Parsi Anjuman Dharamshala
Bahadurshah Zafar Marg, New Delhi
Tel: 011- 23238615
Meal for two:?Rs 600
Delhi seems to be having a love affair with Parsi food, thanks to Soda Bottle Openerwala. But that, with apologies, is Parsi food made for non-Parsis, as opposed to the Parsi food that Parsis themselves eat. If you want to try the real thing, we’d suggest the Parsi Anjuman dharamshala’s dining room. It’s run by the family who are the hereditary priests of the fire temple next door, and you can’t get more authentically Parsi than that. But please note, it’s not a restaurant, so you can’t just land up and order a meal; you must make a prior reservation, so they can prepare accordingly.
The place itself is absolutely no-frills: no Disneyfied Parsi decor; no cute Irani hotel signboards saying ‘No Combing Hair, No Flirting’ etc; this is a place designed for only one thing, and that is the serious enjoyment of food. We tucked into a splendid meal of brown rice with Parsi kebabs, followed by patra ni machhi, tangy salli chicken and their special dhansak, ending with a darkly caramelised lagan nu custard, fragrant with nutmeg. And we left promising ourselves that we’d come back for a nice high-cholesterol akoori and puro breakfast next Sunday. Authentic Parsi food has its own distinctive flavours, and not everybody will necessarily take to it. But our meal left me with memories of the best Parsi food I’ve ever had—Sunday lunches with Mrs Dadachanjee, my landlady in Mumbai from a time long past. That’s really saying something.