Parsi New Year is round the corner and it is the perfect time to indulge in some signature Parsi dishes. Some restaurants in Mumbai have their regular menus and some caterers have curated special dishes so the choice is plenty. It is just a question of knowing what to eat and where to eat it. Here are our top 5 Parsi dishes to try this New Year in Mumbai and where you can get your hands on them!
Every self-respecting Parsi has his or her favourite style of kebab or cutlet. Either smaller rounder balls of deep fried goodness or then the larger flatter yet sufficiently stuffed minced meat cutlets- both are eaten with much glee. A meal is incomplete without a juicy lacy frilly mutton or chicken cutlet or then the smaller prawn or mutton stuffed kebabs. You can eat these as a starter, between a hot chapati or smothered in a typical Parsi style sweet tomato gravy, either way, they are delicious!
Where to get the Best Kebabs / Parsi Cutlace in Mumbai:
Katy's Kitchen - Traditional Parsi Food caterer's Katy's Kitchen has an interesting Fish Cutlet + Gravy (2) for Rs 150/- on their special Pateti Menu for the 16th of August.
Ideal Corner - The very best mutton cutlets with gravy can be found at this old but much loved Parsi restaurant. Ideal Corner in Fort has a rotating menu with different items on different days but the cutlets are available throughout. Priced at Rs 50/- for a plate of 2.
Bawi Bride Kitchen - Known for their outstanding Mutton Kebabs, The Bawi Bride Kitchen has a special take on their signature dish. This New Year they've got Kolmi No Patio Potato Bombs (2 Pieces ) for Rs 140/- which is a gorgeous mix of two traditional Parsi dishes - Kolmi no Patrio (A Prawn gravy based dish) and her Kebabs. The special menu is available on 16th & 17th August.
Patra Ni Macchi
This is possibly the lightest dish in the entire repertoire of Parsi cuisine. A delicate piece of fish, ideally Pomfret are smothered in a flavorful spicy coconut chutney, wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed. This is a big hit on every traditional Parsi Bhonu and one you cannot miss this New Year.
List of Mumbai eateries to get the Best Patra Ni Macchi:
Jimmy Boy - One of the first few eateries than managed to really popularise authentic Parsi cuisine, Jimmy Boy is just as popular though a tad bit more expensive than others. The Patra ni Macchi (2) is priced at Rs 690/-
SodaBottleOpenerWala - The newest Parsi themed restaurant that is meant to resemble an old Irani Cafe is a great place for Patra ni Macchi which is priced at Rs 665
Thin crisp potato straws (Sali) makes everything taste better. While the condiment is liberally used in many dishes to add texture and crunch, traditionally it is paired with flavourful gravy of slow cooked mutton pieces (boti) preferably on the bone. Packed with flavour it is best to eat with hot chapatis or the soft bread to help mop up all the gravy.
Where to get tastiest Sali Boti in Mumbai:
Cafe Military - This small cafe in Fort known for its Parsi delicacies is only open during the day from Monday - Saturday but patrons love their Sali Boti which is Rs 150/- per plate.
Cafe Universal - Though they're known for their burgers and sizzlers, this Parsi owned cafe has a few Parsi/Irani dishes and the Sali Boti priced at Rs 300/- is one of them.
Dinshaw's Xpress - This Andheri based restaurant has lots to offer but it's their Parsi Menu called Bawa Nu Bhonu that's really special. Try their Sali Boti priced at Rs 429/- which comes served with hot pav.
Now the most famous Parsi dish is Dhansak but not everyone knows this is a dish eaten when you are in mourning or only on a Sunday. It is never eaten on any festive occasion or celebration. The other version is a Pulao with Dal which is the same gravy as the Dhansak but without the meat. You can find various versions of the dish across the city and some have gotten very creative with their Pulao and serve it with mutton kebabs or even boiled egg.
Where to get it from -
Britannia & Company Restaurant - Without a doubt this legendary restaurant in Ballard Estate is the first that comes to mind with their famous Berry Pulao. You can try several versions of the same including a prawn one but the average pulao is priced between Rs 550 - 900/-
Katy's Kitchen - This festive season Katy's Kitchen has their own version of Prawn Pulao available on their Pateti menu for the 16th of August.
Lagan Nu Custard
No meal is ever complete unless it ends with this iconic rich custard. It's the more favoured dessert at a wedding feast and the custard is richly garnished with dry fruits. Lagan nu Custard is possibly the most well known Parsi dessert and Mumbaikars are crazy about it. Most restaurants do a regular caramel custard but not everyone does the traditional Lagan nu custard.
Where to get it from
Bawi Bride Kitchen - The Lagan Nu Custard from the Bawi Bride Kitchen in Mahim is possibly one of the best in the city and is priced at Rs 100.
Ashmick's Snack Shack - This tiny shack in Bandra is the only place you can get authentic Parsi food in Bandra. His menu is extensive but he's also one of the few places you can get a Lagan Nu Custard priced at Rs 60 and not just a regular caramel custard.
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.