It's Navroz, here's where you can celebrate Parsi cuisine in Mumbai

In addition to traditional Parsi delicacies and freshly baked savouries, these places offer a generous serving of nostalgia.

Mumbai: The Parsi community across India is celebrating Navroz. Having arrived on the shores of India over a thousand years back, they have only enriched the country with their contributions in various fields. Like sugar in milk, Parsis have sweetened our lives with their inimitable charm, a distinct sense of humour and of course some of the most soul soothing food that can be found in the country.

The city of Mumbai cannot be imagined without Parsis as they are an inseparable part of the bustling metro’s heritage and culture. While the majestic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel built by industrialist Jamsetji Tata is an essential part of Mumbai’s ever developing landscape, endearing Irani cafes and eateries scattered across the city’s lanes and bylanes have preserved its old world charm.

On this day when the Parsi community ushers in the new year, you can celebrate the Parsi legacy in India and try out irresistible delicacies while you are at it.

There’s no better way to start the day than queuing up outside a quaint café waiting to savour moist, melt in the mouth mawa cakes. Maintaining a striking presence right across Grant Road station for over a century, B Merwan and Company has enjoyed a loyal following among Mumbai’s food lovers across generations.

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If you can get enough of the delicate portions of freshly baked delight that sell out within a couple of hours, you can feast on some akuri, a rich Parsi version of scrambled eggs. Add to this the chaotic environment and a touch of nostalgia for the perfect start to your journey.

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The filling breakfast at B Merwan will only leave you asking for more, and as you look forward to lunch, you can grab a quick bite between the meals at the Parsi Amelioration Committee near Nana Chowk. Nestled across the road from Bhatia hospital, PAC is known for scrumptious cutlets, fresh chicken pattice and chicken samosas, as it serves satiating meals for less than Rs 200.

The irresistible savouries at PAC are just what you need to prepare for a grand lunch at the majestic Britannia and Company standing strong in the tranquil lanes of Ballard Pier at walking distance from the iconic CST railway station. Known for its rich Parsi cuisine, the ambience with vintage furniture and well preserved interiors will take you back to the city’s colonial past.

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As you are captivated by a blast of flavours from the exquisite berry pulav, prepared with the tangy Zereshk berries imported from Iran and succulent pieces of meat, the 93-year-old owner Boman Kohinoor will charm you and take you on a journey through the eatery’s glorious legacy. It also serves the most delectable mutton dhansak, which can be called the Parsi equivalent of butter chicken, and the ever delightful caramel custard.

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The most recommended way to end this exotic Parsi feast is a bottle of Pallonji’s Raspberry soda which can be spotted at every Irani café and eatery.

As you make your way through the undisturbed lanes in the business district of Fort, a short walk from Horniman Circle brings you to a cosy café as the aroma of freshly baked bread pulls you inside. The soft bun maska with a generous serving of butter and a plate of warm khari biscuit to go with a cup of tea at Yazdani Bakery & Restaurant is all you need for a peaceful evening as you prepare for the last meal of the day.

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Situated near Horniman Circle, Jimmy Boy may not be like any other Irani café but is a suitable destination to gorge on some Parsi delicacies for the night. Well known for culinary delights like Patra ni Macchi (Fish steamed in bana leaves), Saas ni Macchi and Dhansak, Jimmy Boy serves a platter called Lagan nu Bhonu which includes a selection of sea food, along with salli chicken or chicken farcha, mutton dhansak and an assortment of delicious accompaniments followed by lagan nu custard to end the meal.

If you aren’t in the mood for a heavy meal after a day of eating through a rich offering of Parsi cuisine, you can opt for the more humble and soul soothing Dhun Dal with Tareli macchi (fried fish).

It will be a crime not to mention cafes like Kayani and Company, known for serving Parsi savouries and Sassanian which offer a taste of Mumbai's Parsi heritage through filling meals and fresh savouries on the go. The Ideal Corner in Fort serves daily specials like Kharu Gosh, Railway Mutton, Titori (flat beans cooked with coconut), Jerdaloo Chicken (prepared with apricots) and Athelu Gosh.

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Another must visit destination for Navroz is Hassan Hajati’s Iranian Sweet Palace at Imamwada Road in Dongri which serves traditional Baklava prepared with honey and dry fruits specially for the occasion of Navroz.

P.S If you are a foodie of the first order, you need not wait for a special day to visit these places, make any day special by just tasting the mouth offering dishes that each of these places offer.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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