Hyatt ma Rehvanu, Soma ma Jamvanu, Majja ni Life
Recently, we had the opportunity to try Parsi dishes by home chef Farzana Avari at the Parsi Food Festival at Soma, Grand Hyatt Mumbai. The “Parsi Bhonu” dinner is on till November 27, 2017. There is an array of dishes to choose from their a la carte menu curated by expert industrial chef Farzana.
Chef Farzana Avari has a wide experience across various hotel brands. The chef also guides budding chefs with her expertise. As her speciality is Parsi cuisine, she brings to Soma patrons choicest Parsi fare, which includes the popular dishes like Patra ni Macchi, Lagan nu Stew, Murghi na Frilly Cutlets, Lagaan nu Custard, Kopra nu Paak, etc.
When we entered Soma, we were greeted by serving staff dressed in Parsi attire. At one corner, there was a fun Parsi setup, which was very pleasing to the eyes. As soon as we settled down, we were offered Parsi non-alcoholic drinks that came in cute little bottles. Both the drinks Strawberry Soda and Ice Cream Soda were fun to sip, while we soaked into the Parsi vibe at Soma!
In the menu, there are a wide variety of non-vegetarian dishes to choose from. But there are good vegetarian Parsi dishes too, though they have limited choices in this. In the Appetisers, we tried Gosht na Kebabs, Khatto Mittho Kheema na Patties, Kolmi na Kebab and Salli par Eeda. There were vegetarian options too, like the Tarela Vengna ni Katri (a grilled-eggplant appetiser) or the Tarkari na Patties (mixed veggies and potato patties).
The Gosht na Kababs had a crispy cover of poppy seeds. Inside, was a medium-spicy lamb mince. The dish was served with chopped onions, coriander and chillies. We tried this with a Parsi condiment called Lagan nu Achaar or Lagan nu Chutney, which was sweet and spicy. It had a magical amalgamation of dates, raisins, carrots and Parsi Vinegar, among other ingredients. The combo was an apt start to the lavish Parsi fare that followed soon!
We tried the jumbo Khatto Mittho Kheema na Patties after that. Lamb mince mixed with peas and mashed potatoes in a tangy stuffing is definitely worth tasting. These are quite filling and taste great with or without traditional Parsi condiments. The tang comes from the addition of barrel-matured Parsi vinegar from Navsari, and the chef uses the Kolah brand for all her Parsi cooking.
She also adds sugar or jaggery to give the stuffing an overall sweet-sour taste. The Patties were quite good and we couldn’t stop ourselves from eating a huge portion of it.
The flavour bomb was Kolmi na Kebab. These deep-fried balls were spicy and had prawns in the stuffing. We loved this dish!
The love for eggs in the Parsi community is apparent from the use of eggs in a large number of dishes. The Salli par Eeda is a good example. An excellent side-dish, the Salli par Eeda is basically eggs on potato straws. I think any Eeda (egg) dish is a must-have whenever ordering Parsi food. It simply elevates the experience!
Among the Main-Course options, we chose Patra ni Machhi, Chutney Boomla, Salli Boti and Dhansak. One portion of Patra ni Macchi is enough to fill your stomach if you had those appetisers before. Pomfret coated in a spicy green chutney, wrapped in banana leaf and steamed, tasted like heaven. The fish was fresh and the dish was very flavourful. Highly recommended.
The Parsi preparation called Chutney Boomla was the Dish of the Day! Bombay Duck cooked in a spicy green sauce was right down my alley! The Boomla or Bombay Duck was soft and succulent, with the green sauce perfectly complimenting the delicate flavour of the fish.
The outstanding dish in the whole Parsi menu at Soma, Grand Hyatt Mumbai, was Salli Boti. Onion, tomato, Parsi vinegar and spices created this robust, rich Salli Boti dry-gravy, which was absolutely mouth-watering. The mutton was fall-off-the bone and since it was cooked with marrow-rich bones, the flavour was intensified further. We enjoyed this dish with Gujarati-cuisine-influenced Parsi breads: the Ghau ni Rotli (whole-wheat roti flavoured with ghee) and Chokha ni Rotli (rice-flour bread or roti).
The Gosht Dhansak was a hearty meal in itself. They have two options in this, either mutton or chicken. I won’t say that it was the best Dhansak I have ever eaten, as the meat (mutton) was a bit chewy and the gravy could have been better. Still, it was a good dish and tasted well with brown rice and meatballs.
In the desserts, the Lagan nu Custard was delicious! This egg-and-milk custard was perfectly baked and tasted just like it should be. The addition of Charoli or Chironji nuts made it taste like a perfect Parsi wedding dessert. Other Parsi desserts like Sev Dahi, Ravo and Kopra no Paak featured in the Parsi Food Festival menu.
Parsi food is influenced from Iranian, Gujarati, British, Goan and Portuguese ways of cooking. The dishes are beautiful in terms of variety and flavour. If you are in for yummy Parsi food this weekend, head straight to Soma, Grand Hyatt Mumbai. Please note that the Parsi Food Festival curated by Chef Farzana Avari is on till November 27, 2017 only.
For more details and reservations, call 91 22 66761149, 7045950148 or book online at http://bit.ly/2zJg8zJ.
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