Jardaloo ma murghi (chicken in apricots)

Fruity flavours work well with spiced lamb in Cyrus Todiwala's Parsi curry
By Cyrus Todiwala
Jardaloo ma murghi (chicken in apricots)
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 2-3 hrs or overnight soaking
  • Effort: easy



  • 200 g dried apricots
  • 250 ml water
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, 2.5cm long
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp ginger- garlic paste
  • 600 g chicken, boned and diced
  • 1 pinches salt
  • 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp coriander, chopped

For the masala paste

  • 8 large dried chillies
  • 1.5 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1.5 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2.5 cm cinnamon sticks
  • green cardamom
  • 5 cloves


1. Soak the apricots overnight in water until swollen and soft. Remove the stones if you like after softened. However, this may result in a change of texture as they may get pulped during cooking and blend in with the gravy.

2. To make the masala paste, grind together the dried chillies, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves with as little water as possible to make a thick paste.

3. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy-based pan until hazy and add the cinnamon sticks. When absorbed and puffed a bit, approximately one and a half minutes, add the onions and fry until browned, stirring often, around 5-10 minutes.

4. When the onions are browned, add the garlic and ginger paste, masala and fry, stirring often, until the oil, which has been absorbed, is released slowly around the edges of the combined masala and onions.

5. Add the chicken and fry for 4-5 minutes or until half done. Add salt and check for seasoning.

6. Add the chopped tomatoes and the soaked apricots (together with any soaking water), mix well, cover and simmer until the chicken is done.

7. If the sauce becomes too thin, uncover and cook for a few minutes until the consistency is like that of rich tomato gravy, however, do not overcook the chicken.

8. Blend in the chopped coriander and check the seasoning.

9. Serve garnished with crispy straw potatoes, which the Parsees call 'Sali'. Bread, plain rice or chappatties are excellent accompaniments.

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