The World of Parsi Cooking by Niloufer Mavalvala

The World of Parsi Cooking by Niloufer Mavalvala


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The World of Parsi Cooking by Niloufer Mavalvala - History

Niloufer Mavalvala



Finally the cookbook The Art of Parsi Cooking reviving an ancient cusine is here to
pre-order and purchase.

2016

James Wiener of the award winning blog Ancient History Encyclopedia shares his views on a wonderful cuisine revived.

An article reviewing the book in Al-Arabiya News

The magazine The Cook's Cook has featured yet another article from Niloufer's Kitchen. It is all about the healthy seed Moringa.

http://theculturetrip.com/asia/india/articles/the-fine-art-of-parsi-food-revealed-in-new-cookbook/


The magazine The Cook's Cook featured Niloufer's Kitchen several times.
Here are two links to the articles.
http://www.thecookscook-digital.com/thecookscook/april_may_2016?pg=40#pg40

http://www.thecookscook-digital.com/thecookscook/feb_march_2016?pg=42#pg42

While Chaat Magazine from the UK also invited Niloufer's Kitchen to publish a favourite recipe from its collection of Parsi Foods. Amenu of khichri kudhi and kheema followed by the Khopra Pak was featured with brilliant pictures and a short write up about "Who is Niloufer".

Spain has some incridebly tranquil islands to enjoy.

Niloufer's Kitchen http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/niloufer-mavalvala/balearic-islands-mediterranean_b_10029098.html


2015 brought Niloufer's Kitchen to reach 100,000 readers.

Travel to Italy to enjoy these amazing sites and sounds of Firenze.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/niloufer-mavalvala/florence-food_b_7447114.html


The festival of Yalda is a rather interesting old Persian tradition. Niloufer's Kitchen is a proud participant in this Fezana Journal that has done an issue related to this. The recipes contributed for them are now on the blog to share and enjoy! Links below.

http://fezana.org/yalda-and-other-winter-solstice-celebrations-fezana-journal/

Shirini Panir A healthy sweet dish with fresh fruit.
Farsi Chole A dip made from chickpeas and roasted eggplant


Another interesting blog on Huffington Post now updated is The Genesis of Curry in the West


The Huffington Post now has my latest blog post How Spain Stole My Heart .


T he latest blog post in Huffington Post is now out and about A Celebration to remember a milestone event I helped organise in the community. 700 persons attended and it has gone viral worldwide within the Zoroastrian Community.

Huffington Post carries my second article about a whirlwind eating journey in the romantically beautiful city of Florence. Read all about my article Mangiare a Firenze, in English of course by simply clicking her e How to eat in Florence

The Huffington Post Bloggers club has just accepted me. You can read the article by clicking on The French In My Food I do hope you enjoy it. The idea of having a scrap book started much later when I moved to Dubai. I was surrounded by people who I did not know and it was a great way to keep in touch with those who wished to befriend me. So I used to leave this book for them to write in after we had eaten generally sharing whatever we prepared that day for my cooking class. It worked well and now am glad I did as it makes for happy days relived whenever I want to!

Here I would like to share some of the pages, although I have photographed it in this way to keep peoples privacy private! For that I must apologise to you all in advance but, it is the right thing to do.

WE THE BAWAS on Instagram February 2019

If you're looking for a passionate champion of Parsi Food, particularly in North America and the UK if you are looking for a woman who has made it her mission to educate and inform not just everyone else, but in particular children of the Parsi diaspora about the rich cultural history of our Parsi bhonu - Niloufer Mavalvala is that person.

“While living in the East and surrounded by all the familiar things that give us comfort (e.g. colonies and agiaries), so much can be taken for granted. But gradually moving to Canada, being further from family and childhood friends, created a need to dig deep and find the gratitude for everything that our religion and culture gives us.”

Like most bawas, she has an innate passion for food and cooking and eating and delights in the joy that cooking and eating together can bring. But more importantly, she is a proud Parsi who wants to preserve traditional recipes that our grannies took pride in making. Recipes that, if not documented, will be lost to the sands of time. Long before seasonal, locally grown, ethical, clean eating were buzz words, our mamaijis and bapaijis were living that way and cooking that way, all the time!

While observing other Parsi families in the West, she realised that there is an entire generation here unaware of Parsi food - its history, heritage and culture. They may never have seen certain Parsi delicacies, let alone taste them or understand why they are eaten - Niloufer's cooking classes and many books - serve to educate and instill confidence in our absolutely unique food and eating culture, which is neither Indian nor Persian, but a beautiful mix of so many influences, strong enough to stand on its own and be proud of it. “My resolve is stronger than ever to preserve, protect and help appreciate our rich past through my cooking, teaching, and writing. I hope to give everyone an invitation to taste old world goodies that we grew up eating in our grandmothers home”.

Ultimately, what makes Niloufer's message special is that she wants ours and the next generation of Bawas to be confident and take pride in our Parsi panu and our Parsi Bhonu - let us sing from the roof tops not just about Curry Chawal and Dhansak (which BTW she loves!) and Sali Boti, but Murrabbas and Bafaats and Suva Paaks and Maleedos. So, now when your friends talk about Turmeric Lattes and Energy Balls made with nuts and ghee – tell them that your mamaiji made you drink harad nu doodh every time you fell ill or insisted you eat Vasanu to keep you warm in the winter months – long before any foodie mag, celebrity nutritionist or chef told you to! Because if we don’t champion our Parsi bhonu with confidence, who else will?

Niloufer’s current book – The Art of Parsi Cooking is available on Amazon, as will her new book The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders later this year.

Note: The New Book was published and released in July of 2019. It has now won 3 awards and exhibited at the Noble Alfred House in Sweden in Autumn of 2020 for 4 months among the best of the best cookbooks published in the past 25 years.


Category: Interviews

T o mark Ancient History Encyclopedia’s latest international partnership with Humanidades Digitales CAICYT in Buenos Aires, Argentina, James Blake Wiener of Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE) speaks to Dr. Gimena del Rio Riande, a researcher at the Seminario de Edicion y Crítica Textual (SECRIT-IIBICRIT) of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), about the state of the digital humanities in Argentina, in addition the potential implications and promise of digital research in the Hispanosphere and wider world alike.

JW: Dr. Gimena del Rio Riande, thank you for speaking with me and welcome to AHE. What is the state of the “digital humanities” in Argentina and Latin America? What specific challenges are encountered in the region, and what can researchers abroad do to assist?

GDRR: Every time someone asks me this question, the first thing I do is to say that the “digital humanities” or “DH” is not the same as the humanidades digitales or “HD” in Spanish. While the digital humanities is nowadays an expanding scientific field with a clear tradition in relation to the humanities, computing, computational linguistics, or even the “digital scholarly edition” in most Anglophone institutions — not just those of USA or UK, but also countries like Germany or the Netherlands where English is a scientific koiné — we cannot say the same for the HD or Hispanophone nations.


Daar ni Pori – My Daar ni Potli (Sweetened Lentils in Pastry)

Daar ni Pori is prepared in two parts: the filling(daar) and the outside pastry called the pur (consisting of the dough and the maan).

This wonderful pastry is served on happy occasions, gifted to bridal parties at weddings and is very special.

While the Daar ni Pori looks like a thick stuffed rotli, I have shared my way of making this delicacy look pretty with all the authentic flavors intact. It is my sweet lentil crostata.

NOTE: You will need to begin this recipe TWO days ahead of cooking, to soak the lentils, cook them, and chill overnight.

Ingredients

For the Daar (filling):

  • 296 ml (1 1/4 cup) channa daar (split bengal gram lentils)
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) sea salt
  • 177 ml (3/4 cup) sugar
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) ghee
  • 30 ml (2 tablespoons) rosewater
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) candied orange peel
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) chopped blanched almonds
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) chopped unsalted pistachios
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) chopped charoli nuts*
  • 2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) vanilla extract
  • 2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) ground cardamom
  • 1.3 ml (1/4 teaspoon) crushed saffron threads
  • 1.3 ml (1/4 teaspoon) freshly grated nutmeg

For the Pur (dough):

  • 177 ml (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) fine semolina
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) salt
  • 78 ml (1/3 cup) ghee
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) rosewater

For the Pur (maan):

For assembly

  • Ghee or oil for greasing baking trays
  • Slivered almonds, pistachios and edible rose petals

* Charoli nuts are wild almond nuts that are available in Indian grocery stores. They can easily be omitted from the recipe if they are unavailable.

Preparation

For the Daar:

Wash and soak the lentils overnight.Rinse lentils again. In a deep pot, boil the lentils in 473 ml (2 cups) water with the salt for an hour. Remove any foam that forms while they cook. Remove from the heat and add the sugar and the ghee. Stir until you can feel the sugar melt. With an immersion blender, pulverize the cooked lentils until smooth.

Return the pan to the stove and cook until all the water has evaporated. Add the remaining filling ingredients, mixing well. Adjust salt and sugar as needed. Chill overnight, and divide equally in two before filling the pastry.

For the Dough (Pur):

Toss the flour, semolina, and salt together. Add the ghee by, using your fingertips or two knives, cutting it into the dry ingredients until it resembles crumbs. Add the rosewater and bring it all together until well combined to resemble a soft, smooth dough.

Cover with a tea towel and allow it to rest for 20 minutes.

For the Maan:

In a pan, heat and melt the ghee, then add the flour. Cook this over medium heat, constantly stirring until smooth. Bring to a boil and continue to cook until it resembles a soft, thin paste about 3 minutes. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool and thicken just enough to easily apply over the rolled out dough. Divide equally.

For Assembly:

Grease two 18 cm (7 inch) round foil trays. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts.

On a parchment paper, roll out two parts of the dough to 15 cm (6 inch) rounds. Take half of the maan paste and spread most of it (saving 5 ml/1 teaspoon to finish it off) on one of the rolled pastry discs. Cover with the second rolled pastry disc and further roll them out to a 23 cm (9 inch) circle. Apply the remaining maan paste to the top of this larger disc.

Place the pastry on your greased baking foil tray, covering it completely with an even overhang. Do not press down hard on it. Spoon half the cooled lentil mixture on top of the pastry. Gently pull the overhang over the mound of lentils, overlapping and pinching the pastry to resemble a crostata. Sprinkle it with the slivered almonds.

Repeat for the remaining half of the recipe.

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Bake the potlis for 35 minutes or until a light golden brown. Garnish with pistachios and rose petals. They are best served warm.

Butter or browned butter (that has been cooled and refrigerated) can be used instead of ghee. Lightly dust the rolling pin with flour to make rolling easier.

The daar can be made up to 3 days ahead. It also freezes well.

Do not allow the daar to dry out completely. Once cooled, it will thicken up. The perfect consistency is to be able to soft scoop.

To make traditional daar ni poris, lift the overhang and pull it over to the center, ensuring that it is sealed together. Press gently with the palm of your hand to form an even disc.

Do not overbake the potlis or the poris. They should have a soft pink hue on them once cooked. To reheat, it is best to use the oven or a hot skillet. Do not use a microwave.


Monday, 15 March 2021

Mahi Polo - Persian fish and rice.

Persian new year is a much awaited time of the year. Advent of spring - better weather for most in the Northern Hemisphere and beautiful flowers to smell and admire.

Growing up Navroze in Karachi meant a set of new clothes, a holiday from school, a visit to the fire temple and then to visit the elders of the family. We got to eat sweets all day, got a parika from grandparents and loving aunts - a bit of cash - (always with shiny new crisp notes straight out from the bank) stuffed in a white envelope inscribed with a red pen. Good wishes for the year written to us with our names on it. It was never meant to be bundles of money but something to go out and treat ourselves with.

While we ate traditional food for lunch as a family, we generally ate out at dinner. As years went by every year I learn more about Navroze - our ancient traditions, heritage and culture that we knew very little about. My recent interest in researching commonalities between Persian and Parsi food I find that one of the traditional foods Iranians eat over Navroze is a Mahi Polo - rice and fish.

Here I have shared my version of something I prepared for my mother this afternoon. I enjoyed it very much. I think she did too.


Niloufer Mavalvala Launches New Book &ldquoThe World Of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders&rdquo

Our dear friend Niloufer Mavalvala has just launched her latest cook book titled “The World Of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders”.

Niloufer is an award winning author and chef, and has over the years painstakingly archived, resurrected and perfected Parsi food recipes, many of them long forgotten. She runs the hugely succesful website Niloufer’s Kitchen where she shares a lot of her recipes.

The book launch was from 6.30 PM onwards on Sunday July 28th, 2019 in Toronto. Niloufer recreated an old fashioned Parsi Table. It included the use of the thaals, khumcho, karasyo, katoris, and even a small afargan in which 7 divas were lit!

The table cloth was flown in from Karachi as old fashioned pieces like these are hard to find now. The trio of ravo dahi and sev, badam pak and daar ni potlis ( a new creation much like an open daar ni pori.) all the chutneys and achars and murumba to taste with crackers and cheese, and a fresh mango macaroon torte which is significant in Niloufer’s life as it is what i started baking with.

Niloufer’s Villie fui is the creator of this wonderful recipe which is now shared with all. The chutney na sandwich and freshly fried bhakras were the stars of this evening.

No Parsi celebration can be complete without a bit of red and white wine to relax with. The evening was in the beautiful Mavalvala residence and garden. It was well attended by over 100 people and Niloufer was fortunate enough to have lots of family from the world over to join this very special day.

In this exclusive interview, Niloufer Mavalvala, author of The Art of Parsi Cooking: Reviving an Ancient Cuisine, speaks to James Blake Wiener of Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE) once again about the joys of Parsi cuisine and her new title: The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders.

JBW: Niloufer Mavalvala, thanks for speaking with me once more about the richness of Parsi food culture and its interesting history! You have continued your journey of exploring Parsi culinary delights in The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders, which is due out on July 28, 2019 CE. Why did you decide to continue your research and publish yet another book on Parsi cuisine?

NM: There are several reasons cookbooks are created. This one is one for the records. It is time for this great cuisine to be shared with the world, and what better than sharing a family’s treasure trove of recipes? Mine are tried, tested, and praised. I have written this book with the hope that it will be timeless and used in perpetuity. Created with stunning colourful pictures, it is a chance to promote Parsi cuisine and entice not only our own children and grandchildren but also an open invitation to anyone interested in food and food history.

While each recipe has ancient roots, gradual changes and adaptations have been included, while ensuring the authentic flavours are bold and maintained. With the importance of preserving what continues to be a core part of our very existence, I like to think of it as almost an anthology, a part of our beautiful culture and heritage. I have had a strong desire to share Parsi cooking on a world platform for decades, and I am delighted to have the chance to do so.

JBW: Niloufer, you believe that Parsi cooking, in essence, is about “fresh and simple ingredients and an added emphasis on healthy spices.” Could you elaborate further, stating why you believe this is true, and how this differentiates Parsi cuisine from other cuisines?

Deep, rich, & ancient is what best describes the world of Parsi cooking.

NM: Yes, Parsi cooking is really all about fresh and simple ingredients with an emphasis on healthy spices. With ginger, garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, and onions being the very base of our recipes, these incredibly healthy spices and roots provide the nourishment required in each meal. Eating seasonally sustainable food is how we grew up and how most Parsi families cook and eat especially on the Indian subcontinent. Thus, our food predates by centuries the current food trends of organic and local eating, so fashionable in the Western culinary world today!

In my opinion, Parsi cuisine is differentiated from other cuisines with its enormous flavours in spite of its simplicity. The inclusion and perfectly balanced addition of tikkhu khattu mitthu (spicy-sour-sweet) is the key between mediocrity and excellence in any Parsi dish.

JBW: Parsi cuisine seems to be the amalgamation of many differing traditions. How does The World of Parsi Cooking explore the history of the Parsi people across time and space?

NM: Parsi cooking is neither authentically Indian nor Persian, but a delicately refined fusion of the two. “Deep,” “rich,” and “ancient” are what best describe the world of Parsi cooking. It has been over 2,500 years since this cuisine was born, and it has journeyed across the borders of ancient Persia, through Gujarat, Maharashtra, and many other regions of India, into Pakistan, Bangladesh, and most recently into the UK, Australasia, North America, and now the world at large.

Persian influences in Parsi food are clearly marked by our love for rice, meat, and eggs. While we enjoy a variety of vegetables topped with egg, called the per edu, the Persians make something similar and call it kuku. The coconut curry and chillies are part of the Indian influence as are the use of vinegar and spices. The inclusion of dry fruit and nuts gives sweetness to our food. A distinct and unique flavour of Parsi cooking is a result of the unique history that the Parsi-Zoroastrian community continues to celebrate.

It took moving to Canada and being away from my familiar surroundings to feel an innate gratitude and sense of pride for being part of a community with such a rich cultural heritage, filled with traditions, which go back several millennia.

JBW: When researching and writing your new title, did you learn any new facts about the Parsis or Parsi cuisine that you were previously unaware of? If so, what are they, and how did you integrate this new knowledge into your title?

NM: Yes, interesting facts always result from the research. Firstly, the word vasanu is incorrectly used to mean sua pak – a dill-seed spread. Used in the right context vasanu refers to dry fruits, nuts, and seeds, a collection of ingredients used to make various paks – caramelised spreads.

Secondly, research and new facts lead me to create a more practical version of the daar ni pori, a very sweet, lentil-filled crust that dates back centuries. My findings show that 90 per cent of earlier cooks did not prepare this hard-to-make crust while wasting most of it because the proportion of lentil to crust is too small. Renaming it daar ni potlipotli means “money bag” or “pouch” – this sweet lentil crostata is simpler to prepare and has a generous share of lentil filling in a tastier crust.

JBW: Which are your favorite recipes in The World of Parsi Cooking? Are these favorites relatively easy and inexpensive to prepare?

NM: I would say kheema sali per edu, which is ground-minced mutton or beef cooked with spices, and served with crisp potato matchsticks and a fried egg on top. Often served with a tomato ginger lime jam, it can be enjoyed with fresh rotli or in a bun much like a sloppy joe!

My love for the many varieties of the mango – the “king of fruits” – and the numerous ways of including it in our food both in the ripe and unripe state are further personal favourites. We prepare the mango in all possible forms: cooked and pickled with and without the skin juiced and in a lassi creamy mango ice creams and kulfis. Besides the mango recipes, I also enjoy it perfectly ripened served fresh.

Parsi food is not only inexpensive to prepare, but it has very little waste besides the mango or the lemon, even vegetables like the humble white bottle gourd has a recipe for making cutlets from its skin!

JBW: Who would you say who has had the greatest influences on your career path with regard to cooking and food history?

NM: My dad was the greatest influence in my life, urging me to always give everything a try. To live life to the fullest and reaching for the stars. Sadly, he passed away 28 years ago, while he was rather young. The desire to follow his example has become even stronger now.

My mum was always pushing me toward excellence, and she is a perfectionist by nature. She has exact recipes and everything has to always be precise. Another mentor I am grateful for is my father’s sister Villie fui. She shared her in-depth knowledge, encouraged me to cook with my mind’s palate, taught me to create from leftovers rather than to discard them. At 88, she still cooks and bakes from memory, refusing to ever keep a diary or journal. With three very loving yet extreme influences, I have learnt to draw from the best of them.

All this aside, while I enjoy cooking from my own heart and at will, it would have been impossible and impractical to write a cookbook or a food blog without learning the art of precise measurement!

JBW: Niloufer, thanks for speaking with AHE once again, and we wish you much success inside and outside of the kitchen!

NM: Thank you for inviting me to share my views, James. It has been a pleasure.

Readers can access AHE’s earlier interview with Niloufer Mavalvala on The Art of Parsi Cooking here: http://etc.ancient.eu/interviews/ancient-indian-flavors/

Born and raised in Karachi, with London, Toronto, and Dubai also very much a part of her life, Niloufer Mavalvala started to bake when she was eight years old and taught her first solo class at 17. Nonwithstanding a love of travel, it is culture through its cuisine informs Niloufer’s passion in the kitchen. Niloufer organizes frequent cooking demonstrations and classes at her home in Canada. Over the years, she has gone on to teach many more cooking classes all over the world, including at Le Cordon Bleu in London. In 2013 CE, Niloufer decided to start a simple recipe blog – Niloufer’s Kitchen – in which she shares old and new culinary creations to over half a million visitors from around the world. Author of 10 e-cookbooks, she has also hosted a TV-show on Parsi cooking in the USA. She is currently pursuing food photography and continues to write and create recipes for an assortment of international magazines and journals. She is the author of The Art of Parsi Cooking: Reviving an Ancient Cuisine and The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders both of which are available on Amazon.


Dinshaw Patel

The below book review first appeared in the spring 2019 issue of Hamazor (UK).

Grandma’s Pantry’. The recipes in this section are rarely found in other cookbooks for they are more like family heirlooms that have orally come down from one generation to the next. However, with mass exodus of Parsis from the Subcontinent to the Gulf countries, Europe, North America and Australasia, these uniquely Parsi culinary foods are gradually heading towards extinction. ‘ Mamaiji nu Pinjru’ revives these endangered foods which are mainly accompaniments, such as uniquely Parsi style preserves, pickles, chutneys and spreads. And without these condiments, no traditional Parsi meal would feel complete. For instance, ‘Murumbo – Sweet White Gourd Preserve,’ though a staple spoonful companion with several Parsi dishes, is slowly disappearing for those who have migrated from the Subcontinent. Although, at first glance, items from ‘ Mamaiji nu Pinjru’ may seem a bit intimidating by the sheer traditional aura surrounding their names, following Niloufer’s cooking instructions makes this preserve easy to prepare and still as deliciously authentic as from Grandma’s Pantry.


Niloufer Mavalvala: The Art of Parsi Cooking Reviving an Ancient Cuisine

The launch of a new book is always a happy event. But when one knows the author personally, the books become even more dear. That is the case with the upcoming book by dear friend of Parsi Khabar, and amazing chef Niloufer Mavalvala. We have featured Niloufer’s cooking, cookbooks and other food related news on Parsi Khabar since she started nilouferskitchen.com

Below is an article by Nasha M written about Niloufer’s book, and an excerpt from the book

In an age of over-information, it is easy to get overwhelmed with the millions of recipes and a torrent of cookbooks flooding the culinary world. Out of this sensation, one chef and author stands out, whose wish is to revive an ancient cuisine. As such, she has managed to beautifully combine tradition with creativity to create something truly unique.

Niloufer Mavalvala chose to put together a collection of 31 favourites from her family repertoire of Parsi food. The Art of Parsi Cooking is a beautifully bound, colourful cookbook with a picture for each recipe. Transforming these ancient recipes to adapt to life in the 21st century, Niloufer has modified some to make them easier to prepare, while always maintaining the flavours and essence of their authenticity. The book contains lots of helpful tips, stunning pictures, and even personal experiences of her career as a culinary teacher. While most of the recipes are traditionally Parsi, the author has also taken the liberty of adding a few twists with influence from different cuisines.

This book is dedicated to her late father Dr. Jamshed H. Wania to mark his 25th death anniversary and celebrate his rewarding life. It is her sincere wish that The Art of Parsi Cooking: Reviving an Ancient Cuisine will stand out and inspire chefs, new and experienced alike, and become a valuable addition to kitchens across the globe for generations to come.

Excerpt from the book

The Art of Parsi Cooking Reviving an Ancient Cuisine

Originating from what was once the Persian Empire, Parsis are the followers of Prophet Zarathushtra, who was born in Airyana Vaeja in the foothills of the mountains in Central Asia. Zoroastrianism was revealed 3,500 years ago by this prophet and was the first monotheistic religion known to mankind. In spite of its being so old, it is a living religion for about 200,000 Zarathustis who practice their faith around the world. Many fled Persia and migrated to India 1,200 years ago in the 9th century. They landed on the shores of Gujarat where they were accepted on the strict condition that they were not allowed to seek converts, and there they began a new chapter for themselves. This small community of Zarthustis were then called Parsis by the locals. Today, as the Parsi community the world over faces extinction, it is also facing questions from within its community on how to ensure the continuation of their religion and culture.

Parsi cooking has been shaped by two ancient cultures— Persia, where Parsis originated, and India, where they later settled. This unusual historical background gives Parsi foods a distinct and unique flavor. Recipes with nuts, dry fruits and shirini (sweet) within them originated in Persia, while ginger, garlic, chilies and spice add Indian flair. Centuries-old foods like saffron, jaggery and vinegar as well as ginger, cinnamon and turmeric– all staples in Parsi cooking—are celebrated in modern times for their health benefits.

Although its population is small, the Parsi community has a high number of achievers in all walks of life. Doctors, lawyers, philanthropists, accountants and activists, government officials and teachers, have left an indelible mark, especially in India. Parsis, well known for their love of art and music, include the late Freddy Mercury of the band “Queen” and Zubin Mehta of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Bollywood has also been entered into by the Parsi community, with entrepreneur Ronnie Screwvala leading it into a firm bond with Hollywood.

With the world migration of Parsis at its highest in the past 50 years, members of our community have spread themselves in small numbers all over the world. Most have relocated to North America with large numbers in Canada (particularly Ontario and British Columbia) and the USA (particularly, New York, California and Texas, as well as Massachusetts and Illinois). Australia and New Zealand also have a fairly large Parsi population. Most of these community pockets have built themselves large Zoroastrian Centers in recent years, a defining sign of a permanent settlement anticipating generations to come.

Home is also where the food is. Meat and eggs are two favorites Parsi foods, and garlic, ginger, onion and tomato can be found in most recipes. Spices include cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, and chilies, and jaggery (unrefined brown sugar) and vinegar give a finishing touch. Tikhu-Khatu-Mithu (Spicy-Sour- Sweet) is considered the Holy Trinity of Parsi cooking, and perfecting its balance is the key to any Parsi dish.


Niloufer Mavalvala’s Cookbook, The Art of Parsi Cooking Wins Certificate of Excellence

This is our UK/International web site. Do you want to go to the US/Canada site?

We are delighted to announce that Niloufer Mavalvala’s cookbook, The Art of Parsi Cooking: Reviving an Ancient Cuisine , has also now been awarded a Certificate of Excellence and was part of the exhibition this year among the best 300 cookbooks in the past 25 years. Her book won this award along with her latest cookbook The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders, which has also won 3 awards from the Gourmand Cookbooks. The book was placed in an exhibition at the Alfred Nobel House in Karlskoga, Sweden. This is indeed an honour for Parsi Cuisine over and above everything else.

Niloufer Mavalvala's The Art of Parsi Cooking features tempting Parsi recipes and well-written history of Parsi cooking for all those who are interested in the subject. A nice blend of Persian and Indian cuisine, Parsi cooking has been revived in this cookbook in a simple and enriching way. Order your copy here .

Niloufer Mavalvala is a food buff who was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan. She started giving cooking classes to enthusiasts at a young age in Dubai, Canada and the UK. Author of 10 e-books, she also initiated her very own cooking blog, Niloufer’s Kitchen, where she shares old and new culinary resources. She also writes for the Huffington Post and other assorted magazines from across the globe.


September 2016 Museum Exhibitions

B y popular demand, Ancient History Encyclopedia will share news, on a monthly basis, about select museum exhibitions and events of interest to our global audience via AHetc. Exhibitions are arranged in alphabetical order by geographical location and region within this post: the Americas, United Kingdom, Europe/Middle East, and East Asia/Oceania. Here is a taste of what is on show at major museums around the world in September 2016:



Comments:

  1. Natal

    This is the excellent variant

  2. Arnou

    Look forward to.

  3. Darroch

    Norm



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