According to the Zoroastrian calendar, today Parsis’ celebrate Navroz, new year. On this day, this joyful little community does exactly what they love doing – Eat. Drink. Be Merry. Like in all other festivals, food plays a major role here too. So, our last post was about the foods for this Pateti and here we bring you desserts for this special day. For those who haven’t yet tried Parsi cuisine, here’s a chance to try some. Check out the easy recipes by Bawi Bride:
1. Ravo – Parsi Style Kheer
It may sound like an exaggeration but its not. Made from fine semolina, this Parsi version of the Kheer is a dish that everyone is familiar with because of its synonymity with happy occasions.
120 gm ravo/semolina
850 ml milk
200 gm sugar
2 tbsp ghee
1 tsp nutmeg and cardamom powder
180 mls water
Pista and almond flakes (not to be fried)
20 gms each charoli and raisins
20 gms sliced cashews
- Take a large non-stick saucepan, put some ghee and semolina and cook on a slow heat until the rava absorbs the ghee. Keep frying till it takes on a nice ivory colour.
- Add water and sugar and keep stirring until all the sugar has melted and a thick mixture forms.
- Keep the gas flame low and continue to stir. With the other hand, add in the milk in a slow trickle until all of it has been added.
- Stirring the Ravo mixture to ensure no lumps
- Raise the flame and keep stirring for another 10 minutes till a thick liquid forms. Once the milk has been soaked up, taste to check that it is cooked. Sprinkle in the nutmeg and cardamom and cook on slow for 3 – 5 minutes.
- Nutmeg and cardamom in Ravo
- As the ravo thickens, it has a tendency to form small granules. Stir these with the back of your spoon as the perfect Ravo must be smooth. Once the Ravo is thick and sticky remove from the fire and mix in the vanilla essence. Empty the Ravo into the dishes you are going to be serving it in and let it cool.
- Meanwhile, in a small pan, heat some oil and quickly fry the charoli, pistachios, cashews, raisins and almonds – it will only take about a minute. Once the dry fruits are ready, simply garnish the Ravo with the dry fruits and Voila!
2. Lagan Nu Custard
Another iconic dessert that Parsis are known for, Lagan Nu Custard is a yummy dish full of sultanas and garnished with cashews, almonds and pistachios.
1.5 litres milk
1/3 tin condensed milk
300 gm sugar
1/2 teaspoon cardamom and nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla essence
Handful of boiled and sliced almonds/pistachios (optional)
- Boil milk in a large non-stick pan. Once boiled, remove from the heat and stir in the condensed milk and sugar. Cook over a slow fire. Sugar addicts – now is the time to taste the milk. If you feel you need more sugar, add some in. Now comes the fun part – you have to keep stirring this for a good 15 minutes until sugar is melted, the milk sticky and ivory in colour. Remove from the gas and cool.
- While this is happening, in a steel bowl beat the eggs, vanilla, nutmeg and cardamom until frothy.
- Stir this mixture into the cooled milk. If the milk is too hot, your egg is going to get scrambled so don’t rush this step! Once it’s all mixed, grease a large baking dish and pour the mixture in. You can even bake the custard in individual pots.
- Put the dish in a pre-heated oven and bake until golden (at least an hour on about 220 degrees celsius). Garnish with the nuts and pop it back in the switched off oven.
- Chill and serve – it tastes best the next day once the custard is set. Cut into small pieces and serve the family to ensure all eight people do indeed get served.
3. Badam Nu Custard
Made using milk, eggs, sugar and condensed milk, this dessert is a true indulgence and a staple in many Parsi households.
1/2 cup almonds blanched
1/4 cup rose water
1.5 litres milk
1.5 cup sugar
1/3 tin condensed milk
3/4 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp nutmeg and cardamom powder
butter for greasing the baking dish
1/2 cup almonds blanched and rose petals for garnish
- Start by placing the milk in a large heavy bottomed vessel and bring it to a quick boil.
- Heat Milk for Badam nu Custard
- While this is happening, boil and peel the almonds.
- Grind these almonds along with the rose water.
- Once the milk has come to a boil, add in the sugar and cook it over a medium flame. Stir the milk continuously until almost a quarter has evaporated. Remove from the fire and add in condensed milk. Stir and cool. Also, at this point, preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
- Reduce Milk for Badam nu Custard
- Next, whisk the eggs and add in the nutmeg-cardamom powder. Add this egg mixture as well as the almonds to the milk.
- Whisk eggs and mix eggs and elaichi.
- Pour the custard mixture in a large baking dish and bake at 200 degrees for 40 – 45 minutes. Garnish the custard with some sliced almonds and bake for another 10 minutes until the top is golden brown.
- Bake for 45 mins, chill the custard prior to serving. Enjoy it with some vanilla ice-cream or just by itself.
4. Mawa Nu Kopra Pak
1.5 fresh coconuts
1/2 kg sugar
1 litre milk
50 gm broken cashew
1 tsp crushed cardamom powder
1 tsp icecream essence
1 tbsp ghee
1 drop pink food colouring
- Take a heavy bottomed non-stick pan and warm the milk. Add in the coconut and sugar.
- Keep stirring the mixture to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom – it will take approximately 40 – 50 minutes for the milk to completely reduce.
- When the mixture thickens and starts to become dry, add in the ghee, essence and crushed cardamom seeds.
- Keep mixing for another 2-3 minutes to ensure the essence and spices are completely mixed. Now, mix in the pink food colouring. If your prefer to have your food artificial colour free you can also skip out on adding the pink colour and it won’t affect the flavour.
- Remove in a glass bowl and let it cool. To finish, garnish with the broken cashew nuts (you may also add almond slivers if you are feeling a bit fancy).
Recipes And Photographs By Perzen Patel