The Zoroastrian Parsi community is a prosperous, peace and fun-loving community. Their cooking combines techniques and ingredients from across the globe, specially known for the unique blend of spices & flavours that makes the food very appetizing, nutritious and wholesome.
At present, Parsi cuisine or Parsi Bhonu (feast fit for a king) is a delicious blend of western and eastern influences. Parsi community in India adopted foods and recipe cooking processes, procedures and ingredients from the Persians, British, French, Germans, Portuguese, Irish, Italian including several others.
They settled in India, first at Sanjan, Udvada, Navsari and Surat in Gujarat and later spread to Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune and other places and adopted the regional cooking techniques. Parsis are known to prefer non-vegetarian (Iranian cuisine) dishes like fish, meat and chicken. They also have a large selection of delectable vegetarian (Gujarati - Indian cuisine) recipes.
The basic feature of a Parsi lunch is rice, eaten with lentils / curry. Dinner would include a meat dish, often accompanied by potatoes / other vegetable curry. Onion-cucumber salad, known as Kachubar is a must for most meals in Parsi household.
Here is the recipe for Khara Papeta, a popular Parsi recipe, made of papeta (potatoes) and tomatoes.
- Potatoes, peeled and diced: 4-5 medium sized
- Onions, finely sliced: 2 large (sliced)
- Tomato, roughly chopped: 1 large (chopped)
- Cumin seeds: ½ tsp
- Garlic, finely chopped: 4 flakes
- Ginger, finely chopped: 1” size
- Green Chiili, finely chopped: 1-2 (as per taste)
- Turmeric: 1/2 tsp (optional)
- White Oil: 2-3 tbsp
- Salt (to taste)
- Fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped: 2-3 bunches
- Chopped coriander leaves & tomatoes and a little grated ginger, for garnishing
- Heat oil and fry the onions until translucent / golden brown in colour.
- Add cumin seeds, chopped ginger & garlic and saute for 1-2 minute.
- Add potatoes and salt and saute for 2 minutes (I didn't use turmeric, if you want, you can use a pinch for a yellowish tinge).
- Add a little water, lower flame and cook until potatoes are tender. Try to dry the water. (Basically this is a dry curry / sabji, but if you want a little gravy, adjust the water accordingly).
- Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Remove from fire, garnish with chopped coriander leaves & tomatoes. Sprinkle some grated ginger on top and serve hot.