While the New Year according to the Iranian calendar (Navroze) falls on March 21, a second occasion in the latter half of the year (usually August) is when Parsis celebrate their arrival in India and the acceptance into their new homeland. The new year falls on this Monday. We bring you a few authentic Navroze dishes to feast on.
PATRA NI MACCHI, (Fish Wrapped in a Leaf)
The Patra Ni Macchi is a traditional Parsi dish that is cooked on the new year day, other than that there is Pulav Dal, Maghi na Farcha and Ravo. The fish recipe will be relatively easy for people to make at home.
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Fish – 1 kg
Fresh coconut – 250gm
Coriander (with stem) – 500gm
Mint – 50gm
Sugar – 50gm
Garlic peeled – 50gm
Green chilli – 10gm
Lemon juice – 60ml
Whole cumin (jeera) – 5gm
Ice water to blend
Banana leaves – 4
1. Grate the coconut fine, and keep all other ingredients ready.
2. Cut the fish into 60gm pieces
3. Marinate with salt and lemon juice
4. Keep for 1-2 hours.
5. Blend all the remaining ingredients into the chutney. Keep aside
6. Soften banana leaves on gas flame, and then cut away the stalk and cut into squares large enough to wrap the fish pieces
7. Once everything is ready, arrange the leaf on a clean surface, apply chutney and then the fish, and again top with chutney.
8. Pack the fish parcels with the help of a toothpick or string.
9. Steam in a rice cooker, or an idli steamer for 15 mins till the fish is cooked.
10. Serve with onion rings and garnish with lemon.
11. This can also be served with rice. It is a main course dish.
# Goes well with a citrus-y drink
# If you don’t have a steamer, this can also be poached in hot water. Wrap it tightly.
# The chutney can be refrigerated and used in the next few days also.
# Any fish is fine. But traditionally fillets of Pomfret are used.
VERA MAI NU RAVO (Grandmother’s Semolina Pudding)
The meal has to end with a flourish, and to celebrate Navroze like the Parsis do, try making Ravo, super easy and delicious.
1 cup semolina (sooji)
1 cup sugar
2-3 Tbsps butter or ghee
2tsps vanilla essence
4 cups milk
Roasted almond slivers
Fried raisins (For a low cal option, you can use plain raisins) And, a few rose petals
1. Sauté the semolina in butter or ghee till it turns light brown.
2. Warm the milk, so as to dissolve the sugar. Keep aside.
3. Add the milk slowly to the semolina stirring continuously.
4. Keep stirring on a simmer, till it starts coating the back of the spoon and becomes thick.
5. Take off heat and add the vanilla essence.
6. Take out “Ravo” in a pretty glass bowl and garnish with slivered almonds, raisins and rose petals.
(Recipes and inputs courtesy Chef Anahita Dhondy, SodaBottleOpenerWala)