Bhonu comes home
Hailed as the queen of Parsi catering, Tanaz Godiwalla is now bringing her fare to your doorstep
Caterer Tanaz Godiwalla is a firm believer in the philosophy that when life throws you lemons, make lemonade. And so, at a time when "we're all swimming against the tide", the chef, a household name in the Parsi community and Mumbai's discerning foodies, has teamed up with the former CEO of Theobroma, Cyrus Shroff, to bring her legendary food to your home. That's right; no more waiting for or an invitation to a lagan or a navjote. SoBo residents, and soon those in the suburbs, can tuck into her saas ni machhi, salli chicken, Russian pattice and more by placing orders with Godiwalla and Shroff's venture — A Parsi Affair.
Trays of Parsi mutton pulao ready for delivery
While the service went live last week, A Parsi Affair has been in the making for a while, Godiwalla tells us. "For over three decades, it has been about building a legacy, securing my staff and making something that's bigger than me. But I do believe that we need to adapt with the times," shares the caterer, adding that she touched base with Shroff in November. Shroff, a consultant who identifies promising small businesses and helps them grow, got on-board and by January, they were the co-owners of A Parsi Affair. "I made a lot of structural changes. The aim was to reach out to Parsis, as well as non-Parsis," she adds.
Saas ni machhi
They are currently operating out of a central kitchen at Grant Road and identifying a couple of cloud kitchens across the city. For the first time, Godiwalla's menus are floating around on WhatsApp groups and on Google forms, reveals Shroff, a chartered accountant, who brings his technical and financial expertise to the table. "We're currently accepting orders for the weekend menus between Colaba and Dadar, and hope to kick off daily deliveries post the Parsi New Year. We'll also tie up with food aggregator apps and plan to deliver across the city," shares Shroff.
The upcoming menu, for the Parsi New Year weekend, boasts of four variations of bhonu, with options such as saas ni machhi, chicken farcha, mutton pulav dal, patra ni machhi and salli chicken. You may also choose to go à la carte, with about 11 dishes. But this does not mean that Godiwalla — who the bawas and bawis book months, and sometimes years, in advance — won't be catering. "A Parsi Affair has three verticals — the catering service, the café/delivery, and condiments. We should be ready to go live with the condiments by the month-end," she elaborates. So, you can look forward to ordering the saas ni machhi sauce, ready-to-eat pickle, or masala for pulao. "For the pulao masala, all you have to do is add meat and layer it up with rice. I'm sure I can make cooks out of anybody," she laughs. They plan to deliver the condiments across the country through Amazon.
Shroff believes that people are keen to have access to Parsi cuisine. And, cloud kitchens and delivery looks like the way to broaden that reach, Godiwalla asserts. "People benefit in terms of sitting at home and getting whatever they want. Also, everyone likes to maximise the money they spend. So, instead of ordering at a restaurant when you may not be able to finish the food, [if you order in] you can always keep it in the fridge," the iconic caterer shares. A win-win for all.
Text 9594046775 or 7506500933 on WhatsApp to place orders
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