Living up to our name as ‘foodies’ , we at TeenGazette are going to bring out a whole array of dishes that will make you give up every diet you had ever followed! Move over steaks, burgers, soups and dumplings. We are no strangers to continental food, or Chinese food or even Indian food. But today, we are going to explore the Parsi cuisine. Parsi or Irani is a term often used interchangeably today however; Iran is a much newer name and covers only a part of ancient Persia. Now the food that we are going to introduce you to today is mostly common to the Zoroastrian communities of Parsi’s and Irani’s. Yet what makes is special is that it is so unlike any other cuisine. And although popular within the communities, we’ve met many people giving us blank loos when we mentioned about the absolutely melt-in-your mouth Dhanshak we recently sampled. So here are the 5 Parsi dishes without which we feel your culinary experience will be incomplete:
Patra ni machhi – This is steamed fish cooked in either foil or banana leaves and topped with a chutney or sauce. The fish used is usually Pomfret and the sauce is sweet and spicy, made from coriander paste and lots of ginger and garlic. The fish is soft and falls apart at the bones and perfectly balanced with a bland interior and a flavorful exterior.
Dhansak – This is equivalent to the Sunday Roast of the Parsi’s. Traditionally cooked on Sundays, this popular dish has made its way into the limelight with its unique mix of flavours and ingredients. It is basically mutton cooked with lentils and vegetables. The meat is flavoured with the Dhansak spice which is a combination of 15 different spices, ginger, garlic, mint, coriander etc. It is served with caramelized brown rice. The dish is slightly sweet but fruits are never added, the sweetness is brought through with pumpkin or squash. In the Parsi Zoroastrian culture, no meat is consumed for three days after a death. The abstinence is broken on the fourth day with Dhansak. Dhansak is never prepared on birthdays or wedding. When our team sampled Dhansak, it felt like Christmas has come early. Owing to the long slow cooking, the mutton is soft and pillowy and the burst of juices in your mouth will be incomparable!
Sali boti – A signature dish and one of the pillars of Parsi cuisine, this dish is instantly recognized by its re tomato-onion gravy and potato matchsticks. ‘Sali’ means potato matchstick or thinly cut strips of fried potato chips. Sali boti is slow cooked diced mutton in rich gravy topped with a liberal sprinkling of potato matchsticks. The dish is quintessentially Parsi and is often served with Parsi ‘chapati’ or flatbread. One cannot walk out of a Parsi restaurant without sampling what tastes like Diwali in your mouth.
Mutton Cutlet – Now may sound a bit drab. What is so special about a cutlet after all? Isn’t it just like a meat patty or a flour coated steak? Nuh uh. Stop right there. The mutton cutlet at a Parsi restaurant is the most delicate, most subtle patty of meat ever eaten. Fried in egg white, it gives a soft, fuzzy texture to the outside of the cutlet. And the moment you cut in, you’ll discover some good hearty meat subtly infused with the spices…and when you take a bite…good god. Excuse us, while we savor that exact moment we had taken our first bites into the cutlet. Yep. Back on track. So as we were saying, don’t miss this one out either.
Lagan Nu Custard – The most iconic dessert of the Parsi Cuisine, this custard is often served at the weddings of Royalty and such. But the Lagan Nu Custard is also made at Parsi homes regularly and is considered a Sunday treat. Similar to the modern caramel custard, the Lagan Nu Custard is made with milk, eggs, sugar, nutmeg and cardamom, although variations exist. It is usually caramel topped and digging into the soft yet firm texture of the custard is the perfect culmination of a meal that couldn’t have been any more perfect!
This cuisine has been one of the best we’ve sampled in recent times and there’s one thing we noted. The cuisine is very heavy on spices yet nothing like the hotness of chilies. The spices lend a unique aroma and a rich blend of flavours tending to the sweet side. Hardly any of the dishes we’ve had made us reach for a glass of water. We’ve only explored the tip of the iceberg that represents the wonders of the Parsi cuisine, but we’d love it if you tell us more! And if you’re new to this cuisine as well, drop whatever plans you had for dinner and head to the nearest Parsi eatery you can find, then come back and tell us about your experience! 😀
To enjoy all these in the best of the ways please do join us on the Parsi Food Trail. Follow the Facebook page link to know more and enroll before its too late.
Enjoy the experience.
The post is a part from the original work from here