Parsi cuisine is often a mix hot and sweet, and in this dish, succulent mutton chunks are cooked with tomatoes, onions, jaggery* and vinegar.
Like the renowned Dhansak**, Sali Boti is another famous Parsi dish. You will find it everywhere because mutton is a staple in the Parsi diet. Sali Boti is not only delicious, and is an excellent side dish to serve with a Dhandar*** but also just by itself when served on a bed of sali (potato sticks) with some fresh chapatti’s.
To make Sali Boti for 4 to 5 people you will need the following ingredients:
- 1kg boneless mutton cut into small chunks
- 1 heaped tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- 1 heaped tbsp green chilli and jeera paste
- 1/2 cup yoghurt
- 2 tbsp oil
- 4 large onions chopped very finely
- 4 tomatoes pureed in the grinder
- 1/2 bottle pasta sauce
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 tsp each of turmeric, red chilli and garam masala powders
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- lemon – if required for added sourness
- 2 tbsp sugar
- Salt to taste
- Finely chopped coriander as garnish
- 150 gm fine sali (potato sticks)
Making Sali Boti is relatively easy, but does take 2 – 3 hours because the mutton is at its best if slow cooked.
First, you need to marinate the de-boned mutton in some salt, ginger garlic and green chili pastes and the yoghurt.
Cover the bowl with some cling wrap and let the meat marinate. The longer the marination period, the quicker the mutton will cook and the better it will taste so marinate overnight if you can.
In a earthern or nonstick pot, heat the oil and add in the finely chopped onions. Fry the onions till they are golden pink in colour. Don’t rush this step or your onions will not emulsify into the dish later – they must cook fully and become translucent.
Next add in the tomato puree and the pasta sauce.
Once you have achieved a nice thick gravy of the pasta sauce and the tomatoes, add in the mutton pieces, all the masalas, vinegar, sugar and bay leaves. Give everything a good stir and cover your pot so that the meat can start slow cooking on low heat.
Check in on the meat every 10 – 15 minutes. A covered pot may make your gravy slightly watery so leave the pot slightly open so that water can evaporate.
Once the masala’s have had time to cook after 1 hour or so, you can then adjust the flavour. If it’s not sour enough, squeezing in the juice of one lemon may be all the adjustments you will need to make.
You might also add in some sugar if you prefer it to be sweet as well as sour. The process of the muttton cooking and the tomato gravy evaporating will take about 40 to 60 minutes.
Serving Parsi-style Sali Boti
- When the meat becomes tender and the tomato gravy has reduced by almost half its contents then your Sali Boti is ready.
- Add in some finely chopped coriander and give it a final stir.
- Serve hot with some sali and chappatis – enjoy!
Dhansak is a popular Indian dish, originating among the Parsi Zoroastrian community. It combines elements of Persian and Gujarati cuisine and is made by cooking mutton or goat meat with a mixture of lentils and vegetables.
Dhandar is a staple for Parsis in the same way that yellow dal is for most Indians.
Jaggery is essentially unrefined sugar which is obtained from raw, concentrated sugarcane juice.