The legend dates back to the 10th Century A.D.
A large group of refugees landed on the shores of Gujarat, in the western part of India. They were immediately intercepted by soldiers of the king ruling the land of Gujarat. Immediately, one of the old men in the group came forward and said, “We have come from a faraway land and we want to meet your king.” The soldiers nodded in assertion to the old man’s request and took them to the king – Jadi Rana.
King Jadi Rana warmly greeted the refugees and asked for their purpose of visiting India. The same old man came forward and said. “Oh great king! We have been persecuted from our homes by the ruler of our land because we refused to give up our ancient beliefs.” The king asked with a concern in his tone, “What do you want from me?”
“Great king!” said the old man, “we want a shelter to live.”
The king smiled at the old man and signaled one of his guards to get a bowl of milk filled to its brim. He then looked at the old man and respectfully said,”Sir, my land is like this bowl of milk… it is full to its brim and cannot accommodate anymore milk.” He continued, “Unfortunately, I cannot grant you asylum.”
The old man quietly took a step closer to the milk bowl. He then loosened the strings of a purse, which was tied to his waist and very slowly poured the sugar inside the purse into the milk. Looking at the king, he said,”Great king, we shall live in your land as sugar in the milk. We shall not occupy any portion of your land but shall sweeten the lives of your subjects. So kindly accept us as one of your own.”
The king was mightily impressed with the wisdom of the old man and finally agreed to shelter the refugees.
King Jadi Rana, thus added another legendary chapter in the history of the land of river Indus. He continued the ancient Indian tradition of sheltering the homeless. The homeless travellers also remained true to their promise.
These people, who had landed on the west coast of India were none other than the mortal remains of a Zoroastrian Nation from the erstwhile empire of Persia. Today, we know them as Parsis. It is worth noting that even today they continue to add sugar to the milk. Many Parsis in India have attained remarkable feet in various fields from science & technology to entertainment; from bureaucracy to armed forces; from business to law; etc.
They have not just adopted the Indian culture but have also contributed in its enhancement thru their customs, traditions and their delicious Parsi Cuisine. Today, in India we have many authentic Parsi Restuarants and Bakeries housing the Parsi Cuisine. Parsi recipes are regularly prepared in many Indian homes. Check the below video of one such recipe from the Parsi Cuisine, which even today delights our taste buds.
Patra ni Machi (Fish wrapped in a Banana Leaf.)
The below twisted recipe is my salute to this loving community.
Just like Patra Ni Machi (Fish in Banana Leaf), we can make Patra Ni Murghi (Chicken in Lettuce Leaf). Vegetarians may use Cottage Cheese or Paneer instead of Chicken.
The method is more or less the same.
- Prepare Coconut chutney
- Marinate Chicken Sausages in the coconut chutney for 1/2 hr.
- Apply some Chutney on a Lettuce Leaf
- Carefully place the marinated chicken sausage on the lettuce leaf
- Cover the sausage with the leaf using a toothpick
- Place the covered sausage in a Cooker steamer for 1/2 hr.
… And Chicken in Lettuce Leaf is ready to serve!