This Parsi food festival in Mumbai offers an unmissable culinary experience

Vogue India’s fashion director, Anaita Shroff Adajania, talks about how she satisfied her craving for “good ol’ Bawa food” at Gallops in Mumbai

I travel quite a bit, so I’ve been exposed to several cuisines, sub cuisines, cross cuisines, influenced cuisines and hybrid cuisines over time. But if I had to pick the one that gives me utmost pleasure, it’d have to be Parsi food. It’s comforting, reliable and always thrills my senses. Unfortunately, it’s mostly only heartily enjoyed at weddings and navjotes (which only take place in winters) nowadays, so if someone tells me of a spot where I can find some good ol’ Bawa food, I’ll be there in a hot minute. Imagine my excitement, then, when I received an invite to ‘Majja Ni Life’, a Parsi food festival at Mumbai’s newly-opened Gallops restaurant, just as the countdown to Parsi New Year begins.

One of the promises the invite made was that two of the signature main course dishes, Navsari Ni Boi and Patra Ni Machhli—without which celebrations are incomplete—were made with fish was sourced straight from Gujarat. The menu also included scrumptious options for vegetarians like the Topli Nu Paneer (ricotta-like smooth cottage cheese dumplings floating in salted brine). The starters included the Sorabji’s Soya goes Khatta Mitha, a legendary khari with a sweet and sour mock kheema. In the main course, Patra Na Paneer was presented in the banana leaf with a generous layer of green chutney and the Secret Dhansak Dal. The perfect Parsi meal, I sighed.

Navsari Ni Boi

Short of eating the menu itself, I started counting the minutes to my dream meal—it was a week away back then, but definitely well worth the wait. The Gallops’ special Parsi menu is fantastic. Jasmine Singh, co-partner, Gallops, is a hostess who is passionate about food, and her ‘Sexy Salli Boti’ reflects this perfectly. The dish is a perfect balance of tart, sweet and spicy, put together with sass.

Sexy Salli Boti

In any elaborate meal, the balance of saltiness, sourness, spiciness and sweetness must be considered not only in each dish, but also between the several dishes being shared per sitting. From bheja (brain) kebabs and Akuri with khari biscuit starters to fried Boi (a fish from Navsari’s coast in Gujarat) and Mutton Dhansak, the balance of flavours was impeccable. My favourite was the Saas ni Machi, which I enjoyed while sipping on a childhood favourite, Pallonji’s Rasberry soda. Do not miss the Doodh Nu puff either—it’s like drinking a cloud of sweet milk.

Aflatoon Akuri

The Gallops’ Parsi food festival is on from August 14 to August 25. Address: Gallops, Inside Mahalaxmi Racecourse, Via Gate No 1, Keshavrao Khadye Marg, Royal Western India Turf Club, Mahalakshmi, Mumbai

Published on Vogue