Food Walk @ Parsi Anjuman
By Damini Shrivastava
Amongst the hustle and bustle of the Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg , lies the quiet and placid building of the Parsi Rest house. The mysterious outlook instantly drags you towards it . As you enter , you see a huge marble engraved with the words “Main Building built out of the donation of Seth Manchersha Mengusi of Bombay Rs 60,000 ” . This guest house exclusively serves to the Parsis, for residential purposes but everyone is welcome to try their catering services. Dhun Daraius Bagli the owner of the place was generous enough in allowing the Delhi Food Walks to host the food walk in her empire this time. Basically from Bombay , she has been living here since 1958 along with her family. After the sad demise of her husband , Lt. Mr Daraius Bagli ,who was also the head priest at the Parsi Anjuman Hall , she is running the place with the help of her daughter-n-law Benaifer Bagli .Their greatest strength they believe are the cooks who have been working with them since 1958. The compelling fact is that both her headchefs,Ram Baran and Laxman are North Indians but have mastered Parsi cuisines and loves cooking it.She said they actually make faces when asked to cook chhole or some North Indian dish.
“I didnt fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian” – Erma Bombeck
The Parsis strongly relates to this saying by Bombeck.According to Benaifer,vegetarian dishes are unpalatable and meaningless for the Parsis.They favour on adding chicken or mutton to all their dishes.This being the reason they have such uncommon dishes like “dhansak” which is actually mutton cooked in dal .
The dinner included a scrumptious menu of :
– Sali Chicken [ chicken served with fine fried matchstick potatoes]
– Patra ni Macchi [ fish covered in leaf ]
– Mutton cutlets
– Jardaloo Booti
and for desserts we had mouth watering Parsi Kulfi and Lagan nu Custard.
The star dish of the day has to be the patra ni macchi which was repeatedly asked for . It was essentially fish covered in a coriander-coconut chutney , steamed and then elegantly wrapped in banana leaves to add flavour . It was a common opinion amongst the people that it was the best fish they ever had . The food was not just luscious and toothsome but the creativity with which it was served left a bunch of foodies amazed . The chicken was towards the sweeter side with fine fried potatoes served over. My personal favourite was the mutton cutlets as I lust for spicy food . It was spicy and delicious enough to make your taste buds go “whoaaaahh” !
The meal ended with appealing desserts being served . Lagan nu custard was tantalizing and the kulfis were to die for ! It was my very first experience of Parsi food and I immensely relished the meal . Parsi food will surely make you wanna come back for some more . Experience for yourself .
Parsi Rest House ,
Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg
New Delhi 110002
Contact no. – 011-23238615 , 011-23231228
Email – baglidhla @yahoo.com