save themselves and their religious faith. They landed in Sanjan a port in the Indian State of Gujarat. The King Jadhav Rana, who was the ruler of the land and a good one. The language of Indians and Persians was different, so to welcome the strangers and communicate that the land was already filled with people to the brim, he sent them a full glass of milk. The Zoroastrian priests immediately got the message and since they were peace loving religious people, they wanted to send back a message that they would make the land and community richer and more prosperous by their good values, knowledge and hard work. The Parsis added sugar to the glass of milk. The King Jadhav Rana was so impressed with this gesture that he granted them asylum and welcomed them with gifts and helped them settle in the new land of India. Parsis thus settled and assimilated, blended in India like sugar in the milk.
Parsis even though a minority, have enriched the Indian economy, even fighting in the independence movement with Mahatma Gandhi against the British Rule. The major industrialists like the Tata’s, Godrej and Dadabhai Navroji are among the most well-known Parsis.
The Indian and global Parsi community is well-known, for its charity, philanthropy and support for good causes. Their core belief is “Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds”. In keeping with their promise to King Jadhav Rana in 936 CE, at the time of being provided shelter, the Parsis have endeavored to sweeten the country by their good deeds.
You may have heard of many Parsis, including the rock icon and lead singer of Queen – Freddie Mercury, Harvard University’s Director of the Mahindra Humanities Center – Dr. Homi Bhabha and the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonic Orchestra’s Conductor – Zubin Mehta. The Tata Company is one of the largest in the world and now owns premier automotive brands like Land Rover and Jaguar. The founder of the business empire was a Parsi: Jamshedji Tata.
The Parsi connection to the British Royal family spans generations. Queen Elizabeth of England, Prince Charles, Prince William and Kate Middleton enjoy Parsi banquets held in their honor.
Navroze on March 21 the day of equinox marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the year in the Zoroastrian Fasli and Kadmi Calendar. The Parsis who immigrated to India celebrate the same on March 21st each year and the festival is called Jamshedi Navroze. Falooda drink or Rose Milk is enjoyed to mark the celebration of spring with nature’s Tookmuria (subja seeds), Sev, Milk, Ice-Cream and Rose.
Over 400 Recipes and Stories are available in Rita’s Parsi Cuisine Cookbooks. These are a labor of love. The cookbooks began in an effort to maintain and preserve Parsi 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.
Cookbooks on Parsi Cuisine are sold on Amazon and at ParsiCuisine.com
on the web at www.ParsiCuisine.com
The author Rita Jamshed Kapadia resides in USA. Rita learnt from her Mother Parin and Mother-in-Law Jaloo the favorites and staples of a parsi home. Inspired by old traditional parsi cookbooks like the “Vividh Vani”, Rita has come up with homemade recipes.
Rita Jamshed Kapadia has the recipe blog established 1999, ParsiCuisine.com, now with 250,000 followers and over 302,000 hits from all over the world. Rita has authored “Parsi Cuisine, The Manna of the 21st Century” and 12 individual series cookbooks with matched digital e-cookbooks; She was recently invited to Carlisle’s Gleason Library and the Boston Athenaeum, Boston, MA to demonstrate and talk about Parsi Food. You can follow the author on Twitter @ParsiCuisine and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ParsiCuisine.