Navroz special: Here's our guide to making most of Parsi New Year 2021
Navroz, which means new day in Persian, is celebrated with much fervour in many Indian states, including Mumbai, which is home to the world’s largest surviving community of Parsis
What can be a better day than the Parsi New Year to indulge in Salli Boti (a slow-cooked mutton dish that’s sweet, sour and spicy), Dhansak (meat in a mixed lentil gravy), Patra ni Machhi (steam-cooked fish stuffed with green coconut chutney), Akuri (Bawa style spicy scrambled egg) and Lagan nu Custard, an iconic dessert by Parsi? And since Mumbai is home to the world’s largest surviving community of Parsis, people of the ancient Zoroastrian faith, who migrated to India sometime around the 7th century, it is also the right city to explore the cuisine.
Like every year, we are back with our festival guide for Navros and it has something for food lovers and travel enthusiasts.
1. JW Marriott Mumbai Juhu
For Navroz, JW Marriott Juhu's Chef Abhishek Basu has collaborated with home chef Parizad Zaroliwala, popularly known as ‘Parsi Bawarchi’, to present an elaborate feast made from traditional Parsi recipes passed down from generations. The one-day lunch menu will feature Masala ni Daar, Lagan Sara Vegetable Stew, Marghi Na Farcha, Salli Boti, Patra ni Machli, Pulao Daal with Dhansak and Boi Fish amongst other things.
When: Aug 16, 12:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Cost: INR 2,150++ per person
For reservation, call + 91 22 6693 3344
SodaBottleOpenerWala is back with its 'Navroz Bhonu, a traditional Parsi meal that they serve on and around Parsi New Year. Served on a traditional banana leaf, the special menu features Sweet Potato Paneer Chop, Bahrela Bheeda in Patio Masala, Chicken Farcha (Drumstick), Saag Ma Gosht, Masoor Pulao, Rotli, Gajjar Mewa Nu Achaar and Parsi Style Stew in both vegetarian and chicken options, among other delicacies.
Available only at their BKC outlet until Aug 16
Cost: INR 595++ (veg) and INR 695++ (non-veg)
3. Bawa Bao Company
Bawa Bao Company by home chef Farnaz Dandiwala is a newly launched culinary brand under London Taxi Incubator Program, which supports small food businesses and entrepreneurs.
Chef Farnaz, who discovered her entrepreneurial streak during the pandemic, is offering traditional delicacies like the Dhansak, Salli Boti and Kolmi-no-Patio (a sweet and sour prawn curry) but all wrapped in baos.
Although a unique combination, it is also a nod to the idea of adaptation, which is a defining feature of Parsi food, shares Chef Farnaz. "Parsi cuisine is an eclectic mix of hot and sweet, spice and nice. The recipes use varied ingredients that are a treat to the palate. Any tourist or resident in Mumbai cannot miss the experience of devouring these mouth-watering Parsi dishes," she adds.
Can be ordered via Zomato
Cost: INR 600 for two
4. Della Resort
If you are looking to indulge in a traditional Parsi meal but far from the city, Lonavala-based Della Resort, which is only a two-hour drive from Mumbai is a good bet. Founded and designed by Jimmy Mistry, the resort nestled in the midst of wilderness has many traditional Parsi elements. While every room has a divine touch with frames of Ameesha Spentas, the guardians of 7 elements of nature, one can even choose to stay in their designer suites named after 101 names of Lord Almighty as per the Zoroastrian philosophy (Atash, Bahman, Avan, Amardad). The majestic banquets too are dedicated to prayers from Parsi culture (Yatha, Ahu, Vaiyro, Parvanda Taronish, Mazda). They also run an award-winning Parsi Dhaba where guests can indulge in the authentic Parsi Bhonu.
When: Until Aug 19
Cost: INR 12000 onwards/day