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19th Century Parsi Recipes

Preserved Fish Roe — Aatheli Garab

fish roe

I am sharing the process described by my Great Grandmother, Dosibai Wankadia. The method used in her time is prior to the advent of the various modern presses and other kitchen gadgets and therefore use of traditional straw basket(s) and weights. The reader may use the gadgets he has, if any. A WORD OF CAUTION TO THE READER. My Great-Grandmother informs that the salted Garab/roe available in the market is merely that ---Salted not capable of preserving. It has does not have the shelf life of the Aatheli (Preserved) Garab/Roe. The Salted Roe available in the market may be used for immediate cooking. The salted Roe has to undergo the undermentioned process before it can be preserved and retained in your larder for months.  

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Fajeto — A Ripe Mango Curry

FAJETO

The clever lady washed clean the seeds and skin of the mango in a vessel of water; added some curds to this flavoured water, condiment, spices and voila! A delicious mango curry was born. This was Fajeto. She cooked some Khichri [a quick and easy dish mix of rice and dal boiled with salt and turmeric powder (http://www.mumbaiblogg.com/food/recipes/khichri/ )] to go with the mango curry and literally, hey presto! One of the most delicious combinations of Parsi-Zoroastrian cuisine was perpetuated --Khichri and Fajeto. To this day, I doubt if there is a better combination of foods.

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RAW MANGO MEAT CURRY— KAIRI NI CURRY

RAW MANGO CURRY

The Raw Mango Curry is special and has a unique recipe. It is not as simple as making the usual curry and introducing raw mangoes i the end. Raw mango meat curry uses no Chili, whether green or red, and no coconut or other nuts to thicken the gravy. The gravy thickens because of the amount of onions used. On its completion, the Raw Mango Curry comes out with a hint of sweetness, and mainly sour and spicy.

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Albless Stew— A Parsi Stew for the Early Monsoons

ALBLESS

 Despite it being very popular at the turn of the 20th century,  Albless is today merely name in the annals of Parsi cuisine. This tender , succulent dish is almost lost to us. I bring this delicacy out to preserve the unusual recipe and to rejuvenate it, if possible. Unusual in the ingredients (vegetables) used; the Albless does not cater to the jaded tastes for the standard stew vegetables of  potatoes, onions, carrots, peas and cauliflower and unusual again in its method of cooking.  The Albless  is delicious, delicate and wholly enticing. Despite appearances, the Albless is very easy to make and takes the normal amount of time to cook. Once started, the cooking flows at the ordinary pace and time. Albless needs to be made from tender meat of an adult animal but not a full grown old one

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Parsi Liver Cutlets — Kaleji Na Cutlets

Parsis liver cutlets are no longer part of the Parsi everyday meals and perhaps, many of the present generation have not even heard of liver cutlets. Thought I'd induce some life in this old Parsi dish by putting out this recipe. Do try it on a Sunday afternoon; or gladden your Granny's heart by serving her something from her childhood.

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