Have you been to an Irani cafe and have fallen in love with the cuisine? Parsi culture and cuisine have been cherished by everyone now. And while we celebrate Parsi New Year, why not celebrate the festival with all its glory. By preparing the most loved dishes cooked for a Navroz lunch. Parsi New Year or Navroz, which is also spelt as Nowroz, is celebrated to mark the beginning of the Iranian calendar. In Persian, ‘Nav’ stands for new, and ‘Roz’ stands for the day, which translates to ‘new day’. On this day, people pray for everyone’s prosperity and good health. The Parsi community dresses up in their traditional attire, women wear Gara saree, and men dress in a linen western outfit. They decorate their homes and visit the Fire Temple and offer fruits, sandalwood, milk and flowers on this auspicious day. During Parsi New Year, delicious food like prawn patio, mori dar, patra ni macchi, haleem, akoori, berry pulao, and many more. The dishes are a perfect blend of spices and sweetness. To try out Parsi dishes this Parsi New Year, here are some recipes you can try out! 

5 Traditional Parsi Recipes You Need To Try This Year

1. Dhandar and Lagan No Patio

The basic and most loved meal in a Parsi household is this trio of rice, lentils and a thick curry called patio. The patio can be made with prawns or the fish of your choice. 

Prep Time: 2 hour

Cook Time: 1 hour

Serves: 6

Ingredients: 

For Dhandar:

  • 2 cups raw toor dal 
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric powder (haldi)
  • Salt to taste 
  • 4-5 cups of water

For Lagan No Patio:

  • 6 fillets of fish – rawas or pomfret 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 2 tsps of turmeric (haldi)
  • 2 tsps of red chilli powder 
  • 1 cup of tamarind (imli
  • 1 cup of jaggery (gur)
  • 10 dried Sankeshwari chillies (can substitute with dried Kashmiri chillies) 
  • 1/2 coconut chopped in chunks 
  • 15 cloves of garlic 
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 30gm chopped cashews 
  • 4 small tomatoes (chopped)

Method:

For Dhandar:

  1. Soak the toor dal in water for at least two to three hours. This way the grains will break down effectively and make your dal creamier.
  2. Once soaked, drain out all the water. Your soaked dal must have expanded by half its size.
  3. Next, pour the dal into the pressure cooker with about four cups of water. Add turmeric and salt. 
  4. Cook on high heat until the cooker gives out three whistles and then another ten minutes on low heat. 
  5. Once the dal is off the heat, you will notice that the dal will have soaked up the water.
  6. Use a hand blender to make the dal into a paste. And, your simple, fabulous Dhandar is ready.
  7. You can garnish it with a tadka of jeera or fried onions, but usually Dhandar is plain, no tadka dal. 

For Lagan No Patio:

  1. Marinate the fish in salt, turmeric and red chilli powder. 
  2. Soak tamarind (imli)and jaggery (gur)in hot water for two hours. Once thoroughly soaked, drain this mixture making sure you squeeze the pulp dry. Don’t throw away the mass of dry imli yet—should you need more imli water. You can once again soak it in hot water for 5 mins and try to extract as much imli water you can for the patio. 
  3. Take all the other ingredients and grind them into a masala paste adding water as needed to ensure the paste is smooth. 
  4. Once all these three components are ready (marinated fish, tamarind and jaggery water, masala paste), all you need to sauté the masala. 
  5. Next, add in the strained imli-jaggery water, adjusting for taste and ensuring it doesn’t become too sour as you go. 
  6. Add a little water to ensure that the Patio is not too thick. 
  7. Finally, add in the marinated fish along with some fresh curry leaves and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes until the fish is cooked.
  8. Serve with Dhandar and steam rice! 

2. Saas Ni Macchi

A unique Parsi-style fish in white sauce with a magical taste. It tastes best when served with basmati rice and crisp papad.

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole pomfret cut into 3 large pieces 
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic 
  • 70 ml of white vinegar 
  • 2 tbsps of ginger paste 
  • 2 tbsps of chopped coriander leaves 
  • 4 green chilli  
  • 2 ½ tbsps of cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 10 -12 whole cherry tomato 
  • 4 tbsps of rice flour 
  • 70 ml of oil 
  • 450 ml of water 
  • 2 tbsps of sugar 
  • Salt to taste

Method

  1. In a pan, add two tablespoons of oil. Add garlic and green chilli and sauté till soft. 
  2. Mix the rice flour in a little water and make a slurry. And add the slurry to the sautéed garlic and cook it till light brown. Do not let the colour get too deep, as it will affect the final colour of the dish. 
  3. In another pan, temper the ginger paste and whole cumin seeds, and add them to the cooked slurry mixture. 
  4. Add the vinegar, sugar and salt. Check to season and adjust with more salt if needed. 
  5. Add the remainder of the water to this mixture and simmer for five to eight minutes allowing it to cook and slightly thicken. 
  6. Add the fish and cherry tomatoes. Cook till the fish is soft. 
  7. Add the coriander leaves as a garnish and serve immediately.

3. Mutton Pulao

A dish with flavoured rice and delectable mutton kebabs is guaranteed to be a hit in any household. 

Prep Time: 3 hours

Cook Time: 1 hour

Serves:

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg mutton on the bone (cut in cubes)

For Marinade:

  • 2 tbsps of ginger garlic paste 
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder 
  • 1 tsp of chilli powder 
  • 1 tbsp of dhana jeera powder 
  • 1 tsp of garam masala powder 
  • 2 tbsps of yoghurt 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 1 tbsp of oil

For Masala Base:

  • 200 gms of sliced onions 
  • 250 gms of finely chopped tomatoes 
  • 2 tbsp biryani masala powder 
  • 2 bay leaves (tej patta)
  • 4 green cardamom (elaichi)
  • 3 peppercorns (kali mirch)
  • Salt to taste 
  • 50 ml of oil

For Layering:

  • 50 ml of oil 
  • 150 gm potatoes 
  • 400 gm cooked basmati rice 
  • Finely chopped mint leaves 
  • 2 boiled eggs 
  • Saffron—a few strands

For Mini Mutton Kebabs:

  • 100 gms of mutton kheema 
  • 40 gms of boiled potatoes 
  • 1/2 tsp of chilli powder 
  • 1/2 tsp of garam masala powder 
  • 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder (haldi)
  • 1 tsp of dhana jeera powder 
  • Salt to taste 
  • Oil for frying

Method:

  1. Marinate mutton with salt, ginger garlic paste, haldi, chilli powder, dhana jeera, yoghurt and oil. Cover and leave for 3 hours or overnight. 
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the mini kebabs together and form them into mini balls. 
  3. Deep fry them for 3 to 4 minutes, or till cooked and keep aside. 
  4. Fry the onions for the masala in 50 ml of oil. Add peppercorns, bay leaves and cardamom. 
  5. Once the onions have browned, add tomatoes and biryani masala powder and cook on low heat. 
  6. Once the oil starts separating add the mutton to the masala on high heat. 
  7. Cook the mutton in a pressure cooker for around 40 minutes (without a pressure cooker, cook on simmer for at least 1.5 hours or till cooked). 
  8. In the biryani vessel, peel and cut potatoes into quarters and fry in oil till soft.  
  9. Add one part of the mutton mixture to this. Sprinkle mint and top with half the rice. Repeat with the remaining mutton and rice. 
  10. Finally, sprinkle saffron water and top with boiled eggs cut in quarters.

4. Jardaloo Marghi

A Parsi classic dish, using the meat of choice and Persian touches like jardaloo (apricot) red vinegar and jaggery or sugar, along with a blend of mouthwatering Indian spices and aromatics.

Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 cups of tomato (finely chopped)
  • 80 gms of oil 
  • 3 gms of star anise (chakr phool)
  • 6-8 pcs of green cardamom (elaichi)
  • 2-3 pcs of cinnamon sticks (dalchini)
  • Salt to taste 
  • 7-8 dried apricots (jardaloo) (soaked for a few hours)
  • ½ kg of chicken 
  • 2/3 tbsps of kolah vinegar 
  • 2/3 tbsps of jaggery (gur)
  • 2/3 tbsps of fresh coriander 
  • ½ tsp of coriander powder (dhaniya)
  • ½ tsp of cumin powder (jeera)
  • ¼ tsp of turmeric powder (haldi)
  • ½ tsp Parsi sambar masala

Method: 

  1. In a pan, add the oil and saute the onions with the whole spices. 
  2. Add the powdered spices and cook till the raw taste is gone. 
  3. Add chicken and saute well. 
  4. Add tomatoes and cook till they soften. 
  5. Add the dried apricot, coriander and kolah vinegar. 
  6. Finish with a pinch of jaggery and salt. 
  7. Serve hot with pav or roti.

5. Doodh na Puff

A delicious, frothy, milk drink that is considered to be a rare gem in Parsi cuisine. This dish can only be described as fluffy clouds of sweetened milk. 

Prep Time: 8 hours

Cook Time: 15 mins

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 litre of milk 
  • 90 gms of sugar 
  • 2-3 drops of vanilla extract 
  • Cardamom powder to taste (elaichi)
  • Pistachio for garnishing

Method:

  1. Start with boiling the milk. 
  2. After 5 mins of boiling, add sugar till you see bubbles. 
  3. Leave and cover, so it cools down. Store in a porcelain pot overnight with the lid wrapped tightly. 
  4. Refrigerate for a minimum of 8 hours, preferably overnight. 
  5. Next morning add vanilla extract and whisk till it starts frothing. 
  6. Spoon the froth into a glass and serve immediately.

When it comes to Parsi New Year, all we picture is the beautiful, good ol’ Irani cafes with charming rustic decor, quirky signboards, hand-painted teacups and a whole lot of nostalgia pack the space with a unique vibe. The chai and bun maska combination or their fragrant berry pulao and delicious caramel custard, which is something to die for! But there is much more from the Parsi cuisine list to explore! Try out some of the recipes above and let us know what you loved! 

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36 Irresistible Breakfast Recipes

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