Parsi cuisine is unique and rich in tradition. Like most Indian cuisine it is labour intensive, but the results are mouth-watering.
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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. Though cosmopolitan, Parsis believe strongly in their religion and children are trained to understand the scriptures. Every child is initiated into the Zoroastrian religion at a function called the Navjot.
Parsi weddings too are occasions for fun, frolic, dancing and merrymaking. Bottles of colourful aerated drinks are served with fish cooked in banana leaves, mutton pulao, fried chicken and dal. The sweets too are rich and creamy. Parsi pickle, made with carrots, sugar and raisins and vinegar is finger licking and tasty.
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.
For a complete almanac on Parsi cooking check out Jamva Chaloji by Katy Dalal. It is in our featured books section.