Parsi salli boti

“A celebratory dish from the Parsi community in the west of India, this fragrant curry is often served at weddings and special occasions. Lamb on the bone is cooked in a lightly spiced sauce with cloves, ginger and garlic, then simmered with apricots and jaggery (Indian cane sugar) for an extra touch of sweetness. ”

Parsi salli boti


5cm piece of ginger
6 cloves of garlic
100 g ripe tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato purée
2 small onions
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 green cardamom pods
6 cloves
2 teaspoon kashmiri chilli powder or mild paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
850 g lamb leg on the bone , cut into 3cm pieces (ask your butcher to do this)
1 small green chilli
4 dried apricots
2 tablespoons jaggery or caster sugar
1 tablespoon malt vinegar
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon garam masala powder
1 lime
1 medium red onion
½ a lime


  1. Peel and roughly chop the ginger and garlic, then combine in a blender with 2 tablespoons of water. Blitz to a smooth paste and set aside.
  2. Roughly chop the tomatoes and blitz in the same blender with the tomato purée until you have a fine paste. Set aside.
  3. Peel and thinly slice the onions.
  4. Heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Add the green cardamom and cloves, letting them sizzle for a few seconds, then stir in the onions and fry for 14 to 15 minutes, or until dark brown in colour, stirring often.
  5. Mix in the ginger and garlic paste and fry for 1 minute, stirring well. Add a splash of water to loosen the mixture and scrape off the delicious bits from the bottom of the pan.
  6. Add the kashmiri chilli and turmeric powder and fry for 1 to 2 minutes, followed by the tomato mix. Stir well to combine and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Add the lamb and cook for another 5 minutes, ensuring the meat gets coated in the masala.
  8. Slice the chilli lengthways, then stir into the pan with 150ml of water. Bring it to the boil and simmer, covered, over a low heat, for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. Pour in another 150ml of water, pop the lid on and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the meat is tender, and the sauce has thickened into a rich, dark colour, stirring a few times and removing the lid for the final 20 minutes.
  10. Make the red onion salad. Peel, finely slice and toss the onion in a bowl, squeeze in the lime juice and season with a pinch of sea salt. Toss to combine and set aside.
  11. Finely chop the apricots, then add to a pan with the jaggery or sugar and vinegar. Cook for 1 minute over a medium heat, then turn off the heat.
  12. Coarsely grind the cumin, then add to the apricots along with the garam masala powder. Stir well, then add to the curry.
  13. Divide the parsi salli boti between serving bowls and serve with the red onion salad, lime wedges for squeezing over, and some basmati rice, if you like.

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