Feast on Parsi Delights

The Parsi community has a long history in Hyderabad.  They first came here in the 18th century at the invitation of Nizam and over a period of time flourished into a small but vibrant community which has played a role in the growth of this city.  The cuisine of the Parsis is quite diverse with marked Iranian as well as Gujarati influences, incorporating non-vegetarian dishes as its mainstay.

The Parsi bhonu or feast, served during festivals and weddings has an array of delicacies, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, including some mouthwatering desserts.  Patrani Machhi (a preparation of fish in a green marinade steamed inside a banana leaf), dhansak (a lentil based non-vegetarian preparation) and Salli Boti (mutton curry served with potato sticks) are some of the popular recipes from this cuisine.

Till recently, one could enjoy the cuisine only at the Parsi functions in the city, or at Parsi homes. Awad Wadia has been running a catering business in Hyderabad for the last three decades specialising in Parsi food. He had inherited the knowledge from his father and grandmother who used to be in the same business. Apart from catering for almost all As per Awad, food lovers in Hyderabad are developing a keen interest in Parsi food, and there is often a request to put up a Parsi food counter in some non-Parsi weddings and functions, too.

Parsi food made its first appearance in Hyderabadi restaurants a couple of years ago, with the launch of SodaBottleOpenerWala in Jubilee Hills. The restaurant chain has done a good job in popularising the cuisine among the non-Parsis all over the country.  It offers a number of Parsi dishes on its menu including prawn patio, farcha and lagan nu custard, apart from hosting food promotions from time to time.

A new takeaway, ‘Parsi Bawa focusing exclusively on Parsi food, has recently started operations near General Bazar, Secunderabad. Owned by Parvez Baria, whose family has been in Hyderabad for generations the eatery brings forward many hidden gems from the Parsi cuisine.

Apart from the Dhansak, Salli Boti and Patrani Machhi, some other items of note are Kheema patties, Parsi kebabs and Parsi pulav with mutton kheema.  Innovations by the eatery include a set of non-vegetarian rolls, including a Dhansak Chicken Roll and Gizzard and Liver roll (adapted from a Parsi dish Aleti Paleti).  You can also order a complete bhonu or feast food from here too. The less heavy combo meals have dhansak, bagara rice, kebabs and kachumber. Just a couple of months old, the takeaway is getting an encouraging response even through food delivery partners.

Published on New India Express