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Fire and Spice: Parsi Cookery

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Savoury Scrambled Eggs
Akoori Eedani

2-3 tbsp
ghee or butter
1 finely chopped medium onion
4 cm / 1½ inches finely chopped ginger
2 small potatoes, cut into tiny cubes
2 finely chopped green chillies
1 cup chopped coriander leaves
1 finely chopped medium tomato
1 tsp cracked pepper
½ tsp salt
4 whisked eggs

There are many variations to the typical Parsi breakfast dish of scrambled eggs. A moister texture can be obtained with the addition of a little milk or cream to the beaten egg. The dish can be made even tastier with the addition of 2 tablespoons of finely chopped green garlic stem or chopped chives and is then called Akoori Leela Lasanni or green garlic-flavoured scrambled eggs.

Heat the ghee or butter in a heavy-bottomed pan and sauté the onions and ginger with the cubed potato until the potato is cooked and the onion begins to change colour. Add the chilli, coriander leaves, tomato, pepper and salt and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Reduce the heat and add the beaten eggs. Stir the mixture until the egg is set and serve immediately.

Copyright © Joyce Westrip, 2007


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Fish With Basil and Pomegranate Seeds
Tulsi Aur Anardana Macchi

Pomegranate seeds add an unexpected flavour and a crunchy bite to this dish in which the fish is first rubbed with a garlic and ginger marinade, then lightly fried and served with a tomato-based sauce infused with flavours of basil leaves and fresh coriander.

3 large red chillies
6 cloves garlic
5 cm/2 inches ginger
2 tbsp lime or lemon juice
1 tsp turmeric powder
4–6 firm white fish fillets

Blend the chilli, garlic, ginger and lime or lemon juice to a paste and then mix in the turmeric powder. Coat the fish fillets with the paste and set aside for 30 minutes.

Flour for coating
3 tbsp vegetable oil

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan. Sieve the flour lightly over the fish fillets and fry them on both sides for 2–3 minutes, depending on thickness, until golden. Remove to a serving dish, cover with foil and keep warm, reserving the remaining oil.

1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 sm/1½ inches grated ginger
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
2 tsp dry-roasted cumin seeds
3 tbsp pomegranate seeds
3 large tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped basil leaves
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
Salt to taste

If necessary, add 1 tablespoon of oil to the oil remaining from the previous stage and heat. Add the ginger, garlic, cumin and pomegranate seeds and stir-fry for 1 minute. Then add the tomatoes, basil, coriander leaves and salt and simmer gently for 2 minutes. Pour over the fish fillets and serve immediately.

Copyright © Joyce Westrip, 2007


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Firm-Textured Ice Cream

Indian ice cream is quite different to its Western cousin, which is often thickened with egg yolks or gelatine. In kulfi, the milk is boiled down until it reduces to a thick, creamy texture. Apart from chopped nuts such as pistachios and almonds, kulfi can also be flavoured with puréed mango or saffron. Nowadays, kulfi is normally bought ready-made, but there is always something special about the homemade version, which more than deserves its place in a collection of Parsi recipes.

10 cups/2¼ litres/5 pints milk
125 g/4 oz sugar
1 cup double cream
125 g/4 oz blanched and finely chopped pistachios
2 tbsp rose water or
a few drops of rose or vanilla essence

Mix the sugar, milk and cream together in a heavy-bottomed pan and boil until the milk thickens or condenses to half the original quantity. This can take some considerable time. Keep stirring across the bottom of the pan to avoid sticking and scorching. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. When cold, add the pistachios and rose water. Freeze in individual moulds or ice-block trays. Remove from the freezer shortly before serving to allow the kulfi to soften slightly, making it easier to release from the mould.

Copyright © Joyce Westrip, 2007

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