Murghi na farcha

Murghi na farcha

Parsee fried chicken

Mr Todiwala's Bombay
Helen Cathcart

This is the classical Parsee-style fried chicken much loved by all at most festive or celebratory occasions. When served with the traditional tomato sauce, it could well be an Italian speciality. It’s a dish that showcases our old Persian roots and, again, shows how wonderful Indian cooking can be. Serve as a starter or as part of a selection of dishes for a main course.


Quantity Ingredient
100g fresh ginger, chopped
6 garlic cloves
3-4 thin hot green chillies, seeded
1 1/2 tablespoons ground turmeric
4 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted
few sprigs coriander or a small pile of the stalks only
1/2 lime, juiced
salt, to taste
4 chicken leg portions, boned and halved at the joint
or 8 chicken thighs, boned
4 eggs
plain flour, as required
vegetable oil, for deep-frying

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
wedges lime
tomato sauce
salad with a mayonnaise-based dressing


  1. Grind all the masala ingredients in a clean coffee grinder or small food processor, or in a mortar with a pestle (or in a small bowl with the end of a rolling pin), adding a little water to form a thick paste (don’t add too much or the result will be runny). Set aside.
  2. Remove the skin from the chicken, if you like and cut the meat into thin strips or into pieces or halves. Rub the masala paste into the chicken and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 6 hours. (Bigger pieces will need more time to marinate.)
  3. Heat the oil for deep-frying in a kadai, wok or large, deep frying pan (if large enough you can cook the chicken in one go, if not fry in batches and remove any floating bits of egg and blackened residues between batches, and reheat the oil slowly so it doesn’t foam up).
  4. Beat two eggs at a time for best results. This gives a crispier and more frilly coating. Test the oil by dropping a little egg into it – the egg should rise and sizzle instantly.
  5. Dip each piece of chicken into flour and then into the beaten egg and fry in hot oil. Try one piece first and see if the temperature is correct. Very hot oil will discolour too fast and not cook the meat. If the pieces are large then care needs to be taken. Put large pieces in an oven and heat at 120˚C until then meat is thoroughly cooked.
  6. After adding the chicken, lower the heat slightly and keep spooning the hot oil over the chicken to get frilled edges. Cook until crisp and golden, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  7. Serve with a wedges of lime and some tomato sauce, and/or some salad with a mayonnaise-based dressing.
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