Jardaloo Salli Boti : A Classic Parsi Meat and Apricot Specialty

In my early days of cooking Parsi food, I remember one disastrous outcome to a dish that tasted nothing like my mom’s original and delicious version, although I’d followed her recipe every step of the way (or so I thought.)

Jardaloo Salli Boti,  at a Parsi Restaurant in Mumbai (Bombay)  on our Recent Magnificent Indian Journey

Jardaloo Salli Boti (with Mutton),
at a Parsi Restaurant in Mumbai (Bombay)
on our Recent Magnificent Indian Journey

In answer to my frustrated plea of ‘what did I do wrong with this gravy, mom?’, I got my mother’s straightforward and kind reply, ‘the only thing missing in this gravy is patience!’

Nowhere is that life lesson in Parsi cooking more relevant than in today’s recipe, inspired by my recent journey back to India, of a popular well-loved Parsi specialty Jardaloo Salli Boti; a recipe I’ve honed and perfected over years, one where every layer of aromatics and spices need to cook before adding the next one. (I’m sure those who’ve taste this dish before, are already running to fetch the ingredients.) 

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 mouthwatering 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.

For Jardaloo Salli Boti- Dried Apricot or Jardaloo and 'Salli' Also Known as Shoestring or Matchstick or Straw Potatoes

For Jardaloo Salli Boti- Dried Apricot or Jardaloo
and ‘Salli’ Also Known as Shoestring or Matchstick or Straw Potatoes

And while the apricot-flavored Jardaloo Salli Boti is best served along with warm Indian breads like roti-chapati or naan, it’s just as amazing spooned over steaming basmati rice.

The Apricot-flavored Jardaloo Salli Boti is Best Served with Warm Indian Breads like Roti-Chapati or Naan

The Apricot-flavored Jardaloo Salli Boti (using Chicken Thighs as the meat)
is Best Served with Warm Indian Breads like Roti-Chapati or Naan

Jardaloo Salli Boti
Serves 4
This unique dish is a true Parsi Cuisine classic, using boneless cubes (boti) of any meat of choice and Persian touches like apricot (jardaloo,) red vinegar and sugar along with a blend of mouthwatering Indian spices and aromatics. It’s best served topped with crisp ‘Salli’ or shoestring potatoes (although a handful of crushed potato chips work well too.)
  1. 1 lb boneless meat of choice like chicken thighs/mutton/lamb cut in 1 inch cubes
  2. 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste (4-5 garlic cloves & ½ inch ginger, grated)
  3. ½ teaspoon each, salt & cracked black pepper
  4. 2 tablespoons canola oil
  5. 2 cups finely chopped onion
  6. ½ teaspoon ground red chili or Cayenne pepper
  7. ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  8. ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  9. ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  10. ¼ teaspoon Garam Masala
  11. 1 ½ teaspoon sugar or 1 teaspoon jaggery
  12. 3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
  13. 2 cups chicken broth or water
  14. 5 dried apricots (see note below)
  15. ½ teaspoon salt (to taste)
  16. 2 tablespoon cider vinegar
  17. 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  18. Salli or shoestring potatoes or crushed potato chips, as a topping
  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. Fry to a light brown on a medium flame.
  3. Mix the marinated meat into the onions, sauté together till meat is coated with the aromatics (in mom's words: ‘let your nose guide you’.)
  4. Next, sprinkle the dry spices and jaggery or sugar and sauté for 5-7 minutes. If you feel the spices sticking to the bottom of the pan, add a few tablespoons of broth/water to help it cook.
  5. Add the diced tomatoes, apricot, salt and 2 cups of chicken broth (you can adjust the broth to the desired consistency of the gravy.) Bring this mixture to a boil and cook covered for 10-12 minutes till the broth is absorbed, and the meat and tomatoes are cooked through.
  6. Taste for salt and add cider vinegar, chopped cilantro to the preparation, simmer for another 3-4 minutes for the flavors to blend together.
  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.
  1. Dried apricots can be used un-pitted since the apricot will soften and blend into the gravy, pits can be removed prior to serving or while eating.
  2. The dried golden apricots available in Western countries are generally sold pitted and work just as well for this preparation, offering a slightly tangier albeit equally delicious taste.
Peri's Spice Ladle http://www.perisspiceladle.com/
Tangy-n-Spicy Apricot-flavored Jardaloo Salli Boti made with Lamb or Mutton is a Unique Parsi Cuisine Classic

Tangy-n-Spicy Apricot-flavored Jardaloo Salli Boti made with Lamb or Mutton is a Unique Parsi Cuisine Classic

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  1. says

    Oh wow Peri, so I made this over the weekend for the party that I was telling you about, and it was absolutely spectacular! I adapted the recipe a bit, using only garam masala and upping the amount of apricots because I like their flavor. The entire pot was wiped clean, my mother didn’t even get to try it! Guess that means, I’ll be making this again, which of course I would not have a problem doing! Thank you so much for the inspiration!


    • says

      What an absolutely pleasure to read your feedback, Rahul…and I like that you tweaked it to your personal preferences, I do that with almost all the recipes I try out:) apricots are my favorite too, can’t be too many of them in this first:) Make sure to make the recipe again for your mom, they always know best! Thanks again for trying out the recipe at your party.

  2. says

    I think patience is one of the hardest “ingredients” in cooking. We are always in a hurry. Trying to pack more and more into a day. We are always looking for those shortcuts in cooking and wanting the same quality. But as your mother tells us – that is not always possible. I like that advice. Patience. :)

    • says

      Isn’t it so true! We just need to slow down and enjoy the process of cooking, baking, roasting and sautéing! Sometimes, I just like to take my time planning flavors and cooking ‘patiently’…although I need those quick weekday recipes just as much! Thanks.

  3. says

    I have made a very similar curry, but with lamb instead of chicken. I served it with basmati rice cooked with some star anise, cinnamon, and rose water. The flavor combinations were spectacular, and I look forward to trying out this mouthwatering recipe soon!

    • says

      Ooh, that does sound deliciously aromatic:) and has some of my favorite spices in there. Jardaloo Sali Boti always works better with lamb or mutton. Hope you like the unbeatable flavor of dried apricots with red vinegar!

  4. says

    Hey Peri… I remember having Jardaloo Salli Murgh @ Jimmy boys, which is a Parsi restaurant here in Mumbai… was instantly infatuated and from then on till this date, have searched every source for this recipe… Now, finally, the search has ended… Im going to reproduce this….with your permission of course… :)

    • says

      That’s the restaurant at which I’ve taken my first picture above:) Love a visit to Jimmy Boys…their food is always amazing! Oh yes, please do try it out, Elson. For the most authentic version, use mutton (pressure cook for quicker cooking!) you’ll also get that classic deeper red color to the gravy…hope you enjoy it!

  5. Hilla D. says

    YUMMMMM…..Peri – my absolute fave dish. Yes, my jardaloos (the last of the lot brought from Bombay) are waiting to be used. Thanks for the reminder.

  6. says

    Dear Peri, what a gorgeous, special dish; we love dried apricots (and it features a lot in Turkish cooking), and again, I love seeing the similar culinary heritage we share; the dried apricots, plums, sour cherries appeaer quite a bit at traditional Turkish cooking. I haven’t experimented adding dried apricots to savoury dishes yet, and yours sound like the perfect one to start :) Many thanks for sharing! Ozlem xx

    • says

      I agree, Ozlem, the Persian influence binds both our cuisines. My guess is that my Zoroastrian forefathers used the dried fruits with Indian spices when they reached India in the 8-9th century and that’s how Parsi food was born:) You’ll love this dish, the acidity comes directly from the cider vinegar and not lemon or lime like in most Indian dishes:) it’s super delicious! XxPeri.

  7. says

    I was standing in my pantry just an hour ago, staring at my dried apricots wondering what I could make out of them… and then this recipe shows up in my email box. Kinda spooky!

    But I’m definitely going to be making this, this weekend!

    • says

      Oh yes, this happens to me ever so often:) I’m looking at some rarely used ingredient and a recipe pops up! The joys of our blogging world…Hope you like this Parsi classic, the flavors just blend together so well. Thanks Tracy

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