For the first time in Kolkata, the city is celebrating Parsi New year. If you are from Kolkata and have started nodding your head in disagreement, then hold on; the city is celebrating Parsi New Year through its food and what better way to pay a tribute to one of the cuisines, which although so popular in other parts of the country, has not been that popular in Kolkata. Other than a few here and there, no dedicated restaurants in Kolkata sell authentic Parsi food.
The city based restaurant, The Stadel organised a Parsi pop up – the first of its kind on 13th August to celebrate the Parsi New Year or Navroz. Food curator Nilufer Babaycon curated some of the best dishes for this pop up and it included mutton cooked with apricots and figs, the ever green sali murgi, brown rice, chicken dhansak, and patrani machhi, amongst others.
Head chef and co-owner of Bodega Cantina Y Bar, Urvika Kanoi, has spent some time of her life in Mumbai and it comes as no surprise that she will not let an opportunity go by to pay a tribute to this fun and merry making community. As per her, this is one of the cuisines which has got rich interesting flavours, yet not that much popular in Kolkata. Keeping that in mind, when Bodega was opened, they had a Parsi tiffin box as a part of their regular menu which comprised of dhansak, pulao, kurkuri bhindi and kachumber. Now, on the occasion of the Parsi New year or Navroz, Bodega is offering a special Parsi New Year menu on 17th August in the evening. The non veg thali comprises chicken farcha (which is fried chicken in an aerated egg batter), gosh ni cutlet or the mutton keema cutlets, kolmi nu bhaja, rotlis or the traditional Parsi rotis along with the all time popular mutton dhansak. For the vegetarians, there is an inspiration from egg akuri and its called paneer akuri, the love for eggs of Parsis is legendary and this is definitely an innovative change. One also gets mixed veg patio which is a simple mixed veg curry bursting with flavours. The Parsi brown rice and lagan nu custard without which perhaps no Parsi meal is complete will be available for both. Although, Urvika wanted to get the most popular raspberry soda brand Pallonji, she is making the same on her own.
Speaking about Parsi cuisine, few of the top recalls are dhansak, patra ni machhi (whose Bengali brother is paturi) and akuri (who does not know the love for eggs of the Parsis), but there is much more to it than this and its time Kolkata says Jamva Chalo ji.
A true blue Kolkata foodie, Anindya loves cooking and eating his Kosha Mangsho. Anindya weaves stories around food as he believes exceptional food is an emotional experience. Previously a restauranter, now a passionate photographer and traveller, he runs a successful blog called Pikturenama and contributes to other publications.