Welcome To Delna’s Kitchen

Brief history of my culinary experiences

Delna

    Delna

I have had the privilege to live and experience both east and west lifestyle. My journey from India to California to Singapore to New York and Vermont has given me vast experience to understand different global cuisine. I want to spread my rich heritage of Parsi (Iranian) and Indian cuisine which is diverse and not just limited to the North Indian food widely popular in North America.

 I love to cook and teach my ethnic cuisine. Cooking is also a source of satisfying my creative pursuits. I always give my personal twist to traditional recipes and also substitute seasonal and local ingredients whenever possible. I loved selling my food at the farmer’s market and co-op stores and now I want to bring the same flare all over America.

My cooking style is unique with mingling of flavors in each bite. I grew up in the vegetarian state of Gujarat in India where I enjoyed eating delicious vegetarian Thali. Thali is a platter with various components served in small bowls including chutneys, pulses, millets, lentils, vegetables, farsan (small bites of appetizers), breads etc. which comprise of all the different flavors of Indian gastronomy. Spicy, sour, bitter, salty and sweet. There are various cooking techniques like steaming, frying, baking, tempering, boiling, etc involved as each item is prepared uniquely. Different regional thalis have their own specialty which can include meat and sea food in coastal regions.

Mingling of Cuisines

                      Parsis curry  is a typical example of the combination of the influences of Iran (nuts) and India (coconut and spices). Trade ties with the British introduced them to western cuisine from which they have adopted many dishes and made them typically their own like the stews and the roasts The Iranian influence is seen in the meat and chicken dishes cooked with vegetables like okra and spinach and the use of nuts and rose water in the preparation of pulaos, biryani and mughlai dishes.

                      The most popular Dhan-sakh meaning rice- vegetable has evolved from the Iranian ‘khoreste esfannaj’ a dish cooked with meat lentils and spinach.It’s a healthy dish that encompasses 3-4 different lentils, a long list of vegetables and spices that leaves the senses thoroughly satisfied.

                    Other favorites are wedding stew (served at weddings), a medley of root vegetables and Sali gohst (lamb or mutton with straw potatoes)

                  The Parsi’s love of eggs has resulted in many popular dishes. For example eggs on spinach, eggs on tomato, eggs on khimo (minced mutton) and eggs on potatoes. In fact a true Parsi will not be satisfied without an egg and/or meat dish in the meal. Though vegetables tend to take a back seat in Parsi culture they do have delicious stews (Wedding stew) and include a long list of vegetables in their sauces and meat preparations.

                There has also been an adaptation of the Goan food (a former Portuguese colony on the west coast of India) like vindaloo (usually pork) and goan fish curry.

                    An example of an Iranian influence can be seen in Oos (a delightful soup of rice, lentils and mutton flavored with dill).