Monday, September 23, 2019

Those Four Happy Birthdays

When we were still courting

This is the cutest picture I have of him.

 At Bombay Canteen to celebrate.

I had decided to spoil him thoroughly.

Happy birthday darling!

Friday, September 20, 2019

Golden Fried Prawns

The serve-ware is a family heirloom. It has sections inside not too high like boxes but perfect to hold fried goodies.

Every time we passed Persian Darbar in Byculla, Arvi would disappear into the restaurant and come back with two hot package that would make it impossible to sit in the car. One of their biryani and the other his favorite snack the Golden fried prawns. He would be drooling all the way back home and would always sit down to enjoy while it was warm.

This is my recipe of making them.


2 tablespoons maida
2 tablespoons besan
a large pinch of salt or to taste
10 large tiger prawns 
Oil to fry


The tiger prawns must be deshelled retaining the tails and then deveined. Retaining the tails gives structure to the prawn and aesthetics too.

Make a medium batter with maida, besan, salt and water. It should coat and hold up on the prawn when dipped.

Heat oil in a wok. Dip in batter and coat nicely. Fry to golden. The Prawns when I fried at home always curled a bit but the ones from Persian Darbar would be straight not sure if they put a stick in it while frying and then remove it. However home made tasted fresher and a little nutty with besan is what Arvi said.

He used to eat all and then eat only 2 small phulkas following it for dinner.

I used to make this occasionally unlike other prawn dishes as it depended on the size and the largest are the sweetest and best for Golden fried prawns.

To describe, they should be crunchy on the outside and tender inside with just the right amount of salt to make the sweetness of the prawn shine. For the Indian palate you might need a spicy chutney on the side. Arvi did not need any, he loved them just plain.

Go make some and enjoy

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Lobster Biryani

Lobsters long time ago were my favorite too.  This post is about a Lobster biryani I once made for Arvi. He enjoyed just the white meat from the lobster unlike me, I loved it more when cooked in its shell. Either a Shevndi cha kanji, the Koli style curry or as boiled or boiled and then roasted in the embers. Lobster needs delicate treatment so the simplest versions were my favorite. Arvi too liked the Tatraveli lobster where it is marinated in Jeeru lasan masala and then shallow fried in a pan. 

The main difference when I loved and ate lobsters I enjoyed the really big ones as my maternal uncle brought them for me. He was a supplier of seafood for Taj Mahal Palace Hotel back in those days. Whereas the lobsters that our Fishermonger, Dwarka brought for us were not very large. Arvi did not enjoy the head where as wasting the head was blasphemy for the Koli in me. So Just the white meat cleaned and deshelled look much like a very very large prawn though it wasn't.


10 -15 chunks of lobsters, cleaned
2 tablespoons  Jeeru Lasan Masala
10 onions
1/2 cup oil
2 cups Basmati rice 
1 teaspoon red chili powder
0.5 teaspoon turmeric
0.5 teaspoon ginger paste
3-4 pinches Kashmiri saffron 
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chopped cilantro
salt to taste

Whole garam masala
5-6 cloves
4 green cardamom
2 tej patta
2 black cardamom
10 peppercorns
2 nos X 2 inch sticks of cinnamon 


Marinate the cleaned lobsters in Jeeru lasan masala.

3-4 pinches Kashmiri saffron soak in 1/2 cup milk. Let it rest till needed.

2 cups Basmati rice washed and soaked for 30 mins. 

Boil 3 liters of water in a large vessel. Add soaked Basmati rice to it. In a diffuser or tie in a muslin cloth all the whole garam masalas then add it to the cooking pot of rice. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Cook rice al dente. Drain it into a colander. Remove the garam masala diffuser/ pouch.

Peel and chop 10 onions length-wise. Crush them with fingers to separate the segments.


Heat oil in a deep pan. Add all the chopped and separated segments of onions into the pan. Keep the flame on high and keep frying onions for 5 mins. Then add 0.5 teaspoon of salt. The salt will help the onions to sweat and help in frying to crisp golden on slow flame. Keep mixing continuously so onions don't char. It will take about 30-40 mins to give you golden fried onions. Remove them on a sieve.

In the remaining oil add two handfuls of golden fried onions and ginger paste. Saute. Follow in with marinated lobsters. Add the red chili powder, turmeric and the chopped cilantro. Splash a couple of handfuls of water on it to avoid burning. Stir fry a bit. Cover and cook for 2-3 mins. Then remove the cooked lobsters in masala on a plate.

Now do the layers. Add half the cooked basmati rice to the pot. In the middle layer the losters in masala. Sprinkle some golden fried onions which we kept aside. Put another layer of cooked basmati rice. Now macerate the saffron soaking the the milk a bit. Distribute the saffron milk over the pot of rice. Again sprinkle the remaining fried onions. Put the lid on and cook for 2 mins on medium flame, reduce the flame to sim and let the pot sit for 10 mins or till you see steam coming out showing that the whole rice is warmed and the flavors are melded.

Served with love and enjoyed with double the amount.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Prawn Patio

Dhandar and Kolmi No Patio, soul food for a Parsi

Home coming meals are always Dhandar Patio. The ubiquitous combo that features compulsorily on the weekly menu of any Parsi household. A pile of rice covered with yellow dal this in itself  a combo, is called Dhandar. While the vegetarian me enjoy it with papad and pickle my non vegetarian  loving Parsi husband demanded a patio. 

With this post I start a series of meals which my husband enjoyed but I did not post on the blog. Some are very simple and some elaborate. This is to record all the little things that made Arvi happy.

A patio is a sort of a quick pickle made with onion and tomato and any fish. The Prawn patio or Kolmi no Patio being the most favorite among all. So here is the recipe. 


1 cup de-shelled and de-veined prawns
1 onion chopped very fine
1 tomato pureed
1 green chili pounded
2 tablespoon Jeeru Lasan Masala
2 tablespoon oil
optional finely chopped cilantro for garnish.


Marinate the cleaned prawns with Jeeru Lasan Masala. Leave it to rest for 10-15 mins. The masala already has salt so no need to add extra. Keeping salt right will help the sweetness of the prawns shine in this dish.


Heat oil in a pan. Add the finely chopped onions to the hot oil, follow in with the pounded green chili. Fry until soft. Add tomato puree, let it meld into a paste with the onions. After this add the marinated prawns. Cook till prawns are done but still tender. 

Garnish if you like with finely chopped cilantro. My husband never enjoyed cilantro on his non veg so I skipped it most times.

Note: You will find cookbooks mention the use of vinegar in patio but in homes like ours vinegar did not have much of a presence in cooking except for pickling told my husband. So when vinegar is used, jaggery is added to balance the sourness. my recipe does not need vinegar so eliminates jaggery automatically.

Make this simple lip-smacking recipe and let me know how you like it.

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