Navroz Mubarak! Today marks Navroz or Nowruz, which is Iranian and Persian New year, a day dedicated to the beginning of the spring and to promote peace, solidarity, and friendship among people and different communities.
However, long are the tales of the splendid Navroz meal, which usually starts at the breakfast table when plates of ‘sev’ (a vermicelli preparation roasted in ghee and adding up of dry fruits) are served with sweet ‘dahi’ (curd). In addition, ‘Ravo’ (a dessert made from milk and semolina garnished with nuts and raisins) is something that is is enjoyed by young and old alike and calls for a satisfying breakfast.
While homes are decked up with lights, ‘torans’ (a string that is tied on the door with the flower on it), streamers, and ‘rangoli’, the Parsi family members also gears up to prepare, treat, and enjoy some lip-smacking signature Parsi food on their special day. Navroz is incomplete without checking out ‘Parsi Bhonu’, i.e. full-fledged Parsi meal having a list of mouth-watering items that counts for lunch. Bhonu, is like a ‘thaali’, where a range of Parsi dishes is served on a single platter.
The lunch is quite a spread on Navroz, having a plethora of options of vegetarian, and non-vegetarian dishes. ‘Lagan nu stew’, unlike the name ‘stew’ which gives an impression of it being a gravy dish, is a dryish dish. It is made of root vegetables finely chopped, slow-cooked with dry fruits, and is an interesting dish in the Parsi feast.
While ‘Ravaiyyan’ is the show-stealer among the vegetarian options. Standing out with the green colour, the dish comprises of baby brinjals in sweet-sour-spicy mint coriander chutney. It is a mix of green chillies, coriander leaves, coconut, and a bit of vinegar and sugar, adding to its sweet flavour. Then there is ‘vegetarian cutlet’, wherein the stuffing is primarily potato-based and spicy, coated with breadcrumbs and fried.
Among the non-vegetarian dishes, let’s start off with ‘Pulao Dar/Dal’. It is a lightly spiced mutton pulao, layered with fried onions as a garnish, and served with dal. The dal is a combination of dhan (dals) and saak (vegetables) perked with spices. Joining the cutlet clan is ‘Bheja na’ cutlets, a delightful snack made with brains of lamb. Mashed potatoes, roasted chana dal, and onion. It is usually served hot with green chutney or sweet chilli sauce.
One of the most famous non-vegetarian Parsi dishes is ‘patra ni machhi’ where smeared pomfret fish is steamed in banana leaf with a generous amount of green chutney. Another attraction in the meal course is ‘sali murghi’ (Parsi chicken curry), which is packed with spices with a tad bit of sweetness from apricots and jaggery. The catch is, the dish is served with ‘sali’ – potato matchsticks. It is topped with potato straws, which makes it a flavourful dish and eye-catchy.
There is an endless list of mouth-watering delicacies such as Chicken Pattice, Mutton Masala Pulav, Jardaloo Ma Marghi, and many more which is cooked adding grandeur to the day.
One can round off the sumptuous Parsi meal on a sweet note with ‘Malida’ and ‘Falooda’ tagging along as desserts.
Never miss a chance to treat your taste-buds with these lip-smacking dishes on Navroz! (ANI)