The traditional celebration feast at the Khan Market and Cyberhub, Gurgaon outlets till August 27

Noruz in Persia, Qajar Dynasty, WikipediaWords: Ambica Gulati

Pronounced nau roz, ‘nav’ (means new) and ‘roz’ (means day), the August 18 Navroz is not be confused with the Zoroastrian Jamshedi Navroze celebrated on March 21, 2015. On August 18, it’s the Pateti ‘(day) of penitence’ (from patet ‘confession’, hence also repentance and penitence). This is the day Parsis celebrate their arrival in India and the acceptance of their new homeland, says Chef Anahita Dhondy.

While the big guns such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted celebration wishes, and legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan went around wishing friends, we ‘commoners’ or food bloggers enjoyed the feast at SodaBottleOpenerWala with Chef Anahita giving us the flavours and fragrances of Parsi cuisine.

navroz thali, sodabottleopenerwalaOn offer here are both veg and non-veg thalis. And this is actually a traditional thali, matching the celebration mood with all that’s possible to stuff into your stomach and make it full for two days. There was badami chicken, mutton pulao, machhi patrani, semolina dessert, Irani kulfi falooda and more with brinjal pickle and aam chutney. On offer are also some innovative cocktails and mocktails.navroz drinks, sodanottleopenerwala

The mood being feisty and feasty, Chef Anahita told us that brinjal is the king of vegetables in countries such as Afghanistan, Iran, Persia of yore and treated us to a new layered brinjal dish. This you find in the veg thali!

Navroz style, drinks flowed, conversation glowed and the feast carried on till late, until we decided to vacate for more diners to partake their celebration meal.

Navroz Platter Cost: Veg – Rs 700++ and Non-Veg – Rs 800 ++

Venues: Gurgaon: SodaBottleOpenerWala, Cyber Hub, Shop No 3, DLF Cyber City, Phase II, Next to Building no 8, Gurgaon, Haryana. Contact No: +91-124-6518801

New Delhi72, Khan Market, New Delhi 110073; Contact No: +91-11-43504778/ 43504878

Navroz celebrations include

  • Spring cleaning to invite fresh beginnings
  • Dressing up in new and traditional clothes with prayers at the Fire Temple.
  • Breakfast to dinner with friends and family.

Traditional table

The number seven is considered magical, symbolising the seven elements–fire, earth, water, air, plants, animals and humans. The traditional table has seven items beginning with Paris letter ‘S’, known as Haft Sin. These signify life, health, wealth, abundance, love, patience and purity. These items are correlated to planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, and Sun and Moon.

"Haft Seen 1394 01" by Mandana asadi , WikipediaThe Haft Sin items are sabzeh (wheat or lentil sprouts representing rebirth), samanu (creamy pudding made from germinated wheat regarded as holy and symbolizes affluence), seeb (apple symbolizing health and beauty), senjid (dried fruit of lotus tree stands for love), sir (garlic regarded as medicinal and represents health), somagh (sumac berries signifying the color of the sun and the victory of good over evil) and serkeh (vinegar representing old age and patience)."Haft Seen 1393" by Mandana asadi , Wikipedia

Items include sonbol (hyacinth plant,a symbol of ‘fertility’ or continuous chain of human progeny), sekkeh (coins representing wealth), aajeel (dried nuts, berries and raisins), lit candles (enlightenment and happiness), a mirror (cleanness and honesty), decorated eggs (fertility), traditional Iranian pastries like baghlava, toot and naan-nokhodchi, a bowl of water with goldfish (very essential for the Nowruz table), rosewater (magical cleansing powers), national colors (for a patriotic touch) and a holy book (the Avesta, Qur’an, Bible, Torah or Kitáb-i-Aqdas) and/or a poetry book (either the Shahnama or the Divan of Hafiz).

(courtesy: Wikipedia)