Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Lifesaver Tatraveli Kolmi

A Parsi style stir fried prawns

You have read it repeatedly here that my husband eats only a specific menu in a week after which we rotate it. Dhansak - Curry rice - Dhandaar - Veg pulao - Kolmi no Pulao for lunch. Dinner is fried fish - chana ni daar - masoor - eeda no poro. How I feel limited in creativity! 

There is this simple Parsi style stir fry that He loves. It goes perfectly with Dhandaar or rotlis and as an add on in meals, filling in for the non veg component and gets eaten quietly without a murmur. 

Its an express recipe everyone must have in their repertoire so sharing it here for all the friends and readers who asked for it when I posted it on social media.


15 nos. Fresh large prawns, peeled and de-veined.
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Parsi Jeeru lasan masala as per your capacity to handle heat.
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon oil
1/4 cup water

Marinate the cleaned prawns in the jeeru lasan masala and turmeric powder for atleast 30 mins in the fridge. Heat oil in a deep pan or concave tava. In the hot oil add the marinated prawns. Cook for 2 mins and then add the 1/4 cup water. Cook till oil separates. Remove if you like it tender after total 5 mins of cooking. 

My husband likes the prawns chewy something he is used to since childhood so I cook for 10 mins before removing from heat.  

Here is Sharmila's rendition of my recipe after I shared it in my network.
It celebrates our friendship and all those warm chats thru the

Parsi Jeeru Lasan Masala


1 whole bulb of garlic
2 teaspoon cumin seeds
10 - 15 Kashmiri red chilies
0.5 teaspoon salt
15 ml Vinegar or juice of half a lime

Grind all the ingredients together on the stone grinder to get a smooth paste. You can achieve the same smoothness with a mortar and pestle.

This paste is used to marinate seafood before frying or using in a curry.

It is used as a tenderizer for meat and poultry too.

Jeeru Lasan is integral to Parsi cooking.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Vasanu : A Parsi Winter Fudge

We have these tiny saucers which are perfect to portion out Vasanu for a daily dose as long as the cool weather lasts.

My husband, AC is a true blue Parsi and on arrival of Nov which heralds the winter season he starts searching the cupboards for THE LIST and reciepts. The reciepts are from Motilal Masalawala the iconic specialist for ingredients shopping for Vasanu.

The orders are placed for the huge list of ingredients. Discussion are made on the phone with AD a chuddy buddy. It is a yearly ritual that these two Parsi boys have followed for more than 30yrs. They get together to make Vasanu.

Toasting all the ingredients in Chokhu or Shudh ghee  

Vasanu is a fudge made with this humongous list of ingredients. It is based on the principles of Unani and Ayurved. The ingredients that go into it are some warming spices, energy giving nuts and ghee. Our version of Vasanu is made from pure ghee no compromise on that and is rich in proportions of nuts. We like to slice dates into it to give a slight bite. The dominant taste of sonth or dry ginger is so pleasing to the winter affected throat while the slight crunch comes from fried goondar or edible gum.

Making the Chaasni or sugar syrup

Check check, yes its solidifying and setting. I want it scoopable says one, the other wants it cuttable. We stop at scoopable.

It was such fun to watch my husband being so enthusiastic about making Vasanu, for he is someone who does not even know how to boil an egg. On the actual day it was simply adorable to watch both AC and AD bustling around. The banter between them was hilarious and they behaved like school boys kicking each other in jest.

Finally dividing it between the two.

This year AC and me are planning to share with all who want. It tastes better when made in large quantities. So here's presenting Cooper's Vasanu. Tadah!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Now Posh Jhama Sweets, Chembur Camp

In the last two years I had not been to Jhama at their flagship store in Chembur Camp though I would buy treats at the Nerul outlet. So when I did go there last week, I was in for a surprise. The sweet shop was more spacious, organized and the facade was so clean and welcoming. The yellow headboard with red lettering was replaced by a touch of royal signage. They have been around 66 yrs!

I have lived in Chembur for 12 years of my life and as a college going kid would pass by Jhama on the way back home. I had to sometimes take a different bus from Chembur camp to Tata power colony but the incentive was to be able to snack at Jhama. Buying samosas and sometimes hot Jalebis for family was a regular thing.

Sometimes my friend Preeti would coax me to eat pani puri there. Proof is to see women still lined up there waiting for their turn to eat just like yore.

They have a great range of mithais and farsans. Their sticky karachi halwa, the Sindhi specials sev barfi, tosha, badusha etc are to die for. The gulabjamuns are a class apart. In the past they would have a little pista hidden in the middle. Now that's lost with time. The Kaju katli and Kaju kesar katli has no match in entire Mumbai. When Dad bought sweets from Jhama it would be always in 2 kgs packs for our 18 member joint family. Then Mothe baba would sit down to distribute the sweets to everyone. The pink rose barfi was always moist and smelt divine.

Jalebis nice and thick frying on slow simmer.

My quarter of Jalebi being packed

Ignore those nameplates on the top. Look into the bain maries. Spot the samosa and dal pattices. See limited nos. So rush early to get your stash. They start frying at 5pm.

The Samosas are khasta and filled plump and very addictive. The Dal pattice wins the heart and bingo that is the shape it is made in. What I missed is the chhole they used to give with the samosas and pattice, they have stopped it now but give loads of chutney both green and sweet tamarind. 

Who has the patience to stop and click a photo when you lay hands on Jhama treats after a long time. The husband is glad I introduced him to Jhama as soon as we met. This day he taunted, "Diwali has just gone by no?"

Shut up and eat. My head is down over my plate I need to finish the last morsel and then devour the gulab jamuns.

On Trail