patra ni macchi 1My favourite wedding receptions are Parsi receptions. They’re light hearted, everyone has fun, alcohol is always available yet no one goes silly over it, the band plays classic hits, old aunties and uncles shake a leg. And all of this is a side show to the main attraction – the food. Glorious, glorious Parsi food.

Having grown up with Parsi neighbours in Bandra and gone to a Parsi school, I am very familiar with their cuisine and absolutely love it. I always look forward to a Parsi wedding invitation because not only do you get served a feast featuring some of their best dishes, when you opt for a non vegetarian meal that is pretty much all you get on your plate 😀

The meal is almost always a sit down affair and there’s always a beeline for the first sitting. The caterers do grudgingly accommodate vegetarians, but relegate them to a corner of the seating area as a silent protest. My poor dad who is a vegetarian would eat his meal with other vegetarian guests, while my mother, sister and I would join the throngs for the non vegetarian meal.

A particular favourite of mine from this wedding feast is Patra ni Machhi or fish in banana leaves. This is made with Pomfret fillets which are coated with a green chutney and then wrapped with banana leaves. These parcels are then placed in a pan and steamed with some vinegar and water. The preparation is quite simple and its the chutney that gives the dish all its flavour – a soft mixture of fresh coconut, coriander leaves, ginger, garlic, green chilli, cumin seeds, pepper and lemon juice.


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