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An Overview of the Traditional Parsi Cuisine

There is a wide and eclectic mix of cuisines available from across the globe that has been influenced by traditions, history, culture and what food is available in different areas. The Parsi community originates from India but has spread across the globe and is now settled in areas such as New Zealand, the US, Australia and many areas across Asia and Europe. This means that not only has the traditional Parsi cuisine spread globally, it has also taken on influences from other cuisines across the world. Parsi cuisine is generally a fusion of Asian and Mediterranean cuisine. Here is an overview of traditional Parsi cuisine and what is included in the food.

Traditional ingredients

The staple foods that this cuisine is based on include meats, vegetables and dairy products. There are also many spices and flavorings that are used to add flavor and zest to the meals. These will often include garlic, saffron, cardamom and curry powder. Many dishes also include nuts and fruits.

Traditional servings

Parsi cuisine is often served in several stages with many side dishes. Many of these can be recognized by people who regularly eat Indian cuisine. The first serving generally consists of bread, such as chapattis, with pickles and a vegetable based dish. The second course is often a chicken or meat dish. Typically, the third dish will be a fish meal and the fourth a rice side dish. The final dish is usually a sweet dish.

Traditional cooking methods

Many of the dishes are served with a sauce. Olive oil is generally used to sautee the ingredients of the sauce. Meat dishes are often served using a sauce made from a combination of garlic, onions and ginger. Similarly, ginger, garlic and hot green peppers are used to make a traditional masala sauce. For sauces accompanying fish a Parsi dish will usually use sautéed tomatoes, garlic and onions. Finally, dansak is a famous Parsi dish that is popularly served in many Indian restaurants. This is a lentil based dish that is often considered to be comfort food.


Although Parsi cuisine originates in India, the emigration of Parsi people to all four corners of the globe means that the food has taken on a variety of influences and has become a fusion of Asian and Mediterranean cooking. The food is often served in several stages consisting of many different types of food. Many of these dishes can be recognized from what is served in Indian restaurants.