Navroze, The Persian New Year is right around the corner and that can only mean a celebration full of great food. For those of you who do not have Parsi or Irani friends willing to feed, you don't fret. Restaurants across the city will come out to celebrate but more importantly, you should know what you need to eat! We picked 5 stellar Parsi dishes that we think you should indulge in and exactly where you can find them. The cuisine, of course, has a lot more to offer but these 5 are a great place to start. Navroze Mubarak and Happy Eating!
Saas Ni Macchi - The most advertised dish at restaurants is Patra Ni Macchi, fish that is coated in a fiery green chutney and steamed in a banana leaf, but the truth is that most Parsi's prefer a Saas ni Macchi. Its fish ( preferably pomfret ) cooked in a thick tangy white sauce ( saas ) is always a part of any celebratory meal. You do not find it on many menus but you can deep dive into a plate of this with hot chapatis at either Jumjoji in Andheri or Jimmy Boy at Fort.
Mutton Pulao With Daal - When you think of Parsi food the first dish that comes to mind is Dhansak but many do not realise that this heavy hearty meal is reserved only for Sunday lunch or during the morning. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a celebratory dish, so you would not find this during Navroze but its close cousin and equally delicious is a Mutton Pulao often served with the same Dhansak Daal. The Daal is meatless but you will find that in the Pulao minus the signature Caramelised Brown Rice. It is no Dhansak but it has got its own flavour profile and is a power packed meal. You can tuck into a great Mutton Pulao at Ashmick's Snack Shack in Bandra, Jimmy Boy or even Cafe Mocambo in Fort.
Sali Murghi - The community is true blue meat lovers so, despite the mutton inclusion, a list without a chicken dish is incomplete. A popular choice at any wedding or celebration within the community is a chicken dish cooked with apricots and liberally garnished with thinly fried potato straws ( Sali ). Much like the Saas ni Macchi, the Sali Murghi or Jerdaloo Murghi with Sali ( both names are often used ) is eaten with freshly made chapatis. The dish is slightly sweet because of the apricots but still has a bit of spice and tang and a lot of crunch from the Sali which is a common snack in most Parsi homes. You can enjoy this dish at SodaBottleOpenerWala with multiple outlets across the city or even Britannia and Co.
Kolmi Nu Patio - There are plenty of Parsi dishes that do not always make it to restaurant menus but are outstanding. Such is the Kolmi Nu Patio which is a sweet and sour though sometimes spicy prawn relish. It is best eaten with rice and yellow daal and can sometimes be served as a gravy. It is a unique flavour and you can also have a fish patio but the kolmi or prawns are king. You do not see this on too many menus but you will find it at Cafe Military on a Wednesday and Jumjoji.
Lagan Nu Custard - Any Parsi meal must end on a sweet note and the sweetest of them all is the Lagan Nu Custard. A traditional Parsi custard studded with dried fruit and served up as part of a wedding feast, Lagan meaning wedding. This milk-based dessert is such a hit that almost very Parsi restaurant has it on its menu. Slightly different from a regular caramel custard or flan as the top layer is caramelised and it is flavoured with cardamom powder and nutmeg along with other ingredients. Tuck into a delicious Lagan Nu Custard at any of the outlets of SodaBottleOpenerWala or Ideal Corner and Jimmy Boy which are both located in Fort.
Better known as the Tiny Taster, Roxanne is an internationally respected blogger and expert on the Mumbai food scene. She has hosted many events, including the Upper Crust Food & Wine Show and travels the world, sharing her knowledge and gaining more experience.
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