{How to Series} De-mystifying Parsi Cuisine- Guest Post by Perzen Patel

For quite a while, Parsi Cuisine to me was much like the mystical world of Narnia. Something that we could see from a distance, enjoy it while it lasts and then reminisce about it. I never missed an opportunity to drop by to my favourite Parsi restaurants and enjoy hearty meals. But that was about it. A few attempts to cook Dhansak went put. I then decided not to experiment; it was too sacrosanct to be messed about with. I had a few Parsi friends, but they (I’m told) don’t share their recipes. I got  lucky a few months ago and  through FBAI, I got introduced to Perzen Patel (twitter: @bawibride) who blogs at http:bawibride.com and is passionate about evangelising Parsi cuisine, as it is made in Parsi homes. And, the icicing on the cake is her catering service for those intense Bawa cravings. Do check her website for further details. The how to cook that series would be incomplete if I didn’t invite Perzen to guest blog.  So, over to the Bawi Bride.

Just one thing, don’t simply go through her blog. Savour each post, let it speak to you and that is when you will thoroughly enjoy what makes this cuisine so special.

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Growing up, you at times get accustomed to a few things. Toys, books, friends, and food. These things become part of you. Your being. Almost an indispensable part of your living. For me, that something was and is food. I was born and bought up into a foodie family and the passion for food continues till date. Food and fun are two most important elements of the Parsi way of life. So, when Elson asked to me to blog on Parsi food I jokingly told him one post was not going to be enough. For me the challenge was to say everything and yet retain the sanctity. But, for the sake of the cuisine I so love; I’ll try and sum it up.

Parsi cuisine has a huge focus on meat and finding a vegetarian Parsi is like hunting for an endangered animal. Even then, most vegetarians are eggtarians and replace the meat with eggs as a protein replacement. We love eggs in any form, so you would have salli- par eedu, pateta par eedu, tameta par eedu and almost anything par eedu and even eedu par eedu
– Parsis love their sweets and in my household we have almost a 3 course dessert each night – jelly, dessert like custard/fruit/icecream/cake which is then followed by chocolate or dry fruits. It’s for this reason that am constantly trying out new dessert recipes so that I can keep impressing the in-laws 🙂
– Most of our Parsi desserts are variations of their English cousins as Parsis are quite ‘anglicised’ so to speak and consider Queen Elizabeth as “aapri Queen” – Hence the caramel custards, cakes etc. We do give most of our desserts an Indian twist though by adding Cardamom and Nutmeg which is a staple in both the Lagan nu Custard as well as several other desserts such as the Badam  nu Custard, Gajar no Halwo, Mawa Cake, Chapat etc etc.

Since I’ve started this blog and the Bawi Bride Kitchen, my Lagan nu Custard has been one of my signature recipes. Made with milk, eggs, sugar and condensed milk, this dessert is a true indulgence and as mentioned previously a staple in many Parsi households.

While many would argue that classic dishes shouldn’t be messed around with – I am of adifferent opinion and feel that they give us a sound base through which we can explore our creativity. One such experiment for me was the Lagan nu Custard icecream for example which became such a hit with my fellow food bloggers that I actually introduced it onto my menu as a regular dish!

So, over a couple of emails and phone calls that Elson and I went through discussing what we recipe to post, we decided to share another variation on the classic Lagan nu Custard – the Badam nu Custard. The Badam nu Custard is the richer cousin between the two but won’t be seen often at weddings due to the high cost involved with all the almonds required. Nevertheless, it is a great treat for the tastebuds and definately a Parsi dessert that you should try your hand at!

9. Badam nu Custard Ready

Badaam Nu Custard

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup almonds blanched
  • 1/4 cup rose water
  • 1.5 litres milk
  • 1.5 cup sugar
  • 1/3 tin condensed milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg and cardamom powder
  • butter for greasing the baking dish
  • 1/2 cup almonds blanched and rose petals for garnish

Procedure

• Start by placing the milk in a large heavy bottomed vessel and bring it to a quick boil.

1. Heat Milk

• While this is happening, boil and peel the almonds.

2. Blanch Almonds

• Grind these almonds along with the rose water.

3. Grind Almonds with Rose Water

• Once the milk has come to a boil, add in the sugar and cook it over a medium flame. Stir the milk continuously until almost a quarter has evaporated. Remove from the fire and add in condensed milk. Stir and cool. Also, at this point, preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

4. Reduce Milk

• Next, whisk the eggs and add in the nutmeg-cardamom powder. Add this egg mixture as well as the almonds to the milk.

6. Mix Eggs and Elaichi

• Pour the custard mixture in a large baking dish and bake at 200 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Garnish the custard with some sliced almonds and bake for another 10 minutes until the top is golden brown.

8. Bake for 45 mins

• Chill the custard prior to serving. Enjoy it with some vanilla ice-cream or just by itself.

9. Badam nu Custard Ready

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7 thoughts on “{How to Series} De-mystifying Parsi Cuisine- Guest Post by Perzen Patel

  1. Oh, how did I miss this one, Elson, can you imagine my not commenting on a Parsi recipe post! Perzen, what a delightful badam custard based on our quintessential Lagan nu Custard. Love it! I’m with you on how old classic recipes are a great starting point for newer creative versions:)

    • I was actually wondering how you missed this one Peri.. Yes, Perzen’s recipe is a piece of art… I did try it in a small quantity and it did come off well

  2. Pingback: Bawi Bride Badam nu Custard by Bawi Bride

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