Lay of the Land: The Parsi spread for guaranteed gastronomical delight!

The Parsis said just as this sugar blends perfectly well in this cup of warm milk, so will we in the culture of your land. And well they did! Gujarat and Parsis have forged a friendship formed on love and respect, giving to each other from their own rich cultures in one of the most exemplary symbiotic cultural exchanges. ’Parsis’ are a lineage of Zoroastrians who left Persia (Currently Iran) at the time of the Arab invasion during the 17th century. They ultimately set their abode at western regions of India. This migration over time created a blend of the culture they came with and the one they adopted, which can be exemplified in their different gastronomy, a cuisine that flawlessly includes Gujarati, Maharashtrian, Iranian and English flavours. Parsi food takes our local Gujarati flavours and blends them into some of the most scrumptious meal options. What comes across is an assorted mixture of spice and sugary, taste, aroma and texture. It includes normal yet distinct components that may sound a little peculiar but gives moth watering view on the dinner table (rather on your mouth’s palette). Their Iranian roots gifted them a style for life-sized buffets and adore spending hours and hours of cooking prior to a huge ceremonial and make delicacies which is sheer elixir. Parsis are well-known to have a thing for coconuts and palm sugar. In the olden time’s coconuts were considered amongst the elegant food within old Persia and thus Parsis adopted them extensively within their rituals, food and life; as far as sugar is concerned, who needs a reason for a hint of sweet? Other major ingredients which are included in their spice list are desiccated red chilli, lush green chilli, coconut milk, ginger, garlic and tamarind extracts. The key to their spices is separated in three distinctly special masalas: The Parsi garammasala, sambharmasala and dhansakmasala.

Here is our list of must trys:

Lets start the day with some authentic Parsi breakfast. Akuri is a typically conventional breakfast of Parsis. The eggs are half cooked and runny stirred in ghee (along with a hint of milk sometimes) but aren’t fully cooked, served with spices sprinkled on it. This yum sums well with bread and fresh salad. For the not so diet conscious gastronomers, there’s always Sali Par Edu (Eggs with shredded fried potatoes)combines two of the most basic ingredients and gives you an inventive plate of breakfast foods. Deep-fried potatoes are topped off with eggs and served with toast (Some baked beans to go with that would be perfect). The Parsi main course has a whole lot of options. SaliMarghi(Chicken with potato shreds) is one of the oldest recipes that still rules as everybody’s favourite. Tender chicken marinated in sizzling masala and cooked with threaded potato fires. We also love the Parsi Mutton Cutlets as a side. They are made by stirring mutton, potatoes enhanced by spices like ginger, turmeric and other fragrant masalas, this deep-fried lip smacking bites dished up with chutney is pure bliss. For the fish lovers there’s always PatraNi Machi. Fish soaked with mild spices, lime juice, spiced coconut chutney and then cover steamed in green banana leaves is a Parsi special.

No doubt Dhansak is one of the most famous amongst all Parsi dishes. An aromatic mix of spices and ingredients from both Persian and Gujarati food charts and is utilised as companion for preparing chicken, meat and various foremost ingredients. The most popular exponent is called the Dhanshak too, made out of a mix of lentils and vegetables (meat if preferred). KolmiPapetoTetralo (Prawns and potatoes) is scrumptious prawns spiked in chilli garlic paste and potatoes cooked in a tangy and thick tomato puree.

Now after all that good eating its time for a perfect sweet end. And the Parsi Lagan Nu Custard has no match. As the name suggests (to the Gujarati brethren at least) it literally means the wedding custard, a customary delight served at Parsi weddings. This baked piece of gastronomical delight is made of milk and eggs, tempered with ‘oh so yum’ hint of sweet cinnamon.

There’s something for everyone there now, isn’t there? And who’s complaining when it literally qualifies as food of the Gods.

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