Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Chicken Farcha or Chicken In A Basket?

Chicken Farcha

The Bohri community is famous for its delicious Chicken Farcha. Freshly deep  fried in huge drums filled with gallons of oil at all wedding feasts its hard not to enjoy it fresh and crisp.

Parsis love Bohri food. It is probably the closest to our own both in flavour and spices. 
This is my version of the Farcha, a bit more "Parsi style" if you like!
The hesitation for most making this at home is the uncertainty of ensuring that the pieces of chicken get cooked quickly enough as it fries. This method I am sharing ensures it is always cooked through. The pieces of chicken used must be on the bone but skinless. Preferably use thigh and legs for perfect pieces. And breast meat should be cooked for a shorter period of time as in the Tips section below. It is delicious but alas only when it is hot off the pan and into the plate.

Serves  4 to 6 persons

12 pieces of chicken legs

2 cups of water

Blend together, like a chutney

6 green chillies, roughly chopped
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp garlic
1 packed cup of fresh coriander 
1 tsp salt

In a bowl mix

1 cup of flour
1/2 cup of semolina
1/2 tsp chillie powder
1/2 tsp salt

In another bowl beat 

4 large eggs
4 tbsp cold water
pinch of salt

Oil and Karahai or wok for deep frying

In a pan add the chicken and the spice mix and the water. Bring it to a boil, lower the heat to medium and cook the chicken until it is cooked through about 30 minutes. The water should evaporate and what is left is the chicken and the paste.

Take each piece of chicken and roll it in the egg and then dredge it in the flour. Return it to the egg wash and immediately drop into the hot oil.

Keep a small wok or Karhai ready for oil  which is almost boiling. Lower the pieces of chicken in the fryer and let it brown, it will take 2 minutes. Turn it around on all sides. Do not put more than 3 pieces each time.

Turn it with a fork or a tong to keep it even.
Serve immediately, do not reheat.


If you prefer to use breast, you must either cook it separately or remove it in 15 minutes. Breast cooks in less than half the time and will become very dry.
Use a flatter pan to cook the chicken and turn it once or twice to ensure all of it is cooked evenly. In a deeper pot the pieces on the 'top' may remain uncooked.
The semolina is optional but gives a nice crunch to the batter. Chilli powder is also an optional ingredient which adds to the flavours of the batter.
Keep the oil clean; if reusing make sure to strain it.
Only start frying when oil is hot. When the oil has a wrinkle ripple you know it is ready.
By adding too many pieces of chicken at a time the oil temperature comes down rapidly and it spoils the batter from crisping up as it should.
Remove and lay on paper towels to drain the excess oil.

For more Parsi recipes and its origins click on my cookbook

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.

For an e-book menu click
Niloufer's Kitchen: Quick and Easy

To find an easy way to download your e-book  simply click

Photo credit Sheriar Hirjikaka


31st July 2018
Tanya M 
A favourite!

11th October 2017

Meher Zarir Cheers Niloufer. Have made chicken farcha many times, all of us love it and have made busboosa too

July 8th 2016.
Dinaz Subjally Made it tonight, very easy , hubby dearest really liked it. After a big lunch , this made a good light dinner for him , couple of really tasty drumsticks

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