Fire and Spice: Parsi Cooking
Westrip, in this follow-up to her book of recipes for Indian nobility, begins with a brief overview of the Parsi people: descendents of Persians, the Parsi were Zoroastrians who left what is now Iran over 1,000 years ago and settled in India. The recipes here are spicy and intriguing, recognizably Indian but unique in their approach. Though the Parsi don't have the same dietary restrictions as their Muslim and Hindu neighbors, they do shun beef and pork out of respect. Their fondness for goat shows in Kid with Potatoes; for offal in Lambs Tongue and Lentil; and, in the form of patties or spiced and pickled, for a ""pungent""-possibly ""offensive""-type of fish known as Bombay Duck. A selection of rice dishes and desserts is less distinctively Parsi, but delicious. Unfortunately, Westrip does not include explanations of common Indian ingredients, such as ghee. The only other caveat goes to dieters: the Parsi fondness for frying is fully evident here. However, as Westrip points out, this is the only Parsi cookbook in print in America, so it will surely be of great interest to cooks looking to spice up their Indian standards.