I have never tried Parsi food before, so when my brother (and fellow foodie) suggested I try Parsi food, I was game! You can read all about Parsi cuisine here. Delhi has an enviable selection of restaurants specialising in regional cuisine and it seems Parsi food is a firm favourite. We went to a restaurant called SodaBottleOpenerWala, a chain of delectable restaurants with a tongue twister of a name. They are a modern interpretation of a Parsi-Bombay-Irani cafe – similar in concept to Dishoom in London.
The interior design is a contemporary take on the traditional cafe – red and white chequered table cloth, juke boxes, handwritten blackboards, neon signs and vintage style posters, creating a colourful and pleasantly incongruous look.
We tried the Mutton Dhansak as recommended by our server. It is a classic Parsi dish of lentils and meat and came served with caramelised brown rice and salad. The portion size was enough for one person. The Dhansak itself was quite light and flavoursome, with silky smooth lentils as base. The meat was well-cooked, though personally it could have done with some more chunks of meat.
We also ordered the Salli Chicken – a chicken version of the famous Parsi dish called Salli Boti that derives its name from the crispy thin potato sticks (‘salli’ aka matchsticks). It is a great example of how to add a luxurious crunch and texture to a curry. The sauce had a gentle heat and the chicken was really tender.
We ordered some Malai Paratha to mop up all that delicious curry with!
But the standout dish of the evening was the Akuri – a classic Parsi dish of spicy soft scrambled eggs served with thickly-cut hot buttered toast. This was a definite winner for me and was chowed down in seconds. The eggs were delicious and cooked the perfect amount of runny, with a hint of spice and lots of fresh herbs. This is perfect hangover bashing food!
For me, the small plates section are probably the ones to order in this restaurant. It truly gives us a gentle introduction to this lesser known cuisine outside of India. The atmosphere is lively and buzzy, and is a great place to go with a bunch of mates, but equally suitable for a casual family dinner out.
More information can be found here.
N.B. All opinions expressed and photographs used in this blog post are my own. I review anonymously and pay for my meals.