This is an article I wrote recently for the Parsi Times. I couldn’t help but share it because I honestly think she’s amazing 🙂 In a time where people are bored of regular jobs and boring 9 to 5’s some people have pushed the boundaries and taken it a step further to do what they love and convert their hobby and skill into their profession. Meet case in point- Perzen Patel, better known as The Bawi Bride.
Perzen not only holds down a full time job but in the last 8 months has taken the culinary world by storm. Instead of following current trends or fads she’s stuck to her roots and what she loves and has created a trend of her own. In my opinion she’s single handedly made Parsi cuisine a lot more popular with a younger and newer generation and most importantly made it a lot more accessible. Perzen pens down all her Parsi recipes on her blog but along with that operates a weekend kitchen with a rotating menu where you can order from. Her menu includes staples like mutton/chicken dhansak, patra ni macchi and lagan nu custard which are tremendously popular with the non parsis but for us who enjoy a lot more she dishes out kopra pak, saas ni macchi, kebabs, curry chawal, jams, dips, mousse and a whole lot more.
After attending a cooking class held by her and sampling some of her stuff I decided to try more. I’m not the greatest dhansak fan nor do I swoon over patra ni macchi so while I tried both at the culinary class I decided to try something different.
The kheema kebabs are a refreshing change from the oil soaked kebabs I get and makes for a great addition to any meal. I found these to be so tasty I ended up eating most of them plain, just popping them into my mouth with great joy.
The prawn curry or kolmi curry as I fondly call it is a thick curry with a perfect blend of spices with ample prawn, in fact enough with each scoop of the curry. The surprise in the curry are some lovely potato wedges mixed in there which I’m not generally use to but I think it’s a great addition.
I’ve eaten Perzen’s lagan nu custard many times and can’t get enough of it but if you’re in the mood ask her to make the lagan nu custard ice cream for you and I can assure you, you will thank me. It’s her own concoction, something she stumbled upon by accident but believe me when I tell you it’s divine. It’s an ice cream version of this wonderful dessert.
Her kopra pak is wonderfully pink and generously garnished with chopped cashew nuts. She tells me it doesn’t have to be that colour but since most people over the years are use to it, they look at it very suspiciously if it isn’t the trademark rose pink.
The idea of documenting old recipes started with her wanting to learn how to cook traditional Parsi recipes after her marriage and before she knew it she’s become the go to person for many young folk on how to learn or order yummy bhonu. Perzen’s quest is to not only popularize her cuisine but highlight so many of our recipes which have been over shadowed by the dhansaks and macchis.
Saas ni Macchi – Picture Courtesy Bawi Bride
For many of the older lot who frown upon us younger folk and believe we’ve ‘lost’ our way and don’t pay attention to our roots, please take notice. Here is a young, trendy girl who single handedly made parsi food super cool. So much so that she has gujarathi clients coming to her class to learn the veg options along with her desserts. Here is someone who has taken parsi food way beyond the navjote/wedding baugs, the caterers and the small bhona na dabba’s in parsi homes.
The blog and menu are both increasingly popular and if these two weren’t enough to take up her time she’s started a new project where she’s crowd sourcing some of the best kept home secrets and recipes to compile into an e book! As they say, “opportunities don’t happen you create them!”
If you haven’t tried anything from the Bawi Bride kitchen I suggest you do so right away! For more info on her menu, blog and e book check – www.bawibride.com