8 Parsi dishes to dig into this Pateti

Parsi food, food, dessert, Lagan Nu Custard
Lagan nu Custard

Pateti is just round the corner and it’s the best time to relish some Parsi food. What I particularly love about the cuisine is the hot, sweet and sour flavour of the dishes. While I long to go to a Parsi wedding and stuff my face with all the delicacies, I was recently invited for the Parsi food festival at Sofitel Hotel at BKC, Mumbai.

Unlike a typical food festival this one was a peek into the Parsi culture –glass and clay installations depicting the history and art of the community, to Gara Sarees (traditional embroidered sarees worn on special occasions) curated Parsi literature, stewards in the Parsi attire dugli and of course the quintessential ginger and raspberry soda. The #Bawatips# on each table were hilarious. Sample this – ‘we will never sell the car don’t ask again’, ‘play the birdy song at a party’ – the first to reach the dance floor are the bawas, face it all of us are related. Sweet!

Parsi wall art at the Sofitel Mumbai BKC
Parsi wall art at the Sofitel Mumbai BKC

Originally from Persia, (now Iran) Parsis came to India in the 17th century and settled along the west coast of India. This gave their cuisine a distinct Gujarati, Maharashtrian and Iranian flavours. The British influence is evident in the puddings, jellies and the Saas ni Macchi – fish in white sauce.

Parsi drink, parsi, ginger, cola, parsi food festival
Traditional Parsi drinks

So here are the 8 Parsi dishes you must try

Patra Ni Machi
If you are a seafood lover this is a dish worth getting your hands messy. Promfret smeared with green chutney (made with coriander, mint, green chillies, vinegar, coconut) and wrapped in a banana leaf before being baked is the best example of the hot, sweet and sour flavours of this cuisine. Why messy? Well you have to tackle the leaf before you reach the fish with the bones. Got it?

Pulao Dal
This is my favourite dish at the food festival. Spiked with garam masala, sambar powder and dhansak masala it was smooth and spicy. It’s generally had with Parsi pulao but I enjoyed it with plain steamed rice as well.

Tarli bhindi ma Khari Murgi
Some Parsi dishes have unusual meat and vegetable combinations. Bhindi with chicken may sound weird but it resonates with the taste buds. The tangy, tomato and onion based chicken gravy is the perfect vehicles for the bhindi and it tastes yummy.


Parsi dessert, parsi food, sev dahi

Lagan Nu Custard was my favourite Parsi dessert until I tried sev dahi. Sweetened vermicelli loaded with dry fruits is had with curd.


Parsi dish, titori, parsi food, parsi beans

This is a legume dish made with the Val beans which are soaked overnight. Though the beans have a slight bitter taste, the coconut, jiggery and spices really lift it up.     

Lagan nu Custard
No Parsi meal is complete without this dessert. It’s like the crème Brulee minus the crust.

Chicken Farcha
KFC fans will love this Parsi-style fried chicken which is crispy and has the right balance of spices. It makes a great starter.

Saas Ni Machhi
I love the sweet and sour white sauce made with rice flour. The green chillies add a nice kick to the dish. Best had with yellow Parsi kichri.

The kitchen for the Parsi food festival at Sofitel BKC is helmed by the husband wife duo – Tehmtan and Shernaz Dumasia, well known Parsi caterers since 1992.

Sofitel, Bandra, food festival, Parsi food festival, food
Vintage Cars for the Parsi festival at the Sofitel Mumbai BKC
Wall art to celebrate the Parsi culture
Wall art to celebrate the Parsi culture

Did you know

Dhansak masala, dhana zeeru and sambar masala are integral to Parsi cuisine. If you are looking to stock up on them head to M Motilal Masalawala at Grant Road.

The Dhansak is not a wedding dish. It’s actually had on the 4th after a death in the family.

The best places to have Parsi food in Mumbai are Paradise in Colaba, Jimmy Boy in fort, Britannia in Ballad Pier and By The Way at Gamdevi.

Sugarcane vinegar is used in almost all dishes, even in the kachumbar. Its available only in Navsari.

Where: Pondichéry Café, Sofitel Mumbai BKC

From: August 7th to 18th August, 2015 (lunch and dinner both)

Price: Lunch Rs 2,207 (plus taxes)

Dinner: Rs 2,314 (plus taxes)

Review – Eat Thai Bandra

I have a soft spot for Thai food. It’s fresh and spicy. The flavours are clean, vibrant and clearly defined. It’s tastes fantastic whether you are eating it at a hi end restaurant or with friends on cheap plastic tables and chairs in Bangkok. I think it’s the chili they use. Did you know that chilies hold certain chemicals which release endorphins when they come in contact with the receptors in the tongue? So it’s not only tasty and spicy but also gives you endorphin’s… what more could you ask for?

Thai, food, Eat Thai, Bandra I recently revisited my love for Thai at Eat Thai the newest Thai restaurant in Bandra. This relatively small place is handsome but predictable with distressed industrial interiors, exposed bricks, Edison bulbs and – you guessed it — Mason jars, the visual cliches of contemporary dining and Pinterest. A New York inspired bulb sign screams L.O.V.E

Eat Thai, Thailand, Thai food, Bandra

Let’s Talk Food: If the interiors are clichéd, the food packs a punch. No two plates appear the same. Thai curries come in cute casseroles with coconut spoons and the drinks sit pretty in glass jars. We kick start the evening with chicken wings marinated in honey sriracha sauce. The bird floats perfectly between sweet and spicy.

Thailand, Thai food, green curry, vegetables, smooth
Thai green curry at Eat Thai

New Zealand lamb shanks get a Thai treatment and they come dressed in matsamman sauce. Chef Sam​ deserves a pat on the back for his light approach to the salads.

Som Tam, salad, fresh, Thai food, restaurant, Bandra, Mumbai, Thailand
Som Tam salad

The dressing in Som Tam is so light, it merely clings to the papaya rather than smother its flavour. The Thai burgers won us over with its sriracha-flavoured mayonnaise.

What I loved

At Eat Thai you could choose your veggies and proteins to be cooked in the sauce of your choice – chilly basil, lemon chilly, steamed ginger and a tangy pineapple sauce.

Low res Geang phed kaiTry the curries. If there’s a tastier, smoother and elegant green curry with chicken and eggplant to be found, it has managed to miss my spoon.

The pannacotta is likely to find you scraping the bottom of the plate.

What I didn’t
The chocolate cake was an unmitigated disaster – steaming yet dry as a bone.

Thai iced teaThe Thai Coffee with condensed milk was insipid.

HOW TO GET THERE:  Gasper Enclave, Pali Hill. Junction Of St John’s & Pali Road. Bandra West. Opposite Gold Gym. Tel: 022 26459775.

COST: Rs 1500-2000 for two


Restaurant Review Asado – Mumbai speaks Latin

ASADO Interior (1)Has anyone else even noticed the vanishing of Bembos – the South American Burger place in Bandra? I’ll cry no tears for its demise as a promising new Latin American restaurant Asado has taken over the building. Asado, which means ‘barbecue’ in Spanish also serves Modern European delicacies and diet-destroying churros (Spanish snack of strips of fried dough dusted with sugar and cinnamon). The 3D art on the walls, murals, fake lamp posts and naked bulbs hanging from ropes lends Asado a very Cuban feel.

Continue reading “Restaurant Review Asado – Mumbai speaks Latin”

Sneak peak into Kim Sharma’s elegant Bandra pad

Kim profile 2Actor turned grooming expert Kim Sharma likes all things opulent and elegant. And her Bandra pad reflects that. A massive chandelier in the living room adds to the grandeur of her 2500 sq ft home. A charming sit-out, a walk-in closet, eclectically designed den are some other features.

Click on the link below for my feature on Kim Sharma’s home for Hindustan Times

Kim Sharma

Flights of Fancy – Sapna Bhavnani’s eclectic home

Celebrity hair stylist Sapna Bhavnani’s Bandra apartment is very much like her – quirky and in your face. The bachelor pad juxtaposes rugged industrial elements with lots of greens. I recently got a tour of the eclectic space for my fortnightly feature in Hindustan Times.

The studio style apartment reflects her love for nature and ‘do it yourself,’ concept. Adorned with pieces designed and built by the stylist herself the one bedroom home is a green oasis in a concrete jungle. A mannequin adorned with creepers takes centre stage in the living room, solar lights brighten up the balcony, old shoes hold plants and books act like book shelves in this nature inspired house. A perfect and intimate space for a maverick stylist and her three cats.

Here’s a link to the story


By Nivedita Jayaram Pawar


Dessange-11 compressed]

The latest entrant into the already burgeoning salon/wellness scene in Mumbai is Dessange Paris. The leading international salon and spa chain with around 2000 salons in 47 countries entered Mumbai last week with two signature salons located at Kemps corner and Bandra.