As the Navroze is celebrated by the Parsi community on March 20, it is a good time to enjoy the delicacies of the Parsi cuisine.
The basic feature of a Parsi lunch is rice, eaten with lentils or a curry. Curry is made with coconut. Dinner is usually meat, often accompanied by potatoes or other vegetable curry. Kachumbar (a sharp onion-cucumber salad) accompanies most meals.
Fashion Collection shares some of the best Parsi cuisine dishes.
It is a popular dish of the Zoroastrian community. In Parsi homes, dhansak is traditionally made on Sundays owing to the long preparation time required to cook the lentils and vegetables into a mush.
Dhansak is made by cooking mutton cubes with a mixture of various lentils and vegetables. Traditionally, arhar, channa, Bengal gram and red masoor dal and brown masoor dal are used. The vegetables include potato, tomato, brinjal, pumpkin and fenugreek leaves. After prolonged cooking in the traditional recipe, the vegetables are more or less homogenised with the lentils, which are also broken down, so that the result is a thick stew rather than a curry.
The dhansak is flavoured with a spice mixture called “dhansak masala”, which is similar to “garam masala” except that the spices chosen are more aromatic and sweet rather than pungent. Cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, dried ginger and coriander spices are used. While “dhansak masala” is sold as a ready-made mixture, the individual cook may make the spice mixture from scratch, altering the combination and proportion of spices based on personal preference. Within the Parsi community, dhansak usually contains mutton; it is rarely made with other meats, such as chicken, or without meat.
International recipe variants for the dhansak sometimes call for pineapple chunks to provide a sweet flavour, but traditional recipes prefer the use of pumpkin, squash or gourd.
Malido, a sweet dish is an authentic Parsi dish. The secret of a great Malido lies in its texture. It is golden hued, blended to perfection, feather light on the tongue, endearing aroma and silken smooth. The royal splendor of Malido is enhanced, if eaten fresh and slightly warm. Along with a unique Parsi bread called the Papri (not to be confused with the vegetable). The salty taste of the Papri bringing out the inherent flavor of the Malido is a unique Parsi flavor indeed.
To attain the perfect flavor, almonds are blanched and sliced and then fried along with cashew nuts in ghee. All this is then mixed with the some more ghee and milk and kept aside for half an hour. It is cooked on a slow fire and to be stirred constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens, and becomes light brown in color. This is the malido mixture.
There is a sweet syrup that goes with it which is prepared by boiling a mixture of sugar and water. This adds a golden-brown color to Malido. When the malido mixture is added to the sugar syrup, it should be cooked until thickened, stirring constantly. Garnish with the rest of the ingredients. Can be kept in the refrigerator for a month. Serve hot or at room temperature.