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Parsi cuisine: A welcome flavor to Karachi’s food scene

Dhansak, Masala Jinga top the menu

SAMAA | - Posted: Aug 30, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 weeks ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Aug 30, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 weeks ago

If you’re a food enthusiast and crave to try new delicacies, Ghar Se has something unique to offer. Ghar Se is a Karachi-based food service that serves Parsi cuisines at your doorstep.

It was launched towards the end of 2020 by Gulnar Cowasjee, a former banker. “My journey began soon after resigning from a local bank,” Gulnar said speaking to SAMAA Digital.

Gulnar wanted to be a beautician but she found her sifting through Parsi recipes after the pandemic turned everything upside down.

 
 
 

“I am a certified beautician from the Vidal Sassoon [London] hence my passion was styling for which I resigned from my services.”

However, the pandemic hit like other businesses across Pakistan, salons put up the shutters. Gulnar said she believed being a beautician was not her destiny but she was grateful because something appeared as a silver lining during the lockdown. She tries her hand at Parsi recipes that she found around her having grown up in a Parsi family.

One dish turned into several and soon the culinary arts became her window to sanity during the most chaotic times. “This idea grew gradually and I started brainstorming with my daughter Myra. We made different brochures on several [social media] groups and got an overwhelming response, which further encouraged us.”

The appreciation made her realise that there was a potential clientele for the Parsi cuisine. Ghar Se was launched in December last year and, according to Gulnar, her recipes have been received well. Her Parsi kitchen caters to a diverse group of consumers.

The self-taught cook claims that the Parsi cuisine holds a unique flavour as the spices are homemade and that is what makes her dishes different.

“Back in the day, before choppers and blenders were invented, it was a norm for people to be out on their balconies with their “Khanni Batta” (pestle and mortar) and “Masala no Patthar” (a grinding rock) to crush the spices which gave Parsi food its rich flavor.”

These masalas could be stored in the fridge and used later. Each one of them has a distinctive flavor.

Some of the Ghar Se’s most popular items include Dhansak, Curry Chawal, Ghambar nu Papeta ma Gos, Khari Murgi ma Sali, Lagan Sera no Patio, Khichri Saas, Patra ni Machi, and Masala Jinga. The deserts include Sev, Ravo, and Mithoo Dahi.

Gulnar said that the prices are relatively higher since they use only fresh ingredients and her food items are never frozen or pre-cooked. Her clients are satisified with the quality of food she has to offer.

Many home-grown businesses are known to have flourished during the pandemic, and Gulnar’s kitchen, too, has experienced growth. “Families preferred freshly cooked and hygienic meals.”

Gulnar said Ghar Se has a diverse clientele and her aim is to improve her services by taking honest feedback regularly.

She plans to give the traditional non-Parsi cuisine a Parsi blend. For example, Parsi Style Chicken, Mutton Karahi, and Parsi Style Masala Roast Chicken are some of the dishes she intends to roll out.

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