The Parsi New Year is tomorrow. Cook up these traditional Parsi dishes and join in the celebrations

Parsi cuisine is influenced by many cultures; it has a mix of the Caspian, the coastal cuisines of western India and a hint of colonial British and Portuguese flavours.

Murghi Na Farcha

A great snack item. Pieces of chicken are marinated in mild spices and fried with an egg coating.

Ingredients

Tender medium chicken cut into 8 pieces each: 2

For masala paste

Garlic cloves: 12

Fresh ginger root: 6 cm

Coriander, chopped: 1/2 cup

Green chillies: 15

Cumin seeds: 3 tsp

Small onion, cut into 2 pieces: 2

Worcestershire sauce: 2 tbsp

Salt: 2 tbsp

Olive or salad oil: 4 tsp

Flour: 2 tsp

Dry breadcrumbs: 1 cup

Eggs: 4

Vegetable oil or ghee for frying

Method

With a sharp knife cut into the chicken but not right through. Mix Worcestershire Sauce, salad oil, salt and flour into masala paste. Coat each piece of chicken with the paste and allow the chicken to marinate for 8 to 9 hours.

Pour oil or ghee in a deep frying pan upto a depth of 3 cm. While oil is heating, separate the eggs. Beat egg whites till frothy, then blend in egg yolks. Coat each piece of chicken with bread crumbs, dip in beaten eggs and fry on a slow fire. Turn when one side is cooked and continue cooking till chicken is tender.

Patra Ni Macchi

A permanent fixture for any Parsi celebration.

Ingredients

Pomfrets, medium: 5

Malt vinegar: 2 tbsp

Groundnut oil: 2 tbsp

Banana leaves to wrap each pomfret

Salt to taste

For the chutney

Coconut: 2

Coriander, chopped: 2 cup

Green chillies: 20

Cumin: 2 tsp

Garlic cloves: 12

Sugar: 4 tsp

Salt: 2 tsp

Lemon juice: 4 tsp

Method

Marinate the fish fillets in salt and vinegar for half an hour. Meanwhile in a mixer grind the ingredients for the chutney to a fine mix. Make slits on the pomfret and apply the chutney liberally on the fish. Oil the banana leaves, wrap each fish separately, and tie with cotton string. Place the fish pieces on a vessel with holes at the bottom over a vessel with boiling water and steam for about 10 minutes.

Lagan Nu Custer

A wedding custard, inspired and adapted from the crème caramel.

Ingredients

Homogenized milk: 4 cups

Semolina:1 tbsp

Sugar: 1 cup

Condensed milk: 4 tbsp

Eggs, lightly beaten: 4

Vanilla essence: 1 tsp

Butter or ghee: 1 tbsp

Cardamom powder: 1 tsp

Nutmeg powder: 1 tsp

Slivered almonds: 3 tbsp

Charoli nuts: 3 tbsp

Method

Bring milk to boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan set over high heat. Add semolina and sugar. Reduce heat to medium and cook 30 minutes till the mixture thickens, stirring frequently.

Add condensed milk and cook 2 minutes. Keep aside and cool to room temperature.

Add eggs, stirring continuously, along with vanilla.

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a shallow baking dish with ghee or butter. Pour mixture in baking dish. Evenly sprinkle cardamom and nutmeg powders, slivered almonds and charoli nuts over top. Bake for one hour until set and top and bottom is crusty.

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