Aug 16, 2019
While most Indians take their dessert seriously, Parsis take this one step further. There was Uncle B, my childhood neighbour from Pune who lived alone, but used to hide his Ferrorocher in his Godrej safe along with his valuables so that the maid didn’t surreptitiously steal them! And then there was Aunty J, who always said no to an extra spoonful of rice (carbs dikra, you see) but never to another bowl of Ravo.
At the ‘BawiSasural’ too, we take our sweets seriously. There’s always some Chapat – a kind of Parsi crepe – or Bhakra to go with tea and at night, dessert is a three-course affair featuring chocolates, pudding or cake and generous handfuls of dry fruits.
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The best innovations come out when you have a box of leftovers in your hand that you don’t know what to do with. . . Say hello to my Russian Chicken Chapat! . . The #Parsi Chapat has a dual meaning. When someone says, “I’ll give you a Chapat” it could either mean one tight slap or a beautiful dish thats a cross between a crepe and pancake. Chapat’s are usually sweet but since I had some leftover chicken I decided to try however a savory version would taste. . . We mixed in some shredded chicken, spring onions and mayo and spread it atop a salty chapat batter that also had some chili flakes and thyme in it. . . And voila! The Russian Chicken Chapat has been born. Who’s hungry? . . #leftovermakeover #crepe #pancake #breakfastideas #russianchicken #teatime #yummyinmytummy #parsifood #bhonu #chicken #chickensnacks #snacktime #snacktimeallthetime #ndtvfood #buzzfeedfood #huffposttaste #foodie #foodblogger
All this mithu monu has meant that over the course of my three-year marriage to ‘BawaGroom’, I’ve tried a bunch of Parsi desserts too and gone beyond the Lagan Nu Custard (custard made for weddings) and our Caramel Custard that everyone talks about. So, if you’ve had your fill of custard, and would like to try some of our more rare sweet treats, then here are 5 totally worth trying.
Quite similar to sheera, Ravo is the staple sweet dish eaten for all happy occasions in a Parsi household. But, instead of water it is made with milk and generous servings of dry fruits and ghee. While almost everyone can make a decent Ravo, the trick is to get the texture correct. Having a dinner party? Jazz up this comfort food by serving it in shot glasses!
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Creamy, milky Ravo – the perfect #Parsi breakfast. I know it’s for special occasions but I love eating it pretty much any time any day. . . I love my #Ravo garnished with almond slivers and chironji seeds. How do you like yours? . . P.S. Ravo is NOT Kheer. Check out the classic recipe on the #BawiBride blog now! . . #bawibridekitchen #sheera #semolina #parsibreakfast #parsifood #bawa
2. Dar Ni Pori
While everyone knows about the puranpoli, few know about the Parsi Dar Ni Pori. The similarity between these dishes ends at the use of lentils. Had mainly as tea-time snack, you could go so far as to say that the Dar Ni Pori is the Parsi equivalent to the British scone. Trust me, nothing can beat the feeling of crisp, flaky pastry giving way to a thick layer of sweetened dal that’s mixed in with a variety of dry fruits. Sadly the Dar Ni Pori can be quite complicated to make and so is hard to find. Your best bet is to find an old Parsi aunty, who supplies them or head to PAC or RTI in Mumbai.
3. Mithoo Dahi
There’s nothing like ending a meal or beginning one with something sweet, and that is the sole purpose of the Parsi Mithoo Dahi. Made with rich buffalo milk, this yoghurt is liberally sprinkled with sugar and is set into miniature cups. The dahi is then served alongside another sweet dish like sev (vermicelli) to take your dessert to another level. While you can easily make it at home, my favourite place to have Mithoo Dahi is from PAC in Nana Chowk or Parsi Dairy Farm at Marine Lines.
4. Dudh no Puff
Of all these desserts, the Dudh no Puff has to be my favourite. Simply put, the Dudh no Puff is chilled milk froth or what some international cafes call a fluffy. In terms of flavour, it comes quite close to Delhi’s Daulat Ki Chaat. However, the Parsi version also has a delicious undertone of cardamom and nutmeg and has achieved cult status due to the fact that it is now almost hard to lay your hands on. While some colonies in Mumbai will have a local vendor selling puffs early in the morning, your best bet is to go to Udvada during the winter months or stop at Parsi da Dhaba on the Mumbai–Gujarat Highway.
5. Lagan Nu Custard ice-cream
I have to admit this is not some secret heritage dish lost to the times, but it is something I came up with – a happy accident of sorts! To put it simply, this ice-cream is made with chunks of Lagan Nu Custard frozen between a creamy vanilla and nutmeg base. While you can, of course, have it by itself, it tastes even better with a shot of Bailey’s or a side serving of some more custard! Want to give this ice-cream a try?
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The delicious Lagan Nu Custard Ice-Cream is one crazy collaboration between chef @perzenpatel 🍮 and @tajicecream 🍦We are serving this frozen custard for an entire month @bombayvintagecolaba as a part of our month long #LaganNuBhonu Fest💃🏽 . 📸: @foodbloggerai #smallbatch #handchurned #artisanal #lagannucustard #parsi #Bhonu #ParsiFood #BawiBride #MumbaiFoodie #foodofmumbai #FoodNetwork #NewMenu #Colaba #ThingsToDoInMumbai #Parsi #Bawa #CaramelCustard
So the next time you’re at the iconic Britannia & Company Restaurant at Fort or craving some Parsi desserts, skip the regular desserts a break and try one of these delectable beauties. Have you had any of these before? Where’s the best place to eat them according to you?