Incidentally this is what happened on the last Parsi Finely Chopped Food Walk
It’s a long weekend across India this week and a special time for the Parsis here too.
Sunday is the auspicious day of Pateti for Parsis. Monday, 18th July, the Parsi new year.
Like all Indian communities, Parsis too celebrate their new year with food after a visit to the temple. Wearing new clothes is the norm. In Mumbai some go to see ribald Parsi Gujarati plays.
I have started writing for the newly introduced Food Experts section in Burrp! One of the things I have written about is Parsi food and you can read about it here (the link does not open on the mobile yet). If you want to experience this in real life then come for the walk.
The Parsi new year is a good time to try out Parsi food at Parsi restaurants or through the meals prepared by Parsi caterers such as Godiwala, Katy’s Kitchen, Bawi Bride and so. I thought I will do a Parsi food walk later in the month for those who would like to get an experience of Parsi food in keeping with the spirit of the Parsi new year.
Our food walk will start with a late breakfast in an Irani bakery where we will get a glimpse into the life of Mumbai before Starbucks and its ilk. We will munch on khari biscuits and mava cakes and dip crusty bruns and baby bum soft bun maska into Irani chai and try to hold on to an enchanted word that is no more. If you are in luck, and if the owners are in a good mood, then you might go in and see the bakery but in the world of temperamental Parsis one can’t guarantee anything.
Our next stop is an old school sleepy Irani cafe where we try some of the dishes such as akoori, kheema fry and caramel custard, dishes folks would snack on and could not once get enough of in the good old Parsi cafes in a world unsullied by talks of egg whites or white meat. The caramel custard here is considered to be one of the best in Mumbai and I strongly agree. There is an elderly couple who runs the place who happily bless and say a prayer for customers who shower them with love.
Our last stop is for the full blown Parsi festive meal. You can get this only if you are invited to a Parsi wedding or a Navjote, the coming of age ceremony. Some Parsi caterers offer versions of this meal for the New Year. Else you can try it out at this hundred year old cafe which had a makeover a decade back and is on the rise today after a few sluggish mid years thanks to the enterprising young nephew of the owner. Saarya papad, laganu achar, sali murgi, patrani machhi, rotli, pulao daal and laganu custard washed down with raspberry drink is the storyline for the fest here. They are kinder towards the other side than the average Parsi and happily make a vegetarian version of the meal when required.
The walk will be held at Fort In South Mumbai which probably has one of the largest remaining concentrations of Parsi cafes. And no, much as I’d like you to meet grand old Mr Boman Kohinoor, we will not go to Britannia and Co in this walk.
So here are the details:
Date: 30th August, 2014, Saturday
Timing: 11.30 AM to 2.30 pm
Start Point: Bombay Store, PM Road, Fort
Things to get: Camera, reasonably smart phone, hand sanitizer, wearing denim helps as serviettes are far and few, an umbrella, a big appetite.
Planned food stops: 3
Inclusions: A sampling menu of Parsi dishes covering the range of breakfast, in betweens and festive feasts . We will space out the food to make sure that you bat till the end of the innings. Bottled water included. Eating will be at the participant’s risk. No responsibilities on the food. The walk will cover the area around Fort and Horniman Circle
Cost: Rs 2500 (two thousand five hundred) per head