When talking about the area of food-meets-faith, people might think of what’s known as bhog, or food specifically offered to Gods – but that’s a narrow outlook and quite frankly unfair to both cuisine and religion. There’s more to the picture: how faith can inform the food of a community and, surprisingly enough, how food can in turn influence faith.

The ‘authenticity’ of the [Parsi] cuisine began to be affected during the resettlement of the Parsi communities in India. The staples of the Indian pantry, the local Gujarati food, the indoctrination of Portuguese influences from Goan cooks in Parsi households and even Anglo-Indian influences when Parsis relocated to Bombay to assist the Raj – all have combined to create Parsi classics.


  • 4 whole boi or mullet fish, gutted and cleaned
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 3-4 tbsp oil, vegetable or mustard
  • 2 tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp salt


  1. Mix all the spices with the egg and then apply directly on the fish.
  2. Keep the marinated fish aside for 4-6 hours, covered and refrigerated.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan and shallow-fry fish for 3-4 minutes on each side until it begins to brown.
  4. Place on paper napkins to let the oil drain before serving hot with lemon.

Excerpted with permission from Bhagwaan Ke Pakwaan: Food of the Gods, Varud Gupta & Devang Singh, Penguin Ebury.

Varud Gupta

Varud Gupta

Varud Gupta was bred for the business world until an existential crisis sent him travelling through the culinary cultures of the world. It was while doing odd jobs as a cheesemonger and asador that his journey as a writer began. His first book, ‘Bhagwaan ke Pakwaan’, which won two Gourmand cookbook awards, was a travel narrative through the faiths and foods of India. His graphic novel ‘Chhotu’, a coming-of-age story during Partition, represents the culmination of the first chapter on this existential path.

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Devang Singh

Devang Singh

Devang Singh majored in history and worked as a Dell marketing manager before returning to school at the Light and Life Academy to study photography to capture everything from the finest food to rampaging lone tuskers. He now runs StudioFry, a production house in Delhi, where he is a director and EP of projects for global brands like Budweiser, Zomato and Nissan.

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