Perveen Mistry Series Recipe Collection

Chicken Farcha

Preparation Time: Less than 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes
Serves: 4 as appetizers or part of a larger meal
Difficulty: Moderate

This traditional Parsi fried chicken dish cooks fast and is a crowd pleaser. Use red chili powder with caution!


  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinned chicken breast cut in approximately 1.5-inch square
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder, optional (use plain chili powder, not chili powder with additional spices)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin seed powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander seed powder
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
  • High smoke-point cooking oil such as: canola, grapeseed oil, extra light extra-virgin olive oil, or peanut oil for deep frying (enough to fill your saucepan 2-3 inches)
  • 2-3 eggs
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • Additional lime for garnish


  1. Rub the chicken in the lime juice and 1 teaspoon salt and set aside.
  2. In a food processor, make a paste out of the turmeric, chili powder, garam masala, cumin, coriander, garlic, cilantro, Worcestershire, vinegar, and oil.
  3. Coat the chicken pieces in the paste and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to overnight.
  4. When it’s time to cook, heat a large, high-sided saucepan with enough oil in for deep frying (at least 2-3 inches).
  5. Beat the eggs with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 tablespoon black pepper.
  6. Dip the chicken pieces in egg and then carefully lower them in the pan. Deep fry at medium-high heat, keeping enough room around the pieces for the egg to form a nice crust on each piece. You will need at least two rounds of deep-frying, and you might need to add more oil.
  7. Remove chicken pieces to a wire rack set over a cookie sheet with sides. This will allow the oil to drip while maintaining a crisp crust.
  8. Prepare all chicken pieces this way, and serve within 30 minutes, squeezing lime over as desired.


Malabar Spinach And Eggs

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2 as breakfast or 4 as part of a dinner
Difficulty: Easy

Here’s a moderately spicy recipe that is a Parsi classic. Malabar spinach, also known as water spinach or poisaag, can be found at Asian grocers and farmer’s markets. Large leaf spinach or swiss chard is a good substitute. You’ll need a wide frying pan with a lid to prepare this dish.


  • 2 tablespoons canola, safflower or sunflower oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4 curry leaves (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 5 diced Roma tomatoes, or one large tomato
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 bunch of Malabar spinach, or substitute greens
  • salt to taste
  • 4 eggs


  1. Heat oil in a wide, deep skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and optional curry leaves and sauté until onion is translucent.
  2. Add the ginger, garlic, tomatoes, cilantro, turmeric, and chili powder. After the tomatoes are broken down, about two minutes, add the spinach and a few tablespoons of water. Cover with lid and cook for 5 to 7 minutes over low heat, until the spinach is soft. Add salt to taste.
  3. Use a large spoon to make 4 depressions in the soft cooked greens. Break an egg over each of these depressions.
  4. Cover the pan again. If the lid has a curve on its underside, invert the lid and pour a couple of teaspoons of water into the curve. This addition of water heightens the steaming effect as the eggs poach under the lid. Remember to keep the temperature very low.
  5. Peek at the eggs after 3 minutes, and if they are almost set, serve.



Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 6 hours (including freezing time)
Serves: 9
Difficulty: Easy

A simple but delicious recipe for Kulfi (Indian ice cream).


  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 14-ounce can full-fat sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp of ground cardamom
  • 1/4 cup unsalted pistachio nuts, ground


  1. Stir all ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Pour into popsicle molds or 4-ounce ceramic bowls or ramekins. Freeze until set.
  3. Remove from ramekins or popsicle holders, running a little water over the ramekin base or popsicle holder if needed. Serve sliced on plates with a spoon.


Falooda (or Widows’ Punch)

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 1
Difficulty: Moderate, as it takes some time to make the ingredients

The Parsis who migrated from Iran introduced this sweet concoction, although it’s very popular in Muslim homes and restaurants, too. There are many recipes for falooda using different fruits, and some modern ones use flavored Jell-o cubes as an addition! Another good idea is fresh or frozen strawberries or raspberries. Make sure you have tall, wide glasses to best fit this sweet treat that is a combination of sundae and milkshake.


  • 3/4 cup milk, whole or 2%
  • 2 tablespoons rose syrup (or substitute Rose’s Grenadine)
  • 1 teaspoon tukmaria seeds (also known as sabja or basil seeds, sold in South Asian groceries), soaked in 1/4 cup water for 20-30 minutes in the refrigerator. They will expand and bloom.
  • 2 tablespoons broken-up falooda sev noodles (cornflower vermicelli—you can substitute super-fine semolina or wheat vermicelli)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon sliced almonds
  • Vanilla ice cream, 1-2 scoops
  • 1 Maraschino cherry for garnish (optional)


  1. Chill tall glass (about 24-ounce capacity) in the refrigerator at least half an hour.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of the rose syrup to the milk and mix together. Refrigerate.
  3. Add the broken vermicelli to a saucepan with boiling water. Boil for 3 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water; set aside.
  4. Begin to assemble the drink. At bottom of glass, pour in a generous tablespoon of rose
  5. Add the bloomed tukmaria seeds.
  6. Layer the cooked cold vermicelli on top.
  7. Pour in the milk, and then add 1 or 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream.
  8. Drizzle more rose syrup on top of ice cream.
  9. Top with chopped nuts and a maraschino cherry.
  10. Serve immediately or the ice cream will melt and overflow.


Perveen’s Gin-Lime Drink

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Serves: 2
Difficulty: Easy

The British drank tonic water to fight malaria infection, so gin and tonic was a very popular drink. Most Indians don’t drink alcohol, but they enjoy nimbu-pani, a fresh limeade, either salty or sweet, made with bubbly or still water. Spiking a glass of sweet nimbu-pani with gin creates an Anglo-Indian drink that is refreshing on the veranda.


  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 ounce simple syrup or maple syrup
  • 2 ounces good-quality dry gin
  • club soda or seltzer


  1. Mix lime juice, syrup, and gin inside a highball glass.
  2. Slowly pour in club soda to fill glass a few inches from top.
  3. Add an ice cube or two and a slice of lime.