‘Live to Eat’ rather than ‘Eat to Live’
The Bohra Muslims have migrated originally from Yemen. Widely spread across the globe from India, Pakistan, Middle East, East Africa and western countries. The Migration of Bohra’s has led to overlap a lot of Gujarati, Arabaic, and Middle Eastern influences to the Cuisine. We are firm believers in the maxim. “ The family that eats together, stays together.” & ‘Live to eat’ rather than ‘Eat to live.’
Food is an integral part of a Bohra family. Apart from the distinctive cooking style. There is a traditional way the food is served. The entire Bohra family dines out of one big metal platter called “Thaal.” It can accommodate 8 to 9 people. The “Thaal”is elevated with a Kundli (stand) placed on a square piece of cloth called “Safra”. The thaal should not be unattended, so it is not placed until at least one person is seated for a meal.
Once everyone is seated, one serving member walks with water in a ‘Chelamchi lota’ (a kind of basin and jug) for everyone to wash their hands. All heads should be covered during a meal and Bohra women do so with their pardi’s (veil), while the men cover their heads in a white topi. (head cap).
A Bohra meal starts & ends by a grain of salt. which is believed to clear the taste bud and cure 72 diseases. In the Bohra language, all desserts are called “Mithaas” and the savory dishes “Kharaas”. Each dish is placed in the centre of the ‘Thaal’ and every member pulls his or her share. Bohra’s have a no-wastage policy. Not a single grain of rice is left on the plate when it is taken away. Unlike the common norm a Bohra meal starts with desserts. A meat appetizer follows and gives way to another dessert. At a Bohra wedding, several courses of ‘Kharaas’ and ‘Mithaas’ are served alternately. But on an ordinary day at home, one round of starters and one desserts is the norm Bohra families follow before the main course. ‘Jaman’ (main Course) include a meat dish, which is eaten with chapattis, parathas, or a rice dish that could be anything from a biriyani, pulao to kaari chaawal (coconut curry with rice) to dal chaawal palidu (lentil rice with curry) usually accompanied with salad. & soup.
But that’s not all. Dry fruits and paan (betel leaves) are a must before the family members taste the salt again to cleanse their tongues. “We Bohras believe that salt cures us of 72 diseases,”
Bohra cuisine has a large array of unique recipes which I’ll be sharing on the blog from time to time. Hope you’ll enjoy all the Bohra recipes I have to share with you all.