Sugar in the Milk: A Parsi Kitchen Story

For Parsi New Year, a story from our Hidden Kitchens series on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Sugar in the Milk: A Parsi Kitchen Story

Niloufer Ichaporia King lives in a house with three kitchens. She prowls through at least six farmers markets a week in search of unusual greens, roots and seeds, traditional food plants from every immigrant culture in the Bay Area. King is an anthropologist, a kitchen botanist, a one-of-a-kind cook, and a writer. A Parsi from Bombay living in San Francisco.

“Parsi food is disappearing with us. Our numbers are dwindling,” King says.

“Parsi cooking is one of the least known cuisines in the world,” she adds. “Coming from desert plateaus in Iran to this incredibly fertile coastal plain with fish jumping out of the water. Coconuts, mangoes, layered on top of the Hindu influence the Muslims, the British and the Portuguese. You could call it a kind of magpie cooking. We see something appealing and we fly off with it to our nests, take the gems and make something of it that’s our own.”



Niloufer Ichaporia King at age 6, dressed as a Koli fisherwoman. Her tray held marzipan fish. Fish is an auspicious dish on Parsi New Year and often sent as gifts on this day.