Soonoo, despite her gorgeous smile, was gruffly shouting at someone down the phone in Parsi-Gujarati just before I walked into her shop ‘Faredoon & Burjor’ on Princess Street, Bombay, where she runs a pretty tight ship selling beautiful Zoastrian religious paraphanalia out of hundreds of old wooden cabinets.
The Parsis, ‘Persians’ who subscribe to Zoastrianism, one of the oldest religions in the world fled Iran in the 10th century to avoid persecution by Muslim leaders. They worship fire and their mantra is simply, ‘good thoughts, good words and good deeds’
Theirs are the Irani cafes of Bombay which are fast vanishing where the food is a mix of Persia meets India with a few eccentricities thrown in for good measure, like their love for eggs and Worcester sauce.
Soonoo’s favourite Parsi dish is ‘saas ni maachi’ which literally translated is ‘fish in sauce’. Typically the fish is pomfret and the sauce is made up of garlic, butter, flour eggs and fish stock with a bit of chilli thrown in for good measure.