Perzen Patel, a food blogger from Mumbai and founder of Bawi Bride, gets ready to prepare Parsi celebratory dishes at Ashvita Bistro.
PERZEN Patel’s journey from a food blogger to a home chef is well documented. However if you haven’t heard her story yet, here’s a short introduction. The bawi from Mumbai started posting recipes of home-made Parsi dishes in 2013 and in no time launched her food delivery service, Bawi Bride, delivering across Mumbai, catering for occasions, conducting cooking classes and pop-ups. You can get to know more about the lady at her first pop-show in the city. Here for three days, the chef is going to whip up a grand menu of Parsi wedding dishes at Ashvita Bistro, and going by the rate of registrations so far, around 400 people are expected to turn up.
Parsis have a rich culture of their own that dates back to over 1,000 years when they first immigrated into the country from Iran. And all along, weddings have remained a crucial pillar of their society’s development. Patel remarks that no other occasion gives Parsi food as much attention as a wedding. “Parsi wedding food is served in a very different way — at a long community table, on top of a banana leaf — and always features a menu with specific dishes like a patra ni machhi or mutton pulao,” she shares, adding that even though there is a small Parsi community in Chennai, the city does not see many Parsi weddings. Thus was born the idea for the pop-up in Chennai. Moreover restaurants and cafes like SodaBottleOpenerWala in Mumbai and Batliwala & Khanaboy are instrumental in the general awareness about their food in the country, she feels, adding that the best way to experience Parsi food remains the weddings.
What to expect
“At the workshop, I will be preparing a five-course menu,” she says. As for the ingredients, apart from locally sourced meats and vegetables, she is bringing down Kolah’s vinegar from Navsari, Gujarat, and spices from Mumbai-based Motilal Masalawala. Although, Parsi food is mostly non-vegetarian, she has ensured there is a special vegetarian course with dishes like kaju paneer. The top five dishes to expect at the event would be the patra ni machhi (pomfret), vegetarian dishes like lagan sara istoo (a vegetable stew) and pulao dal, anjeer chicken and a dessert called lagan nu custard. Other classic dishes include bharuchi akuri (scrambled eggs), sali chicken, tokri nu paneer and more.
April 29 to May 1. 12.30 pm to 9 pm. Vegetarian course at `999 plus taxes and non-vegetarian course at Rs 1,200 plus taxes.
— Karan Pillai