27 May 2016

Parsi Feast by Chef Pervez Patel at ITC Maurya, New Delhi

ITC Maurya organizes yet another super delicious festival at The Pavilion, and this time it’s one that brings back a lot of memories for me. Parsi Food Festival, named Jaamva Chalo Ji. The head chef for this festival is Chef Pervez Patel from the most exceptional Parsi restaurant in Mumbai- Ideal Corner in Fort. The festival held an all the more special place in my heart because of Ideal Corner. Multiple afternoons of mine have been spent at Ideal Corner when I was living in Mumbai- relishing Parsi dishes and getting food that tasted lip-smacking but as close to home-cooked food as possible. Getting all of that back while talking to Chef Pervez, I don’t think anybody was looking forward to the food more than I was. This 10-day long festival is on till the 29th of May, so go and get your share of Parsi goodness soon!

A typical Parsi restaurant will have such hilarious quotes, which by the way, should be at every restaurant! The same had been replicated at The Pavilion too. There was a makeshift corner that consisted of all things Parsi- paintings, an old motorbike, a carrom board with a wooden stool, and artefacts that were just like what you find in Parsi homes. A beautiful corner that was!

The festival showcases a little bit of everything- starters, main course, drinks and dessert. The Pavilion hosts one of the most delicious buffets in town, and the Parsi fare was kept in the Indian section. Big shiny utensils with Parsi delicacies, looking so good and calling out to people. Thick luscious curries, huge chunks of mutton, salli kept on the side, Parsi pickle (Gajar Mewa Nu Achar) too- the festival is a real treat for someone who wants to try authentic Parsi.

Parsi food is relished more than the other cuisines because of the very little use of oil. You don’t feel heavy after eating Parsi food. And dishes that have lentils and vegetables in the gravies can anyway not make you feel heavy and stuffed. I started off by trying the Gosht Na Kebab and Tarkari Na Kebab. The Gosht was obviously the best- such tender minced mutton flavoured brilliantly! But the Tarkari Na Kebab was no less. It was as good as the Ghost, maybe even better, if I woudn’t be blind enough to love the gosht more. Aloo mixed with coriander and onion and fried to such softness. Patri Ni Machi- fish cooked in coraidner and wrapped with a banana leaf. Such tender yummy fish that needs nothing else to go with it. Relished my food with Raspberry Juice that was kept in a cute little container with a dispenser.

At times I don’t miss anything at home more than I miss the Akuri in Bombay. Chef Pervez got Bharuchi Akuri to ITC maurya, and that was my day made! Nobody makes eggs better than Parsis do, and Akuri is the best version that they do. The one that  Chef Pervez made was with dried raisins and cashews, and with the softest runny akuri ever! I cannot even describe the joy!!

Main course saw Salli Murgh, Gosht Na Dhansaak Daar, Tarkari Ni Dhansaak Daar and Parsi caramelized rice with chapati and sadiya (sago chips). The Salli Murgh was the perfect comfort dish loaded with flavour and cooked in a tomato curry with onions. Gosht and Tarkari Ni Dhansaak are the typical dishes made in Parsi households. The gravy is made with lentils, and in the non vegetarian one it was cooked with gosht so it had more flavour for me, but the vegetarian one cooked with vegetables is the perfect dish for vegetarians without sacrificing on the taste. Food that’s light and brilliantly spiced. Parsi food, as told by Chef Pervez, is not about masalas and spices, it’s more about the flavour. And flavour is what we completely dig!


No meal ends without dessert, and the Lagan nu Custard was another thing that brought back Mumbai for me. The patent Parsi dessert with a flavour of cardamom. This was topped with chironji seeds for an extra flavour. But what was even more impressive than the Lagan nu Custard were the other two desserts- Sev which was fried and sweetened. Very crisp, very delightful, not at all overly sweet and a dessert we don’t find at restaurants. My mother makes this at home, and I’m glad I got to try the version by Chef Pervez. The Rewa was made with milk, sugar and semolina, topped with dried rose petals and absolutely delightful! Thick luscious and a dessert that warms your heart. An extraordinary meal for me, made with so much love and effort. Chef Pervez has once again proved why his restaurant is the best when it comes to Parsi food and how he’s people’s preferred choice for Parsi caterings and feasts. An extremely sweet person, very warm and welcoming, ever-so-willing to share any insights that you ask of him. The warm person that he is reflects in his food too. We ended our meal with Parsi chai, that was just what you needed after all the over-eating and tummy filling. Do not miss the Parsi fare while the festival is still on! ITC is ever-so-warm in its hospitality and houses this Parsi feast beautifully.

Contact: 011 26112233
Address: ITC Maurya, Sardar Patel Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi
Timings: 24 hours

Disclaimer: The review was done on an invitation from the establishment. All views expressed belong entirely to me and are completely unbiased in nature. However, readers may exercise their own discretion.

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