Persian Recipes

We are pleased to bring you a selection of three original recipes from Mumbai’s Persian (Zoroastrian) community.  Although established in India for more than 1000 years, this 150,000 strong community still identifies as ‘Persian’ because of its ancestry. Its people fled Persia to escape persecution following the Arab invasion in 651 AD.  The exiles first landed in Gujarat, before finally settling in Mumbai, where the community prospered. 

One of the things which makes this tiny community different is its adherence to an ancient monotheistic religion founded more than 3000 years ago by its prophet Zoroaster.  The other is its love of good food.  You may have already tasted Persian food if you have gone to an Indian restaurant and ordered dhansak. 

We are now pleased to bring to you a selection of three delicious Persian dishes, which can be made quickly and cheaply from readily available ingredients. 


Whilst all of the ingredients contained in these recipes can be easily brought from any Indian supermarket as well as other food-retailers and health-stores, some of them may contain allergens, including nuts. So please make sure that you know what is in those ingredients.

Further Reference

If you have enjoyed the food and would like to find out more about Zoroastrian culture in a true-life modern family setting, please take a look at ‘Memory of Beheram’, also by Farida J Manekshah, which can be found on Amazon.

Lemon Cod Fillets with Mushrooms and Green Peppers

Serves: 4-6                                                                             Time: 15 minutes preparation

                                                                                                Cooking: 30 minutes

Lemon Cod Fillets with Mushrooms and Green Peppers



1300gm of cod or haddock fillets (frozen or fresh)

3 tablespoons of sunflower cooking oil

2 medium onions

6 garlic cloves – finely chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon. curry powder – medium hot

1 teaspoon, cumin seeds powder

1 tablespoon of Lee and Perrin’s Worcester Sauce

1 teaspoon of haldi powder

1 teaspoon of salt

2 small green peppers – thickly sliced

1 tablespoon of dark oyster sauce

425gm mushrooms cut in half

227ml hot water to add to sauce

Sprig of fresh coriander leaves chopped

Wash the cod and pat dry. Heat the oil in a non-stick wok or deep frying pan. Add the chopped onions and garlic.  Fry for about 3 minutes, then add the curry powder and stir.  Mix the spice, seasoning and salt. Add the water and cook the ingredients for five minutes on a low heat without sticking to the pan.  Simmer gently.  When of the lemon juice starts to thicken, add the lemon juice to the curry sauce and add to the fish the Worcester sauce, and cover the fish for 3 minutes and cook.  Remove the lid and add last, oyster sauce to the fish curry, and cook the curry on a low heat for 1 minute further before serving with the rice.

Serve with saffron rice and yoghurt salad.

Spicy Tangy Lamb Fillets

Serves: 6                                                                Preparation Time: 15 minutes

                                                                             Cooking: under 1 hour


Spicy Tangy Lamb Fillets

Serves: 6                                                                Preparation Time: 15 minutes

                                                                             Cooking: under 1 hour

Spicy Tangy Lamb Fillets


1300gm lamb fillets or shoulder chops

2 onions – 115g – cut in rings

2 bay leaves dry –  for flavouring

1 teaspoon.  Cumin seeds powder

1 teaspoon. Haldi powder

1 teaspoon. Ginger powder

1 teaspoon.  Salt

1 teaspoon.  Chilli powder

3 tablespoons.  Sunflower oil

2 teaspoons.  Worcester sauce

6 large garlic cloves of, crushed by or chopped

740gm.  Carrots.  Thickly sliced.

225gm.  Mushrooms.  Cut in half

350 ml water

400gm tin of chopped tomatoes

Heat the oil in the deep non-stick wok or frying pan.  Add cut onions, bay leaves and cook for 3 minutes until the onions are soft.  Keep cooking on a low heat and add the spices and salt to the fillets and add then the lamb fillets to the onions and bay leaves.  Cook for 3 minutes on a low heat without the lamb fillets sticking to the frying pan.  Keep turning.  When the fillets start getting golden brown on both sides, add water.  Put the lid on the frying pan and for 15 minutes cook the fillets adding again ½ cup of water until fillets start to get half tender.  Add the thick cut carrots and let it cook for a further 10 minutes until carrots are cooked.  Add chopped mushrooms when the carrots are cooked with fillets.  Add ½ cup of water and Worcester Sauce and cook for 10 minutes further, stirring gently until the sauce has thickened with the lamb fillets.  Serve with nan bread and stir fry cabbage

Spicy Savoury Potatoes

Serves: 6                                                                                Time: 10 minutes preparation

                                                                                                Cooking: 30 Minutes


900gm large potatoes, wash. and peel

2 large onions – finely chopped

2 large peppers thickly cut

3 tablespoons.  Sunflower or vegetable cooking oil.

1 teaspoon of whole cumin seed, and a sprig of fresh coriander leaves, chopped

1 teaspoon of cumin seeds powder

1 teaspoon of chilli powder

1 teaspoon of haldi powder

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of paprika powder

1/4 cup of water

1 tablespoon of Lee and Perrin Worcester sauce

Cut potatoes in small 5mm dice shape.

Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan or wok and fry the chopped onions. Add the whole cumin seeds and salt with the other above seasoning.  Add the dice cut washed potatoes to the ingredients and cook for a further 10 minutes.  Add a little water to the potatoes.  Keep stirring the potatoes without sticking to the pan.  Cook for 15 minutes on a low heat.  Keep adding the water to the potatoes.  Add the Worcester sauce in the last 5 minutes to this dish.  Add chopped coriander leaves to the potatoes before serving this dish.  Cover the potatoes with lid on a reduced heat until cooked.  Serve with garlic bread.