To the point: The Parsi Amelioration Committee-run shop at Nana Chowk may be tiny but is a formidable threat to your waistline thanks to its shelves of Parsi snacks, most of which are golden brown and deep-fried.
Unless you already know it’s there, chances are you’ve been driving by a tiny bit of bawa heaven at Nana Chowk on Grant Road without noticing it for years. Once you discover it though, you (and your waistline) will never be the same. It’s run by the Parsi Amelioration Committee, better known as the PAC, a charitable trust that works with the needy. There’s not much to the space other than a glass counter, but it’s the savoury snacks that you’re after, not the ambience.
If you’re on a diet, look away or risk giving in to temptation, because you’ll be hard-pressed to find something that isn’t fried here. There isn’t much to tempt the vegetarian, and the offerings here are admittedly meat-heavy. Among our favourites are the rawa-fried mutton cutlets, juicy pieces of deep-fried, lacy-coated chicken farcha, egg and chutney pattice (available only on Fridays), and mutton kebabs – the Parsi version of a meatball, made with a spicy blend of minced meat and rawa. Another must-try is the chicken pattice – bits of chicken cooked in white sauce and encased within flaky, buttery pastry. There’s a masala version too, but we’d recommend the white sauce over it. Chances are you’ll also be leaving with a small bag of their dangerously addictive mutton patti samosas too.
They also sell delicious mango chhunda (a sweet and savoury pickle that some might liken to a chutney) and, from November to January, there are the winter favourites: badam pak (a rich, ghee-laden, semi-sweet almond fudge) and its spicier cousin, vasanu, as well as teatime favourites such as ginger biscuits and bhakras (a sort of sweet fried bread).
Extremely reasonable – a meal for two would probably set you back Rs 250 – and with plenty of choice, the PAC counter is the perfect place to satisfy your cravings for fried food, indulge in a cheat day, or stop for a quick bite between errands.
Where: Parsi Amelioraton Committee, 292 Shastri Hall, Shop No. 3, Nana Chowk, Tardeo Road
Timings: 9.30 am to 7 pm (Monday – Saturday); 9.30 am to 1.30 pm (Sunday)
Meal for two: Rs 250