The fashion and fitness diva loves trying out new cuisines, and Parsi food was on her mind this Navroz
When it comes to the fittest and the most fashionable celebrities in Bollywood, one cannot skip Malaika Arora. The actor has managed to keep her body in shape even after becoming a mother, and her obsession with yoga and meditation is no stranger to us. However, a lesser-known fact about Malaika is her love for good food. Be it on vacation or at home, she constantly shares her nibbles with her followers like her recent Navroz treat.
Navroz - the Parsi New Year - was celebrated on August 16, and Malaika enjoyed a famous Parsi garnish to mark the day. What was it, you ask? It is called Salli. For the unversed, salli refers to thin, crispy sticks of potatoes that are fried and usually used as a garnish for meaty dishes. Malaika took to her Instagram stories to share a plateful of salli and wrote, “Navroze Mubarak”. While it looked crispy and tasty, there was no curry to pair with it.
Interestingly, salli was actually a gift of the Portuguese. While Parsi cuisine takes a lot from the Persian fare, salli was never a part of their cuisine. It was the Portuguese who brought the pavs and potatoes to Indian land. That’s how we got the beloved pav bhaji. The creation of salli happened within the country and is an original idea of Parsis. Also known as shoestring potatoes or matchstick potatoes, the salli was created with the idea of giving a crunch to meaty dishes.
Another reason that made salli an important part of Parsi meals was the fact that it helped to hold the gravy together, avoiding spillage on the banana leaf on which food was traditionally served. What is fascinating about this crunchy garnish is the fact that while Parsis use it in this manner, for some others, it is a tea-time snack. For instance, in Maharashtra, the salli is eaten as it is for snacking. Then, in some other parts, it is used to top poha or chiwda. In Punjab, a similar snack is called lachha.