Before we talk about Parsi salli chicken, let us know a short background about the dish. It is a Parsi dish and Parsis are one of two Zoroastrian communities now primarily located in India and a few in Pakistan. Parsis migrated from Greater Iran to Gujarat, where they were given refuge between the 8th and 10th century CE to avoid persecution following the Arab conquest of Persia.
However with cultural rich Parsis came their great food recipe and it became a part of Indian culture and tradition.
Parsi food is not only influenced by its Persian roots but also by the British and the Indians. Parsi Salli Chicken is one of their most known recipes
I hqppen to visit a Parsi family in Gandhinagar Gujrat. The family were a perfect host as you would imagine from the hard working intelligent Parsis. They recommended Parsi Salli chicken with some crispy fried potato straws. Serves 4
We also recommend Parsi Rice with Saffron and Sour Cherries as a supplement to this wonderful dish
Ingredients for Parsi Sulli Chicken
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 5g (1 tsp) finely grated root ginger (peeled weight)
- 5 large garlic cloves, finely grated
- 3 large vine tomatoes (400g/14oz), blended until smooth
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ tsp ground cinnamon, or to taste
- 2 tsp garam masala (fresh if possible)
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- ¼ tsp chilli (chili) powder, or to taste
- 1 rounded tsp ground cumin
- 6–8 medium-small skinless bone-in chicken thighs (1.25–1.3kg/2lb 12oz–3lb in total)
- Coriander as per taste(cilantro)
- Large handful of Crispy Potato Salli, or as much as you like
Cooking instructions for Parsi salli chicken
- Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft. Then increase the heat and cook, stirring often, until golden brown. Add the ginger and garlic and cook gently for 1 minute, or until the garlic smells cooked.
- Pour in the blended tomatoes, then add the seasoning and all the ground spices. Cook down until the masala releases oil, about 15–20 minutes.
Taste – it should be harmonious.
- Tip the chicken into the masala along with a good splash of water. Bring to the boil, then cover, reduce the heat and cook for 25–30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Give the pot occasional stirs as it cooks and check that there is enough water in the pan. At this stage you can make the Crispy Potato Salli.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning and consistency of the sauce, which should have a light, creamy consistency. If it is too watery, cook over a high heat until thickened to your liking, or add some water from a boiling kettle to loosen a little. Stir in the coriander, sprinkle with Crispy Potato Salli and serve.
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