The Persians fled Iran and arrived on the shores of India some 1200 years ago, bringing with them some amazing spices and flavours. In India, the community has evolved over the years to be called Parsis. On the occasion of Parsi New Year, we compile a list of cafes serving the best Parsi food across the country.
Britannia and Co Restaurant, Mumbai
Synonymous with the warmth of Parsi hospitality, this restaurant has been a cultural landmark for Mumbaikars ever since its launch in 1923. Led by Mr Boman Kohinoor, a Zoroastrian immigrant from Iran, the place has stood the test of time and offers a slice of Parsi history along with delectable house favourites, such as sali boti, chicken berry pulav, and mutton dhansak. If you happen to strike a conversation with Mr Kohinoor, ask him about the journey of Zoroastrian culture into India’s cuisine. Save your appetite for the caramel custard (the dessert is an institution in itself!).
The tallest name in the capital’s Parisian culinary circle, Soda Bottle Openerwala is the quintessential Irani cafe that serves finger licking good marghi na farcha, along with large doses of nostalgia. With branches in New Delhi, Gurugram, and Mumbai, the restaurant is leading the league of modern day neighbourhood Iranian restaurant. The papeta par eeda and mutton berry pulav are other dishes to look forward to. The charming vibe of the place will remain with you for a very long time.
Earlier based out of Adchini in south Delhi, Rustom’s recently shifted homes to manage the canteens of Delhi Parsi Anjuman on Bahadurshah Zafar Marg with a new brand name, Parsi Bhonu. Here the atmosphere is elevated to reflect the refined tastes of the community with background music emphasising on old-school classics, such as The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis etc. From small plates, such as chilli cheese toast, frill chicken cutlet pao, to bigger servings of mutton dhansak, soya pattice—it is an exciting place for all kinds of gourmands.
The Mancherji’s, Kolkata
Started by Parsi-Bangladeshi couple, Supriya and Machi Mancherji, the place is one of the last standing Parsi cafes in Kolkata, and revered by Parsi food lovers. It initially served only Parsi food, from akoori to patrenu machchi, and laganu custard, before moving on to inculcating local flavours in its menu. The spices here are specially flown in Mumbai and Pune—home to the largest Parsi community in India.
My Way Little Dinette, Bengaluru
A charming new offering on the Dickenson Road, My Way Little Dinette is already winning hearts for its home-cooked-style food, pretty ambience, and friendly service. The exposed brick exteriors with green windows and bright pink railings and magenta table tops make for an exciting vibe. The cartoon caricatures on the walls add to the place’s charm. The star dishes here include brain cutlets, mutton kheema pattice, sali boti, and patra ni machchi.