A Parsee lunch feast from The Zoroastrian community of India
Specially designed for the Réunion des Gastronomes by Cyrus Todiwala.
About Café Spice
Now in its 22rd year, the award-winning Café Spice Namasté is Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala’s family-run Indian restaurant, in historic East London. ‘Namaste’ in Hindi means ‘a warm hello’. The restaurant is a culinary institution which is renowned worldwide for a consistently innovative and fresh approach to Indian cuisine. Café Spice Namasté has held a coveted Michelin BIB Gourmand for 18 years. Today, the restaurant, is set in a Grade II-listed former magistrate’s court and resembles a warm, airy and colourful family home. More information can be found at https://www.cafespice.co.uk/
On arrival members and guests received a warm welcome together with a welcome drink, the Bombay Gymkhana. This was a gloriously refreshing cocktail of Edinburgh Gin with lime, bitters and topped with Indian tonic.
Once seated, members and guests were welcomed by the President who also said grace. Cyrus Todiwala then welcomed guests to the restaurant, giving a short and fascinating history of the restaurant and its philosophy.
A sample range of very tasty appetizers was presented for members and guests to help themselves.
A1 goat roll – Diced organic Boer goat from Aberdour, marinated in yogurt with spices, slow cooked, rolled in pancake and crumb fried. This was served together with Currimbhoy Salad – the Parsee Caesar of chopped soft-boiled egg tossed with cos lettuce, chopped chilli, garlic and mayonnaise.
Dhaan, Daar, Kolmi no Patio, Taraeli Machchi, Vaghaar, Taraela Papad. Served family style (in separate dishes for people to help themselves) these dishes were cumin flavoured palav served with pureed pigeon pea lentil, prawns simmered in a tomato-based sauce flavoured with tamarind and raw cane sugar, lightly marinated pan-fried fish, caramelised onion and papads. This happens to be Cyrus’ all-time favourite food and the most popular in his home too.
Served with Pére Patriarche Syrah Rosé
Cool, fruity and very refreshing expression of the Syrah grape with hints of spice – a perfect match for the foods.
Bombay Crême Caramel and Seasonal Berry Compôte. Rich, soft textured cream with hints of cumin and balanced against the acidity and sweetness of the compôte
The President proposed the loyal toast followed by santé du chef et du service. Much appreciation was also expressed to Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala for hosting the event.
The luncheon ended with a service of Chai Foodna ni Chai – Parsee tea flavoured with mint and lemon grass.
The money collected for the President’s Fund on the day was presented to Cyrus for Zest Quest Asia – a culinary initiative aimed at raising the profile of Asian cuisine and cookery as a future career for budding chefs in Britain. More details can be found at https://www.zestquestasia.org