PARSIS ARE a fun loving community and celebrate every possible festival with equal fervour. They eat sweets for Diwali, dance for New Year and dress up for Christmas. Their marriages, fashions and other celebrations are accompanied by legendary feasts of meat, sweets and fish specialities. Almost all Parsi families hold a Jashan or festive celebration on birthdays, anniversaries or to mark success in business or education. Recitations from scriptures, intoned musically by priests are a highlight. The holy fire is venerated and fruit, nuts, sweets are offered in thanksgiving. Naturally a feast of typically Parsi delicacies is also served on this occasion.

Here are a few of my favourite Parsi recipes:

Chicken Farcha

Ingredients: Take six large legs of chicken , one tbsp of chilli powder, one tbsp of turmeric powder, one tbsp of garam masala powder, one cup full of breadcrumbs, one tbsp ginger-garlic paste, six eggs, beaten, oil for frying and salt to taste.

Mix chicken with all ingredients except breadcrumbs, eggs and oil. Set it aside for an hour. Steam cook till meat is just cooked but not soft. Roll each piece in breadcrumbs. Then dip in beaten eggs and deep fry in hot oil till crisp and done.

Sali Boti

You need one kg mutton, cubed, five onions, ground to a paste, one tbsp ginger-garlic paste, one cup tomato puree, � cup curd, 1 � tsps chilli powder, one tsp turmeric powder, one tsp garam masala powder, two tsps sugar, 200 gms potatoe straws (sali), oil as needed and salt to taste.

Marinate meat in all ingredients except oil and sali. Leave for an hour. Heat one cup oil in a pressure cooker and add meat. Stir fry till brown. Add two cups water and pressure cook till done. Turn out and serve covered with potato straws.

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By Pradeep Khosla

Executive Chef Taj Krishna