It’s been eons since we’ve told you about a favourite neighbourhood joint. Something old Dubai. Something familiar, easy and oh-so-reliable, especially when you’re craving wholesome Indian food. I may not be Parsi but every time I eat here, it feels like home food. For those of you who don’t know, Parsis are a community of people that moved from Iran to India in the eighth century to flee religious persecution. While they are a minority today – less than a hundred thousand Parsis out of one billion Indians – they’ve managed to add a wonderful flavour to the mix (pun intended!)
Here’s a nice illustration I found which describes their movement across the country.
Illustration: Jayanto; Source: Parzor Foundation, Delhi
The defining characteristics of the bawas are their fair skin and hook-ish nose. Am I right, my dikras and dikris? I may be generalising but from my experience, Parsi folk are such a fun, lively bunch, and the few I know are a pleasure to hang out with. It goes without saying that their cuisine is outstanding, much like their eccentric personalities. With the move to India, most of them adopted the Indian culture and food habits while still retaining some flavours and techniques from ancient Persia.
I’ve only recently had the pleasure of tasting this cuisine when Kebab Bistro’s new branch opened shop in Karama. Here’s some of what’s always on my order:
Sali Boti, a spicy meat gravy dish served with crisps (sali)
Patio, a tomato-based curry made using a sweet and acidic balance
Dhansak, made using lentils, meat and vegetables, and served with caramelized spiced rice
Patra ni machi, green-chutney fish cooked in banana leaf
Smokin’ hot mutton seekh kebabs
Lagan nu custard (wedding custard) which is the Parsi version of a crème brulee
Indian cuisine is so well known around the world (for good reason, of course) but I do think its time Parsi food got its share of the limelight! We highly recommend you go check it out!
LOCATION: Wasl Ruby Building, Zabeel Road, near Karama Post Office