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percyn

eG Food Blog: Percyn (2011)

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Looking forward to this, a great week to be in India! Thing are pretty hectic in Allahabad so it must be insane in Mumbai!

Btw, I would argue that it is a fallacy that most of India's population is vegetarian. The figures I have seen range from 30-50% as vegetarians. Of course, for many people meat consumption is limited by income.

Oh, and whilst you are in Maharashtria, will you please eat a vada pav for me? Cannot get satisfcatory ones around here :(

Jenni,

Streets are filled with vendors decorating their stalls with bright shiny lights.

Traffic in Mumbai is crazier than usual.

I am now convinced that India is a country of faith - not just religious faith, but also faith that there is an invisible shield of protection that covers the vehicle you operate as it comes hurling onto incoming traffic and pedestrians play a real life version of the game Frogger.

Yes, you are correct that meat consumption is limited by income, but I am surprised to see that only 30%-50% of Indians are vegetarians.

Jenni, may I request you to be the resident Indian expert and keep me honest through the blog?

ETA: I must have read your mind as I had excellent Vada Pau in Pune yesterday. Will post the pics shortly.

You describe what you're living so perfectly. You must be a writer of novels. I laughed out loud with the Frogger comparison!

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YAY!! I got so excited when I saw it was you blogging this week, and even more so now that I see you're in India! Awesome.

For those of you that don't already know, Percy is quite the accomplished cook. Speaking as one that's had the pleasure of both his company and his cuisine, I'm excited to see what gets made this week. I still dream about the Akoori. Best eggs ever!

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Jenni, may I request you to be the resident Indian expert and keep me honest through the blog?

Definitely not, you are far more of an expert. Especially for Parsi stuff which is way out of my knowledge.

Talking of, I hope you will try and show off some dhansak (complete with brown rice and all) during this week. A friend from the Parsi community, who very sadly has now passed away, first introduced me to a veggie version of this (she cooked and served the meat separate) of this dish and I fell in love.

Also interested if you have any special plans for Diwali, even though your family are Parsi. I plan on eating a lot (going to a friends place for dinner), oh and going to see Ra.One which is Shah Rukh Khan's huge Diwali release!

Sent from my HTC Wildfire S A510e using Tapatalk

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Oops, can no longer edit but I see you already mention that you were hoping to make dhansak!

In that case, I request that you illustrate something else I learnt from the aforementioned friend: That a parsi can make anything "par eeda"! Bheeda par eeda would be tasty, but kera par eeda would be more fun! I don't eat eggs but I am still fascinated by it all.

Btw, did a double take at those batasa. I was trying to work it out until I looked at the link and it said NOT to be confused with batasha!

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Jenni,

Today being Kali Chaudas or the Indian version of Halloween, we are going to a Gujurati friend's house to eat Dahi Vada. Not sure what the significance of that specific dish is to this occasion but will try to find out.

Yesterday being Dhanteras, people were buying gold from the jewelry stores and flowers from the street.

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Tomorrow is Diwali and we will probably "BBQ" / grill outside and light some fireworks.


Edited by percyn (log)

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Oops, can no longer edit but I see you already mention that you were hoping to make dhansak!

In that case, I request that you illustrate something else I learnt from the aforementioned friend: That a parsi can make anything "par eeda"! Bheeda par eeda would be tasty, but kera par eeda would be more fun! I don't eat eggs but I am still fascinated by it all.

Btw, did a double take at those batasa. I was trying to work it out until I looked at the link and it said NOT to be confused with batasha!

No problem. Bheeda per Eeda is delicious. Honestly, I don't remember the last time I had Kera (Plantins/Banana) per Eeda and will try to make some for the blog.

As your friend and kind soul Sue Darlow had pointed out, there are many many versions of eggs that the Parsis enjoy and some have even been taught at the Cordon Blue. I collect old cookbooks and have several hand written personal recipe books and will continue my hunt on this trip as well.

Part of a project I would like to undertake is to document senior members of the Parsi community narrate recipes, stories, etc and capture it and make it available for all before many of these are lost forever.

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Really looking forward to this!

Me too. But it looks like we're not going to see pics of those beautiful, cholesterol laden, breakfasts. :biggrin:

Fear not, I will post plenty of breakfasts.


Edited by percyn (log)

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Part of a project I would like to undertake is to document senior members of the Parsi community narrate recipes, stories, etc and capture it and make it available for all before many of these are lost forever.

This would be fantastic, I wish you luck.

And yes, thanks to Sue I was able to steer my brother towards many new egg dishes...he hates okra though, the heathen!

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Wonderful blog, Percyn. So far, fascinating, full of new information and looking forward to seeing the photos of the food. We love Indian food but are not very familiar with much of it. It's so huge a topic.


Edited by Darienne (log)

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This is wonderful.....all the things I like best in one place.....travel, exotic (to me) food, and an inside look at daily life.

Thanks so much for taking us along!

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Now for some catch-up posts....

To prove that I do eat vegetarian occasionally....meals that is ....

Fresh Sugarcane juice

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Dhai Potato Puri - fried puffs stuffed with potatoes, cilantro, date and tamarind chutney and topped with yoghurt and sev

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Platter of Dhokla, Kachori and Samosas

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Vada - Spiced potato fritters

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Shrikhand and Potato Puri

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Sitaful (custard apple) ice cream

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ETA: Truth be told, my 8yr old nephew who accompanied us for this meal was pouting because there was no meat, so to him it was an incomplete meal. :raz:


Edited by percyn (log)

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A trip to the fish market..

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Fresh Bombay Duck - a local specialty.

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Wild caught shrimp - probably size U-8

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Black Pomfret

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Regular Pomfret

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Cut to order

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You describe what you're living so perfectly. You must be a writer of novels. I laughed out loud with the Frogger comparison!

Shelby, I am afraid I am the furtherest person from a novelist I know.

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I forgot to mention Chikki! Did you make a stop anywhere near Lonavala and sample some? The variety the shops have is amazing.

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Your vegetarian photos made me salivate, just looking at them. :wub: :wub:

I would love to try custard apple ice cream. Aha. Googled it and found it's like a cherimoya. We don't get them up in the far frozen north very often, but I do like them.

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A trip to the fish market..

This is fascinating. Can you elaborate on the "Bombay fresh duck"? How does it taste, and how is it prepared typically?

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Looking forward to your reports Percy, sorry to hear about the camera troubles! Hope you can work it out, but in the interim, the iPhone will do...

We had been wondering why we didn't see you at the Han Dynasty dinner at Le Bec Fin, but a flight to India is a pretty good excuse. If you're curious, I posted some pics here.

I'll join Katie in testifying that Percy's cooking skill is quite impressive, so I look forward to any documentation of dhansak preparation. I still dream of that dhansak...

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A trip to the fish market..

This is fascinating. Can you elaborate on the "Bombay fresh duck"? How does it taste, and how is it prepared typically?

I'm wondering the same thing. In Eastern Canada we have "Digby Chicken" which is actually smoked herring. Do tell . . .

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Another question from cold North America:

Fresh Sugarcane juice

Is that glass full of the juice that simply gets squeezed out of the cane?

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I can't speak for Percyn's glass of juice but can tell that it is what we get here in Southern California - usually from Vietnamese vendors- and often served with kumquat to squeeze in for tartness. The canes are processed in a hand cranked or electrical machine that squeezes every bit of juice out. Shockingly sweet to me without the citrus "cut". Really nice over ice.

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A trip to the fish market..

This is fascinating. Can you elaborate on the "Bombay fresh duck"? How does it taste, and how is it prepared typically?

Bombay duck or lizard fish is prepared in 2 main ways - fresh, which is marinated with garlic, ginger, tumeric, chili peppers, coated with semolina flour and pan fried (as indicated below). It has a delicate flavor with a slightly gelatinous inside with a crispy outside.

Another version uses dried bombay ducks, but I don't recall the last time I had those as the smell is 3 times stronger than salt dried Cod and it is much stronger in flavor.

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My sister in law also made this - Papeta Ma Gohst (potatoes with meat) which is sort of a light stew, simple and delicious. The best part is sucking out the marrow from the bones.

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Edited by percyn (log)

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Looking forward to your reports Percy, sorry to hear about the camera troubles! Hope you can work it out, but in the interim, the iPhone will do...

We had been wondering why we didn't see you at the Han Dynasty dinner at Le Bec Fin, but a flight to India is a pretty good excuse. If you're curious, I posted some pics here.

I'll join Katie in testifying that Percy's cooking skill is quite impressive, so I look forward to any documentation of dhansak preparation. I still dream of that dhansak...

I should have asked you to accompany me on the trip as the official photographer. :raz:

Katie and you are too kind. The truth is that I am, unfortunately, a better eater than a cook.

So bummed that I missed the Han - Le Bec Fin dinner. I had spoken to Chef Elmi about the dinner a month or so ago on a visit to Le Bec. Will have to see if Han and he are willing to do another smaller private dinner :wink:


Edited by percyn (log)

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A few misc snacks along the way...

Patra- A snack made with Tarro leaved and Chickpea flour.

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Jalebi - Fried dough spirals soaked in sugar syrup

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Being made

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Sweet Lassi topped with Malai (cream)

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Another question from cold North America:

Fresh Sugarcane juice

Is that glass full of the juice that simply gets squeezed out of the cane?

Yes, it is fresh squeezed sugar cane juice and as Heidi points out, it is ground in a hand cranked or motorized press along with, in this case, ginger and lime to give it some depth of flavor.

I have other pics which I need to download and will post them extracting the juice.

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It is a little after 8am as I type this overlooking a 270 degree view of 5 valleys. Will post pic soon.

Have to go to the market to pic up some fresh minced meat and a few items for breakfast.

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