Percy on my plate

In the last month of 2013, SodaBottleOpenerWala opened in Cyber ​​Hub, Gurgaon. An Iranian cafe, a tribute to the legacy of the Dead Cafe in Mumbai, Soda introduces Delhi to Persian food. Restaurant owner and owner Eddie Singh said, “We were going for an eclectic mix of Percy and Iranian food overlapping with Bombay street food. In the process, we brought Persian food to the Delhi plate. ” And the kitchen in the capital has been present for years under the supervision of the legendary Mrs. Dhun Bagli in the Percy Anjuman, it has never been on the food map of the city Hoi Poloi. Soda, its remarkably bizarre interior, a bakery corner that makes fresh cookies and nan khatai every day, suddenly makes pot ni macchi (steamed pomfret on banana leaves) and sali boti (meat curry with potato matchsticks or ‘sali’). Dining Dictionary of Delhi. The restaurant has two branches, one in Delhi and one in Gurgaon, and will soon open in Noida, Hyderabad and Bangalore. Something is definitely clicking.

Monkey Bar chef Manu Chandra said, “Like all other regional or community dishes, Indians are now eager to see food prepared within the country’s borders,” explaining the sudden spike in the popularity of cooking. Her restaurant menu includes a few Percy dishes, including Berry Pulao and Mutton Curry from The Percy Orderless. “As far as its appeal, Percy closes multiple checkpoints, be it in terms of taste, presentation or health. Also, it uses ingredients and cooking techniques that are not very common in our food stocks, ”he says.


Rahul Dua, who runs the well-known cafe Lota, agrees. He thinks he ate Percy food for the first time at a friend’s house about five years ago. “It was different than usual, yet there was something very comforting about it. I could eat it every day,” says Dua. The Persian dish that uses meat and seafood extensively is another big draw. He played with the idea of ​​introducing homemade Persian food in the format. “I thought people needed to eat this food”, which he achieved by opening Rustam’s Parsi Vonu in Adchini with his girlfriend Kainaz Contractor, whose family was the inspiration and source of the recipes.

The specialty of Persian dishes is the sweet, sour and spicy in the mixed palate, which most Indian dishes use cooking techniques such as frying and baking without the usual fried and fried. These recipes, though seemingly simple, require some ingredients that are not easily found in the city, as well as a specific introduction to the context. As Dua puts it, “I don’t think it would be possible to run a Percy restaurant without having a Percy chef or at least a Percy kitchen completely at home. Kainaj runs Rustam’s cock. ” In Soda, this work is done by chef Anahita Dhondi, who witnessed the Percy Revolution, as it were, first hand. “A few years ago, I was training at the Taj Mahal Hotel on Mansingh Road when Ratan Tata came and asked for a pot. The chefs stumbled because no one was familiar with Persian food. Today, in addition to being alone, big hotels like the Taj and Oberoi also have shali boti and dhan sak on their menus and buffet spreads, ”said Dhondi, who made Tata Machi, a staple of his Persian family.

Ingredients used include stock spice (no, not that), coriander-cumin spice, and a barrel of mature sugar-cane vinegar (made almost exclusively by EF Kolah & Sons of Navsari since 1885), which gives many a characteristic tang. Percy food. “Storage is pepper and garlic powder, and coriander is something like hot spices. You will find these in every Percy family, with each family having their own variant. By mixing them together, they are used to make Dhan Sak spices, ”says Dhondi. These elements are found only in Gujarat and Maharashtra, the last stronghold of the community.

Similarly, Dua and Contractor later use family recipes, virtually inheriting, to create a menu for Rustam that offers even lesser-known food to diners (not to mention the regular supply of raspberry soda, a favorite of the community). Wanted which has not been done before. Even those who have eaten a lot of Persian food on their travels tell us that they have never heard of something like rice porridge (rice, turmeric and usually a spicy curry of shrimp or vegetables) but they like it “, says Dua, who probably liked it the best. “It seems like, at some point in your life, you wanted to eat this food,” he said.

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