10 Parsi Snacks You Must Try
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Parsis community are followers of Zoroastrianism, founded by the Prophet Zoroaster (or Zarathustra) in ancient Persia. Facing religious persecution after the Islamic conquest of Persia, many Zoroastrians fled to India around the 8th to 10th centuries, settling primarily in Gujarat and later spreading to other parts of the country, including Mumbai. There are many unique things about the Parsi culture, including their fire temples called the Agiyari and the Tower of Silence. Non-Parsis are not allowed at these institutions. Parsi food, however, is a different story. It is inclusive and enjoyed by members of all communities.

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Parsi food is usually a perfect blend of sweet, sour, and spicy flavours. While meats such as chicken, mutton, and fish are commonly cooked, there are quite a few options for vegetarians too. While the Parsis also use common spices such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon, along with fresh herbs like mint and coriander leaves, the food often uses jaggery and sugar, even in savoury dishes, to balance the flavours. 

Many Parsi dishes are tangy and vinegar and dried fruits like apricots and raisins are used to cook them. Another common ingredient in Parsi food is dairy products such as milk, ghee, and yoghurt. Some Parsi dishes, especially the ones with meat, are slow-cooked; some, like the Patra Ni Machchi (fish cooked in banana leaves), are steamed. For the sumptuous Parsi snacks, though, deep-frying is common. You must try some of these Parsi snacks.


Patrel (also known as Patra or Alu Vadi) is made from colocasia (taro) leaves. To make the patrel, you will need colocasia leaves, gram flour, tamarind paste, jaggery, and spices such as turmeric, red chilli powder, and coriander. The spiced gram flour paste is spread as a layer on the colocasia leaves, rolled, steamed, and then sliced. Sometimes the pieces are even shallow-fried for added crispiness. The unique preparation using both steaming and frying techniques makes the dish quite special.

Parsi Pattice

An all-time favourite, Parsi pattice, are deep-fried potato patties stuffed with a spiced mixture of minced meat or lentils in a vegetarian version. While many communities in India make the pattice, the Parsi version is more like a cutlet. The other ingredients that go into making this pattice are onions, ginger, garlic, green chillies, and various dry spices. The potato mixture is shaped into patties, stuffed with the meat or lentil filling, coated in egg, and then deep-fried until golden brown. If you haven’t tried this yet, you are missing out.

Kheema Samosa

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The Parsi version of the crisp, golden brown  samosas is smaller than the regular ones and filled with a flavourful kheema (minced meat) filling. The kheema is cooked with onions, garlic, ginger, green chilies, peas, and spices like garam masala and turmeric. This mixture is then used as a filling for samosas made with pastry dough. The stuffed dough, shaped like a triangle, is finally deep-fried until crispy.


The Bhakra is a traditional Parsi tea-time snack. It can be described as a doughnut but the centre is solid in Bhakra. It’s not exactly a doughnut, too, because the cooked dough is comparatively dense and flavoured with cardamom and nutmeg. The Bhakra is made with flour, semolina, sugar, eggs, milk, baking powder, and spices. The dough is mixed, shaped into small rounds, and deep-fried.

Lagan Nu Custard

Though the Lagan Nu Custard is traditionally a dessert, you can also serve it as a sweet snack at tea time. It is a baked custard, made with eggs, milk and sugar and flavoured with nutmeg and cardamom. The ingredients are mixed, poured into a baking dish, and baked until they set. Lagan Nu Custard is usually made on special occasions, such as weddings.

Kolmi Na Patia on Crackers

Kolmi na Patia is a spicy prawn dish that can be served on crackers as a snack. The sweet and sour prawns are cooked in a spiced tomato gravy with  onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric, red chilli powder, and coriander, and then served on top of crackers. 


Sev is a savoury snack made from chickpea flour dough, which is seasoned and deep-fried into crunchy strands. To make this chickpea flour, turmeric, ajwain (carom seeds), and salt are used. The dough is prepared, extruded through a sev maker, and deep-fried until crispy.

Parsi Batasa

Batasa are savoury, crispy, and slightly salty Parsi biscuits often enjoyed with tea. Flour, ghee, or butter, sugar, and salt are used to make the batasa. The dough is mixed, shaped into small rounds, and baked until crispy.

Saria (Sago Papad)

Saria are crispy sago papads that are fried and served as a snack or accompaniment to meals. The sago is soaked, made into a dough with salt and cumin seeds, rolled out thin, dried, and then deep-fried until crispy.

Chicken Farcha

Probably the most popular parsi snack after the parsi pattice is the chicken farcha. This dish is India’s answer to KFC. The Parsi version of fried chicken is marinated with ginger-garlic paste, green chilies, and spices like turmeric, cumin, and coriander and coated in egg before deep-frying.