Mumbai Melting Pot: What happens when a Sardar tries to cook Parsi food? Find out!

Ishmeet Chandiok prepares Chicken and Cheese Kebabs. Pics/Datta Kumbhar
Ishmeet Chandiok prepares Chicken and Cheese Kebabs. Pics/Datta Kumbhar

At A leading restaurant, Ishmeet Singh Chandiok was waiting on three elderly Parsi women who were discussing their order, in Gujarati. They didn’t take kindly to his suggestions; after all, what would a Sardar know about Parsi food? After listening to them for a few minutes, Chandiok bent down and told them, in Gujarati, “Don’t worry, I know my food. Everything here is fresh and delicious.”

15-kebabsThis Sunday, Chandiok wants to present his own take on Parsi cuisine. He is hosting Parsi Khaana with a Surdy Twist, in collaboration with food community, Commeat. “My father is Sikh. My mum’s a Parsi and my wife is Catholic. Multi-cultural food isn’t new to me,” says Chandiok, a hotel management graduate from Dadar Catering College and owner of pet food service, Harley’s Corner.

Having worked at five-stars and airlines, Chandiok is now a consultant to foodpreneurs. “My aim is to start my own restaurant. We will call it Family Affairs and it will serve Parsi, Punjabi, East Indian and Goan food; and of course, dog food,” he laughs.

15-Parsi-SaliIt is one of the reasons he decided to start try his hand at a pop-up later this week – to give people a taste of his cooking.

The pop-up lunch includes starters, mains and dessert. It is in the first course that Chandiok will add his twist. The typical Chicken and Cheese Kebabs, made with minced and puréed chicken, then pan fried, get an upgrade. “My version will have chopped onions, mozzarella and mint for extra flavour; I don’t puree the meat but leave it chunky for added texture,” he shares.

Patra Ni Macchi becomes fish-finger like. Here, a dry rub of coriander and methi coats the fish. The chutney, typically found in the Parsi original, gets turned into a dip made with fresh coriander, mint, garlic and coconut milk. The potato and egg breakfast staple, Salli Par Eedu, becomes cup-cake shaped Baby Salli Par Eedu Discs. “I toss the salli in peri peri masala and line cupcake moulds with it. Then, I break an egg on top, and bake it,” he says.

15-DhansakThe rest of the meal has staple Parsi fare – Chicken Dhansak with Brown Rice, Jardaloo Sali Boti, wafers with sweet pickle and for dessert, Lagan Ni Sev.

The added attraction for the lunch: you get to play with his three dogs, Harley, Pixie and Dolly.

ON: February 19, 1 pm onwards
AT: Oakland Park, Yamuna Nagar, Andheri (W).
COST: Rs 1,400 per person

Published on Mid-Day

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