Albless Stew— A Parsi Stew for the Early Monsoons


 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

Read More »

Dokhma — Zoroastrian Disposal of the Dead


“According to the religion of Zarathushtra, every  human being is mortal, and death is destined for all. Death is seen as a transformation and total destruction. It is the passing way of spiritual elements from the physical body.” [Yasna 55.2] Zoroastrianism emphasizes on maintaining sacredness of the creations and all elements of nature. Pollution of the creation is seen as an act of evil. The dead body is considered as a source of contamination of both human beings and nature around us. To maintain this balance, the dead body should be disposed in such a way that the purity of the four elements of nature, earth, water, fire and air is not endangered. Thus over centuries, a method of total disintegration of organic matter and decomposition was evolved, as sought by the religion

Read More »

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.

Read More »

Behram Yasht — A Translation

behram yasht

Behram Yasht is in praise of a 'mazdadhate' meaning a giver of knowledge. Knowledge which assists us to live in the way and within the Law of Ahura Mazda-- the 'Ahuirish Jarthutrish' ; and thereby vanquish all evil from within and around us and make us impervious to hurt and harm. In the Behram Yasht this omniscient knowledge is described metaphorically to take on different forms from the gentle breeze and growing over time into a great invincible warrior. The ten Kardas of the Behram Yasht speak in metaphors of the growing strength of the knowledge given by Behram  eternally safeguarding from all harm, the true believer and practitioner of Asha and Ashoi (rectitude) the Natural, Eternal Law of Ahura Mazda brought down to us by Zarathustra ----- the 'Ahuirish Jarthutrish'. Writers have often remarked that the ten forms of knowledge correspond to the ten avatars of Vishnu in the Puranas. I'd say, well, how different can the one and only truth and the greatest knowledge ever be?!

Read More »

Kurkuria — Parsi Fritters

Parsi kurkuria

Kurkuria is a Parsi snack long forgotten and lost in memory. I first heard of Kurkuria from a Parsi Manager of an Agiary (Fire Temple) in Mumbai. Marzban Palsettia is from the Village of Nargol, in Gujarat and mentioned that ‘amongst other Parsi snacks, he even made Kurkuria for his colleagues’. I was intrigued. When I found this recipe for Kurkuria amongst the family recipes, I thought to share it with you, my readers. The taste imparted by using the Palm Toddy as ferment is distinctive; that, perhaps, adds greatly to the appeal of the Kurkuria as against other fritters. There is more than one kind of Kurkuria to be had with Tea—some with fruit some without. Each is made differently; I will share the recipes in due course.

Read More »