If there is one thing that Parsis couldn’t be clearer about, it would be their passionate love for food. Parsis proudly claim their cuisine to be a mix of a number of influences- from their Persian roots, to the Gujarati influx, to a little bit of British, and a little bit of coastal too. And thus it is only fitting that we bring to you five lesser known facts about the Parsi cuisine in India.
1. They Love Their Eggs
Parsi people love everything par edu, that translates to -with an egg broken on top. Parsi cuisine is perfect for the Indian egg-itarian palette. Be it the Sali par edu (potato sticks with egg), bhindi per edu, (okra with egg) tamati per edu (tomatoes with egg) and so on. These dishes are usually served with pav, rice, or just plain bread. The Parsis have clearly work on the motto, when in doubt, break an egg on it!
2. They Love Their Meat
To separate a Parsi and his meat would be like separating the average Indian household from lentils. Be it the generous use of minced mutton in dishes like Kheemo, or Jardaloo Sali Boti (boneless lamb curry); or the numerous fish-based dishes like Saas Ni Macchi, or Patra Ni Macchi (white fish curry). There is a small quantity of meat mixed even with the most well-known Parsi dish, Dhansak. Though they do have vegetarian alternatives to the traditional meat dishes, Parsis would frown upon these vegetarian substitutes. Sometimes, the only vegetarian thing in the entire Parsi meal is the Gajar Mewa Nu Achaar.
3. They Love Their Khatta-Meetha
The Khattu-Meethu flavours are very much intrinsic to the Parsi cuisine. Parsis use coconut milk, red chillies, green chillies, ginger-garlic paste, tamarind juice and white sugar to get this unique flavor in all their dishes. Additionally, some of the spices used in Parsi cooking today, also include the Parsi Garam Masala, Sambhar Masala, and Dhansak Masala. In case the food feels too plain, there’s always Kachumber salad to top it up with! Kachumber is basically made by mixing onions, tomatoes, green chillies, and cilantro with cider vinegar or lemon.
4. They Love Their Drinks
Because what’s a good meal without even better drinks? Traditionally washed down with some fresh coconut toddy, Parsi cuisine till date focuses on the importance of all kinds of drinks to be had along with the main meal. Most contemporary Parsi restaurants offer a range of wines, beers, rum to choose from (along with a selection of cocktails and chais for the teetotalers!). The traditional Raspberry Soda is also a customary must-have at all Parsi get-togethers.
5. They Love Their Sweets
A traditional Parsi meal would be incomplete without the perfect sweet ending. One of the most popular desserts, Lagan nu Custard, which is a take on the English Crème Brulee, is definitely present at all wedding celebrations. There are a number of other delectable Parsi desserts ranging from puddings to mousse, to kulfi, a simple Mawa cake. A good dessert is absolutely essential to satiate the Parsi appetite.