Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Parsi Cuisine

Curried Patra leaves

The average Parsi simply loves his food. No Sunday is complete without mutton Dhansak, kababs and kachumber (a kind of salad),” Dhansak is brown rice and dal cooked with mutton and served with Kachumber. It’s distinctive taste is mostly due to the combination of spices used.

Parsi dishes, though without a predominant flavour, use specific oils, a lot of vinegar, and chillies in moderation. But if you prefer spicier stuff, then the ‘Patra-ni-machhi’ is for you. Fish is considered auspicious by Parsis and this particular preparation is perhaps the most popular. The fish, usually a black or white pomfret, is steamed in a banana leaf and smeared with spicy chutney. A completely ‘melt-in-the-mouth’dish.And talking about Parsi food, can eggs be left out? Parsis, known for their love for eggs, are rumoured to consume three-four eggs at a time! The Akoori, scrambled eggs cooked with Parsi spices, is a must try as also the Sali Boti - a ‘khattu meethu’ gravy sprinkled with potato crisps. Sali Boti is a good accompaniment with chapatis.

Parsi dhansak masala
5 chilies (up to 10)
2 cinnamon sticks
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 tb cumin seeds
2 tb coriander seeds
1 tb green or black cardamom seeds
2 ts black peppercorns
1/2 tb cloves
1 tb fenugreek seeds
1 tb black mustard seeds
1/2 tb mace
1/2 tb ground turmeric
Dry roast the ingredients over a medium heat until they darken, stirring often
to prevent scorching. Cool and then grind into a powder. .

Parsi Patra definitely is worth trying as a primer to your rendezvous with Parsi cuisine. Patra is a parsi speciality generally served as a snack.Layers of Colocasia leaves coated with a mixture of gram flour, wheat flour ,dhansak masala & tamarind made into a paste are rolled, steamed and cut into roundels and served hot with a seasoning of sesame seeds,cumin seeds,asafoetida,and garnished with some coconut shavings and chopped parsley.
Here is a wonderful link for
  • Parsipatra
  • recipe.

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