Usher in Parsi New Year with delicious traditional dishes, says Mini Ribeiro.
Who can resist a Parsi meal of Salli Boti, Dhansak with brown rice, Chicken Farcha, Raspberry Soda and rounded off with a Lagan Nu Custard (popular creamy dessert)?
While most people across India wait to be invited to a Parsi lagan (wedding) or a Navjote feast to savour an elaborate Parsi meal, or at best in a few restaurants serving Parsi cuisine, Mumbaikars are comparatively luckier.
Mumbai boasts of a fair amount of places offering Parsi cuisine, some iconic and traditional, and others contemporary.
There is something innately heart-warming and comforting about Parsi cuisine.
It may be influenced by other cultures and cuisines, yet, Parsi food is unique and has a distinct character of its own.
This year, Parsi New Year falls on August 17. Here are five delectable Parsi recipes from chefs across Mumbai.
IMAGE: Salli Boti by executive chef, Sudhir Pai, Holiday Inn, Mumbai International Airport
- 1 kg goat meat, cut into 1 1/2 to 2 inch cubes
- 4 tbsp refined oil
- 4 medium size onions, finely sliced
- 2 tbsp ginger paste
- 1 tbsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp red chilli powder
- 3 large tomatoes, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp apricot puree (made of dry apricots soaked in warm water and pureed)
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 1/2 cup coriander leaves, finely chopped
- Salt to taste
For the salli
- 5 large potatoes, peeled and julienned
- Refined oil for deep frying the potato sticks
- Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan.
- Add onions and fry until they begin to turn pale golden in colour.
- Add ginger paste, garlic paste and meat. Fry until the meat begins to turn brown.
- Add turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Stir well.
- Continue frying until the oil begins to separate from the meat. This could take up to 10 minutes and it indicates that the spices are well cooked.
- Add tomatoes and salt to taste.
- Pour a cup of hot water and mix well. Cover and cook until the meat is tender.
- Heat oil in a pan.
- Deep fry the julienned potatoes on low to medium heat.
- Cook until potato sticks are crispy and pale golden in colour.
- Drain the fried potato sticks on paper towels. Keep it aside.
- Once meat is cooked, add apricot puree and vinegar to the curry. Stir well.
- Cook for another two to three minutes. Remember that the dish must have fairly thick and very little gravy when it's done.
- When cooked, remove the pan from the heat.
- Add chopped fresh coriander leaves.
- Serve in a curry dish and garnish with the salli.
IMAGE: Chicken Dhansak by Pala Fala, Atria Mall, Worli, Mumbai.
- 3/4 cup fresh pineapple pieces
- 1/2 cup pineapple pieces, juiced
- 2 1/2 cups curry base sauce
- 3/4 cup dried yellow split peas
- 3/4 cup red lentils
- 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into one inch cubes
- 2 small handfuls cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Soak peas in cold water for 10 minutes.
- Once done, rinse them several times.
- Drain and place the peas into a medium size saucepan with two cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer.
- Skim foam from the surface occasionally.
- When peas have cooked for 20 minutes, most of the water is gone and the peas should be nearly tender. Cover and reduce heat to very low.
- While peas are cooking, rinse lentils in cold water. Drain well, place into a small saucepan. Add vegetable broth.
- Heat the saucepan and bring it to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook for five more minutes to absorb the extra liquid. (The lentils will turn to mush and look like oatmeal.)
- Take a large saucepan or a dutch oven.
- Simmer and heat the base sauce.
- Add cooked lentils, chicken chunks and pineapple juice. Simmer for five minutes.
- Check peas. Turn off the heat and uncover when tender (Don't worry if there is extra liquid).
- Add cumin, chilli powder, half of the peas (drained), pineapple pieces and a small handful of cilantro to the curry mixture. Cook gently for another 10 minutes.
- A few minutes before serving, add remaining peas, cilantro and salt.
- Serve with rice (plain basmati or pulao) or flat-bread.
Marghi na Kheema na Pattice
IMAGE: Marghi na Kheema na Pattice by Dinshaw Xpress Cafe, Oshiwara, Mumbai.
- 250 gm mashed potatoes
- 1 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp black pepper powder
- 2 1/2 kg raw chicken breast
- 1/2 onion paste
- 3 green chilles paste
- 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 cup skinned almonds, finely chopped
- 3 eggs
- Bread crumbs
- Refined oil
- Heat one tablespoon of oil in a pan.
- Fry the onion until it turns brownish.
- Add chopped ginger and garlic paste, green chillies paste, garam masala and red chilli powder to it. Mix well for three minutes.
- Add minced chicken and allow it to cook in its own juice. If required, add some water.
- When chicken is soft, add almonds and cook for two minutes.
- Add vinegar and sugar. Cook until it's dry.
- Place mashed potatoes, salt and pepper in a plate and mix until soft.
- Sprinkle chopped coriander and make small balls of the mixture.
- Grease your hands with oil. Place one potato ball in the left hand and pat it into a circle
- Place one tablespoon of cooked minced chicken in the centre of the potato circle and cover the mince into a patties.
- After stuffing all the potato balls, place a pan half full of oil on medium flame.
- Whisk the eggs. Spread breadcrumbs on a steel plate.
- Cover all the patties in the crumbs one by one.
- When the oil is hot enough, lower the flame and dip the patties into the whisked eggs.
- Gently place the patties in the oil.
- Fry not more than three patties at a time.
- Fry them until golden brown. Serve with onion rings.
IMAGE: Eggs Kejriwal by Soda Bottle Openerwala, BKC, Mumbai
- 2 eggs
- 1 bread slice
- 1 fried chilli, chopped
- 25 gm sauted mushroom
- 50 gm cheese sauce
- 1 cheese slice
- 50 gm cheese, grated
- Cut the corners of the bread.
- Toast it in the oven without butter. Cut into four pieces.
- Add mushrooms, cheese sauce and green chillies.
- Place the cheese slice on top of the mushrooms.
- Cook an egg sunny-side up. Put it on top of the bread.
- Top it up with grated cheese, salt and pepper.
- Bake it in the oven till the cheese has melted.
Patra Ni Macchi
IMAGE: Patra Ni Macchi by Chef Tehmtan, Sofitel Mumbai, Bandra Kurla Complex
- 6 slices pomfret
- 2 tsp salt
- 8 pieces banana leaves
For the chutney
- 1 fresh coconut, grated
- 1 stalk fresh coriander
- 8 pieces green chilies
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 5 pieces garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Grind coconut, chopped coriander leaves, green chilies, cumin seeds and garlic cloves to make the chutney.
- Add sugar, salt and lemon juice to the same.
- Cut banana leaves vertically and keep the centre stalk aside.
- Coat each slice of fish with the chutney.
- Lay the cut leaves across each other, whilst keeping the fish in the centre.
- Start rolling the fish along with the leaf.
- Keep the stalks of the leaves in a pan with hot water.
- Place the rolled fish on the stalks.
- Allow to steam for 30 minutes or more until the fish is cooked.
- Serve hot.
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