Parsis are an endangered species of people, their population is declining, so not many people know a lot of Parsi people, and everybody tends to be related to all the other Parsis that are there in some or the other, near or distant way. Parsi culture and traditions have fascinated me for a very, very long time. I am a super huge fan of the Parsi gado work on sarees and dresses, of Parsi cuisine (what little I can manage due to being a vegetarian), Parsi cafes, festivals, places, everything. Udvada is undoubtedly one of my favorite go-to spots when I need a break from the monotony of daily life.
Go to any Parsi household on any auspicious day and along with the Dhandar-Patio you will always find a bowl of Parsi Sev which is traditionally served with sweet yogurt (mithoo dahi). From birthdays to jashans and from weddings to just a family get-together, the Parsi Sev will always hold a pride of place on the table.
Made from roasted vermicelli – most Parsis globally exclusively use the Elephant brand – and topped with fried raisins, cashews and almonds, this sweet treat can be had for breakfast, lunch or dinner or tea-time or any other time that the tummy gives a growl.
I have had the fortune of having quite a few good Parsi friends, including my bestie; and I take complete liberty to ask, request, beg, threaten and in every possible imaginable way, get a bowl of the sagan ni sev on their new year – Navroz.
So, this time on the occasion of Navroz, my bestie lands on my door in the morning. I wish him Navroz Mubarak, as goes the traditional greeting for the day and get a dabba full of the very delicious sagan ni sev.
Sagan ni sev, is made from roasted vermicelli with a ton of dry fruits, ghee and sugar. From what I know a lot of Parsis prefer to use the Elephant brand of vermicelli but there can be individual preferences too. They say, the biggest ingredient in preparing this sev is patience, try to rush things and you end up with a sticky mass that Parsis would call ‘londo’.
The sev is very thin, unlike the sev that is made in Gujarati households over Holi. It has loads and loads of dry fruits roasted in ghee. It is mildly sweet, and extremely delicious. It has a slightly chewy texture, and yet it is soft and smooth. It has this delicate and fragile feel, that makes it a beauty to not just taste but also to look at. Some people prefer a darker roast giving it a much darker brown shade, while some keep it light brown.
The bawi bride has always helped me understand a lot about Parsi cuisine, and her recipes have inspired me to try on some of the vegetarian delicacies like lagan nu custard, kopra pak, etc.
India is a country of diversities and celebrating Navroz with my Parsi friends is a delight I always look forward to. And whenever I get the sagan ni sev, I am a happy soul and feel blessed to know such happy, sweet Parsi souls who share their joy with me through the super delicious sev.
One Comment Add yours
Reblogged this on blackbeautyandme.