I am still recovering from the delectable Parsi fare I indulged in last week at Saptami at HolidayInn Mumbai International Airport, where the Parsi Food Festival, “Chala Aao Jamva” was in full swing. As I have said before, I always enjoy executive chef Sudhir Pai’s culinary treats, but this time it was Chef Sheriyar who bowled me over. He had prepared a special menu for a week long Festival. Parsi cuisine is a mix of Persian food with a Gujarati influence in it. And the combination, I daresay, is eclectic.
The Tareli Kolmi, aka spiced fried prawns were just right to ignite our taste buds. Pattra ni Macchi came next, but I found it a tad insipid. Nothing to match the prawns. Murgi na Farcha or batter fried chicken was unique but really filling. The papad and chutney were to die for. The chutney with raisins, dates, ginger, carrots was a real palate pleaser.
In the main course, I enjoyed Salli Botti. That dish never disappoints me. Although I feel guilty enjoying it replete with the fried potato or salli, Dhan dal patio, a lovely sweetish spicy onion masala, reminded me a lot of Goan Prawns Balchao. Simply loved it. The chicken dhansak ( a chicken, lentil and vegetable potpourri) and brown rice are my ultimate comfort food and it just melt in my mouth. The dhanajeera masala made it flavoursome. Parsi food tends to use a lot of ginger, onions and garlic but the food is not very spicy.
Other dishes on the menu were Gosh nu Pulao, Lagan nu Stew, Ghau ni rotli, etc. Each dish was authentic and Chef Sheriyar had lent it his touch.
The desserts included Lagan nu Custard, Kulfi Falooda, Sagan ni Sev, Mithu dahi, Ravo. I relished the eggy melt-in-the-mouth custard and was mesmerized by the way it was presented in a cup rather than the usual boring way.
I couldn’t help thinking why Navroz comes but once a year. Would love to sample this food again soon. Maybe a Parsi friend will invite me over?