Rôti Sans Pareil

As promised from my post of 20th August 2015 titled “unearthing of the lost” ,here I am with the first article for my series regarding the details and history of the dish named Parinde-me-Parinda served to me.

What is it: The term Parinde-me-parinda literally means bird inside bird in Urdu language. The one that was served to me had a chicken egg inside a Quail, which was inside a chicken which inturn was inside a duck. The whole solid lump of meal is extremely tough to be cooked. It needs controlled temperature constant cooking, The one I got was cooked in an open flat pot which is called a Lagan which is a flat pot with a slight curved center; That hold all the gravy and the meat can be open cooked the way you want, there was special slits and pockets made in the whole section to get the heat inside to avoid any chances of leaving it uncooked.


Origin: As per food reviver and historian Osama Jalali he heard about a dish that was cooked centuries ago in Gulf region which had not just 3 birds but was a combination of 10 to 12 animal as well as birds starting right from Camel and the series was probably (considering the present scenario of kill worthy game and non-game meat)


Turducken (Cross section)
Turducken (Cross section)

Indian Historic Significance: India wasn’t untouched either; there is a listed document in a book named   Passion India: The story of Spanish princess of Kapurthula where Maharaja Ganga Singh invited people over for dinner at Bikaner palace and instructed his team to prepare a whole camel skinned and cleaned, stuffed with a goat, which had a turkey inside, then a chicken, then a grouse, then a quail and finally a sparrow which was all to be cooked in famed Khad style cooking of Rajasthan.

Present Scenario:The good part of the story is there are some well listed and described stories around similar dishes from across the globe like in the U.S.A. they have a Turducken which is portmanteau of Turkey, Duck & Chicken in the highlighted form. But this is a slightly different version when it comes to preparation as in this all the birds are de-boned. At times sausages or breadcrumbs are used to stuff the gap in between the birds but not everyone has a taste for this dish. It is an acquired taste that is liked by a lot and also hated by equal amount of troops.

Alexandre Balthazar Laurent Grimod de la Reyniere
Alexandre Balthazar Laurent Grimod de la Reyniere

Magic Weaver: The most credited and famed man to master this art was a French chef named Alexandre Balthazar Laurent Grimond de la Reyniere who created the most unimaginable creation called rôti sans pareil which means roast without equal in literal English. This dish had a total 17 birds , 1 animal and numerous spices. His ideas are listed in a book named L’almanach des gourmands which is a book from 1807. His stuffing was as follows-

Bustard>Turkey>Goose>Pheasant> Chicken>Duck>Gunea foul>Teal>Woodcock>Partridge>Plover>Lapwing>Quail>Thrush>Lark>Ortolon bunting>Garden warbler


Now the gaps between all these birds were stuffed with pork sausages and inside the garden warbler were Olive, Caper and Chestnut. This whole pack was sealed with numerous pork meat cuts and condiments and was slow-cooked for atleast 24 Hours.

If you happen to hear even remotely about any of these dishes or any other similar ones, It’s definitely worth a try considering not only the taste but the sheer amount of technicality involved in cooking just one single piece of it. Do let us know if you even lay your hands on it.


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