Jardaloo Salli Boti
INGREDIENTS
  • Cooking Time: 45 minutes depending on the choice of meat
  • Servings: 4 to 6
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes
  • 1 lb boneless chicken thigh. Use any other boneless meat of choice like chicken breast, mutton, lamb or beef, cut in 1 inch cubes. Bone-in works too.
  • 1½ tablespoon ginger garlic paste (or 4-5 garlic cloves & ½ inch ginger, both grated)
  • ½ teaspoon each salt & cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon fresh green chili pepper Thai or Serrano, optional for a spicy kick
  • ½ teaspoon ground red chili or Cayenne pepper reduce if too spicy
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon Garam Masala optional if on hand
  • 2 teaspoon sugar or jaggery
  • 1 cup tomato puree or 2 cups finely chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 7-8 jardaloo or regular dried apricots, cut in half if large see note below
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ tablespoon cider vinegar can be replaced with white vinegar
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish
  • Salli or shoestring potatoes or crushed potato chips as a topping
DIRECTIONS
  1. In a bowl, bring the cubes of boneless meat together with grated ginger and garlic (ginger garlic paste) and salt/pepper. Let the meat marinade refrigerated for at least 2 hours or even overnight, especially if using mutton or lamb
  2. Heat canola oil in a large pan and add the chopped onions and fresh green chili (if using). Fry till dark pink on a medium flame.
  3. Mix the marinated meat into the onions, sauté together till meat is coated with the aromatics (in my mom's words: ‘let your nose guide you’.)
  4. Next, sprinkle the dry spices and jaggery or sugar and sauté for a minute. If you feel the spices sticking to the bottom of the pan, add a few tablespoons of water to help it cook.
  5. Add tomatoes, apricot, cider vinegar, 2 cups water. Bring this mixture to a boil and cook covered till the liquid is absorbed, and the meat and tomatoes are cooked through.
  6. Taste for salt, adding more only if needed. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
  7. Serve Jardaloo Salli Boti hot, topped with Salli or shoestring potatoes (a handful of crushed potatoes chips will work as a substitute) alongside warm Indian bread like roti-chapati, naan or steaming basmati rice.
  8. Notes:
  9. Jardaloo (apricots) can be used un-pitted since the apricot will soften and blend into the gravy, pits can be removed prior to serving. To remove pits prior to adding, soak the apricot in water or cider vinegar. The pits will come right out with a light squeeze, and you can use the liquid in the curry. The dried apricot (Turkish or golden variety) available in Western countries are generally sold pitted and work just as well for this preparation, offering a slightly tangier albeit equally delicious taste.
RECIPE BACKSTORY
Jardaloo Salli Boti; Is a popular well-loved Parsi specialty recipe I’ve honed and perfected over years, one where every layer of aromatics and spices need to cook before adding the next one. It’s special because it’s usually cooked on auspicious occasions Like Parsi New-Year and on Nowruz (Iranian New-Year). This recipe has been handed down through generations. A boneless meat cubes (boti) preparation, traditionally using mutton or lamb, and chicken thighs in more recent times; the unique Jardaloo Salli Boti is a true Parsi Cuisine classic with strong Persian touches like dried apricot (jardaloo,) red vinegar and sugar along with a blend of mouth-watering Indian spices and aromatics. Prior to serving, this tangy-n-spicy Parsi meat preparation is topped with store-bought crisp ‘Salli’, known in different parts of the world as shoestring potatoes or matchstick potatoes or potato straws. - Mahafrine Ganjia (Mumbai Office Manager)