Parsi: From Persia to Bombay: Recipes & Tales from the Ancient Culture (Hardcover)
A SUNDAY EXPRESS BEST COOKBOOK OF THE YEAR
In more than 150 recipes, a journey into the world of Parsi culture through food, feasts, and family favorites-featuring original four-color photography and a foreword by Parsi scholar Homi Bhabha.
"I'm just bowled over by this book. It's as fascinating as it is beautiful, and full of food I'm desperate to eat!" -Nigella Lawson
“Jamva Chalo Ji,” a simple yet celebratory phrase in Parsi-Gujarati, translates literally as “Come, let's eat!”-though it doesn't take much cajoling to gather a crowd around a Parsi table. Laden with lamb stews, quails stuffed with biryani, salads of fennel and peas, and semolina pudding, each spread is rich with the sumptuous Persian and Indian flavors of cardamom and masala, coconut and mango-and in Parsi, chef Farokh Talati invites home chefs to join the feast in the first major cookbook of its kind.
Featuring step-by-step photographs that teach the best way to crack a coconut at home, press homemade paneer from scratch, and preserve the most piquant pickled vegetables possible, Parsi is a guide not only to a unique cuisine but also a culture and family story preserved in its flavors. With recipes for staple chutneys and spice pastes traditionally ground by hand, soothing baked eggs and savory masala oats shared in the morning, platters of lamb-herb kebabs and cucumber-pomegranate salads shared at night, and rich raspberry wafer ice cream sandwiches and mango buttermilk pudding that pay homage to the sweet tooth of Talati's youth, Parsi is rich with the flavor of a culinary tradition well worth relishing.
Combining Talati's decades of experience as a professional chef in London's restaurant scene with recipes passed down from the home kitchens and dining tables of his ancestors, Parsi celebrates both festive dishes and everyday meals with a ringing “Jamva Chalo Ji.” Come, let's eat.
Farokh Talati's parents moved from Bombay to London before he was born, but growing up in a Parsi family, Farokh has been eating and cooking Parsi food for his whole life. He began working as a chef at just 16, cutting his teeth in the kitchens of Angela Hartnett and Heston Blumenthal, and has worked around the world in America, Spain, Dubai, Australia and South East Asia. Farokh is currently the Head Chef at London's St. John Bread and Wine and runs a spectacularly reviewed Parsi supper club in Greek Street, London, to celebrate the food of his heritage. This is his first book.
Instagram @123farokh / @parsicooking
“You'll find easy, quick riffs on these flavors along with intensive, showstopping mains in London-based chef Farokh Talati's debut book, Parsi: From Persia to Bombay: Try the Savory Masala Oats for the ultimate nourishing breakfast, then dig into Parsi-style curries, roasted and braised meats, and aromatic rice dishes.” —Food52, "Best Cookbooks to Give (& Get!) This Holiday Season"
“Parsi food is graceful and quiet. But the laughs and exclamations of delight shared over [Talati's food] speak volumes.” —VICE
“The adventurous will love meandering through this first cookbook by London-based chef Talati, smelling the imagined aromas of masala, jaggery (boiled sugarcane juice), ghee, drumstick vegetables, and the like … a very illuminating record of a cuisine that favors offal and meat over vegetables, and dotes on sweet things” —Booklist
“Recommended as an essential introduction to a distinctive foodway. The stunning visuals and delicious food, combined with rich history and stories, create a unique glimpse into Parsi culture.” —Library Journal
“[Talati] captures the joyful spirit of community in his debut cookbook, honoring Persian and Indian flavors in his everyday recipes as well as festive dishes designed for sharing.” —Shelf Awareness