Happy Autumn!! Meat or chicken with juicy apricots is a popular Parsi Dish. Parsi cuisine has a heavy persian influence and hence use of ingredients like apricot, rosewater and nuts is very popular in the cuisine. Jardaloo (apricot) boti (small meat chunks) is a very simple dish to make, it does not need any fancy ingredients or equipment, just some extra time because in my opinion, slow cooking meat is very important for right flavors and that requires patience. The final dish is a beautiful combination of spicy and sour, with hint of sweet.
I used a selection of single origin and ethically sourced spices by Spice Tribe to make Parsi garam masala which is one of the most important component in this recipe. Parsi garam masala, unlike punjabi garam masala uses more of aromatic, sweet smelling spices like green cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg.The resulting blend isn’t very smoky, rather very pleasantly aromatic and so perfect not just for cooking but also as a finishing sprinkle on the dish. I added some toasted coriander seeds and black peppercorns. The resulting spice blend is woody and aromatic and it lends so much depth of flavor to this hearty meat dish.
Spice Tribe spices are sustainably farmed, preservative free and sourced from all over the world. I used wild black cumin to make cumin rice as a side dish.
Salli – or deep fried potato sticks, potatoes cut to resemble matchsticks is a hugely popular accompaniment to many parsi dishes. What can be more comforting than potatoes you ask – meat, rice and potatoes together on a plate. This recipe can be made with chicken too, use bone in chicken. This dish can be made ahead and enjoyed for unto 2 days, it gets better and better. However, i would make the Salli(fried potatoes) only when serving.
Serves: 2 - 3
- For the Jardaloo Boti:
- 3 oz(90 gms) dried apricots, the right variety is Hunza apricots, but I used the ones I could find
- 1/4 cup cooking oil
- 150 gms thinly sliced onions
- 3-5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1.5 inch ginger shoot, minced
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 2-3 tsp hot red chili powder (adjust to taste)
- 100 gms finely chopped tomatoes
- 1.1 lb(500 gms ) goat meat/mutton/bone in chicken or lamb, preferable cut in small bites to resemble a “boti”
- tbsp of Parsi garam masala (recipe below)
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp Parsi Garam Masala (to finish)
- For the Parsi Garam Masala:
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 10 black peppercorns
- 2 inch cinnamon stick
- 10-12 green cardamom, seeds only
- 1/2 piece of nutmeg
- For Salli:
- 2 large potatoes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- Oil for deep frying
- For Cumin rice:
- 1 .5 cup basmati rice
- 2 tbsp ghee, divided
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 3 cups water (or as per rice quality)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- For the Jardaloo Boti:
- Soak the dried apricots in 1 cup of warm water mixed with 1/2 tsp vinegar for about 15 mins. Drain and discard the water, squeeze the apricots and set them aside.
- In a heavy bottomed pot, I use my dutch oven, warm up the cooking oil. Add the onions to the oil and brown the onions for 10-12 minutes until nicely golden.
- Add the garlic and ginger next to the pot and saute for 30 seconds until you smell the aroma.
- Add the cumin and red chilli powder next and saute the spices for about a minute. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5-7 minutes till the tomatoes soften and oil begins to separate.
- Then add the meat, parsi garam masala and salt to the pot and stir fry the meat with everything for about 5 mins on medium heat.
- When the meat pieces are browned on all sides, add 3/4 cup warm water and let come to a slow boil on medium heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover the pot and let cook slowly till the meat is tender. Depending on the cut, quality and size of boti (meat), the time will be anywhere from 45 mins to 2.5 hours. Keep an eye, if you see that the water has evaporated add about 1/3 cup water at a time, mix well and keep cooking.
- When the meat is tender, add the drained apricots, vinegar and sugar. Cook for another 10-12 minutes. Switch off the stove and sprinkle 1/2 tsp of garam masala that we prepared. Mix up and let the curry rest for 1/2 hr before serving.
- For the Parsi Garam Masala:
- Dry toast all the spices on a very low heat for 3-5 minutes until you smell the aroma. Pound into a powder using your mortar pestle or spice grinder. This recipe makes little over 2 tbsp, you can save the rest and use in other dishes .
- For the Salli:
- Peel the potatoes and wash them. Cut the potatoes using a sharp knife as thinly as you can to resemble match sticks. Soak the cut potatoes in water seasoned with salt and turmeric for atleast 4 hours or overnight. Soaking is an important step, as the soluble starch of the potatoes is removed and they come out very crispy after frying.
- Drain the potatoes and let them air dry for about 10 mins on a paper towel or kitchen cloth. Flash fry the potatoes in very hot oil until super crispy. Since these are thinly sliced, they take very less time to cook as compared to regular fries. Fry the potatoes right before serving to make sure they are crispy.
- For the Cumin Rice:
- Wash the rice 2-3 times in a running stream of water until the water runs clear. Soak rice in 3 cups of water (adjust the water quantity as needed depending on your rice brand) for 20 minutes.
- In a medium cooking pot with lid, warm up 1 tbsp ghee. Once the ghee is hot and melted, take the pot off the stove and temper ghee with cumin seeds, let crackle for a few seconds.Immediately add the soaked rice along with water to the pot. Add salt and gently stir a few times to mix everything.
- Return the pot to the stove, cover with lid and let water come to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let all the water absorb, takes between 10-15 minutes.When you see that all the water is absorbed and there are no bubbles on top, add another tablespoon of ghee and cover the pot for a minute. (If you wish you can add little lemon juice at this point to brighten it up.) Then, switch off the stove. Let cooked rice sit for atleast 15 minutes before fluffing with a fork. Serve warm. Comes out perfect every time! Enjoy!