A taste of history

Published On: July 26, 2019 07:56 AM NPT By: The Week Bureau

In a bid to promote home cooks, Soaltee Crowne Plaza is hosting a Parsi Food Festival in its Kakori hall from July 25 to August 3. As a member of IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), Soaltee Crowne Plaza takes special initiatives for gender diversity in the workplace. With their contrivance “Celebrating the Woman and the Home”, they hope to bring the spotlight on home cooks, especially women and their authentic home recipes. This month it’s the celebrated home chef Tasneem Shahani.

Tasneem Shahani has been in the food business for nearly two decades now but her history with food begins long before that. Born into a Muslim household and married into a Parsi-Sindi family, Shahani has spent her life immersed in a unique blend of tastes and culinary techniques. Much of what she has learned of Parsi food comes from her mother-in-law. “She is a brilliant cook and she introduced me to the wonders of Parsi food,” says Shahani.

The ancient Persians descended to the western regions of India where they settled and formed a community that is today known as the Parsis. The Parsis were a fun loving bunch who loved their wine and food. They brought with them their culture and flavors. What is unique and perhaps most remarkable about Parsi food is the use of protein in their food. Besides their lavish platters of meat, even an ordinary eggplant is cooked with meat (mostly mutton). Seafood, mutton or just eggs, the Parsis don’t leave out their protein.

Sali Boti is mutton chop cooked in a gravy of tomatoes and onions. The Brown Rice, they promise on the menu, is not your regular whole grain but caramelized rice that goes wonderfully with any gravy you choose. Shahani strongly recommends the Mutton Dhaan Saak – lentils cooked with an assortment of vegetables and mutton chops. The meat falls right off the bone and is divinely succulent. There’s a vegetarian version of this dish as well. Patrani Macchi (fish wrapped in banana leaves and steamed) is another culinary treasure of Parsi food. And we urge you to try the lamb kebabs. 

Slow cooked, steamed and baked, Parsi food comes from a culture with a long and rich history. Picked from the kitchens of Shahani and that of her mother-in-law, this selection of Parsi food at the food festival feels both familiar and unique. Don’t miss it. 

What    :     Parsi Food Festival
Where    :     Kakori, Soaltee Crowne Plaza
When    :     25th July to 3rd August 2019 
Time    :     7:00 pm onwards
Menu    :     A la carte  

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