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Stirring up Parsi delights for over half-a-century

Parsi food in Delhi? Well, you need not go to Mumbai or some place in Gujarat where a majority of the Parsis stay, but here is a place where you get to relish authentic Parsi food, known for its unique flavour, Nivedita Khandekar tells more.

delhi Updated: Jan 10, 2008 17:04 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

Parsi food in Delhi? Well, you need not go to Mumbai or some place in Gujarat where a majority of the Parsis stay, but here is a place where you get to relish authentic Parsi food, known for its unique flavour.

The Bagli Kitchen serving out of the Delhi Parsi Anjuman premises on the Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg is the place to be if you want to savour dhansak, sali murghi or patra ni machchi. Manager of the Delhi Parsi Anjuman’s guest house, Dhun Bagli — the force behind the Bagli Kitchen — has been running the service for more than five decades now. But mind you, this is not a restaurant where you can enjoy food at any given time.

This is a catering service and the orders have to be placed before hand. “We have been catering for Parsi weddings for many years. But last year, a non-Parsi gentleman attended one reception here by chance and almost fell in love with the cuisine. Inquiries followed and he ended up ordering for a party at his place soon,” says Bagli.

The word of mouth publicity brought in further orders from the non-Parsi Delhiites thus reiterating the popularity of Bagli’s traditional Parsi dishes cooked in authentic style. So even if you have had chicken or mutton dishes countless times, sali murghi will bowl you over.

While your regular biryani or pulao will have meat, here dhansak offers meat (chicken or mutton both) in dal, which makes for a different taste altogether. For the fish lovers, it is patra ni machchi (fish wrapped in green chutney and salt in banana leaf and steamed). Other dishes on the menu are brown rice (rice caramelised with a pinch of jaggery), fried stew and chicken zardaloo etc.

Whatever be the dish, original Parsi masala makes it special.“We get all the masalas, including the dhansak masala, from Mumbai. Even our pickles are different and people like those too,” says Bagli. Another popular item is lagan-nu-custard (milk and sugar baked thick with egg and garnished with chironji and kismish).

The Baglis have a cook with them since 1952, who prepares specialty Parsi dishes. Expressing happiness that the Parsi food is slowly and steadily making inroads into the national capital’s food calendar, Bagli says she and her team is ready to cater to a large order too.