Marghi Na Farcha (Parsi Fried Chicken)

Chef Meherwan Irani's Parsi-style fried chicken is first marinated with an aromatic mix of ginger, garlic, chiles, and spices then dredged in flour and dipped in fluffy beaten egg for a crispy, golden crust. Basting the chicken while it cooks helps to crisp the outside while keeping the inside juicy and evenly cooked. He serves this dish with a quick slaw of shredded cabbage and carrots, chopped cilantro, and healthy dashes of vinegar and lime juice.

Marghi Na Farcha (Parsi Fried Chicken)
Photo: Photo by Joel Goldberg / Food Styling by Mallory Lance
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 10 mins


For the slaw

  • 1 (14-ounce) bag coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons maple vinegar or rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

For the chicken

  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems, plus sprigs for serving

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 2 small Thai green chiles or 1 serrano chile, seeded and coarsely chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon toasted and ground cumin seeds

  • 2 teaspoons turmeric powder

  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chile powder or ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

  • 1 2-inch piece peeled ginger, coarsely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 4 large boneless skinless chicken thighs

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, or more if needed

  • Vegetable oil, for frying          

  • Sliced red onion, for garnish 


Make the slaw

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the cabbage and carrots. Season with the salt and sugar and toss to coat. Mix in the lime juice and vinegar. Let marinate while making the chicken.

Make the chicken

  1. In a small or mini food processor, blend the cilantro, lime juice, chiles, garlic, cumin, turmeric, Kashmiri chile powder, if using, ginger, and salt into a thick paste, adding a teaspoon or two of water if needed to help the mixture blend smoothly, but so much that it becomes runny. Transfer to a bowl, add the chicken, and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (and up to 5 hours).

  2. Preheat the oven to 200°F. Set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Heat 1/2 inch oil in a large cast-iron skillet until a deep-fry or instant thermometer registers 330°F.

  3. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs until blended and fluffy, about 30 seconds. Place the flour in another medium bowl. Working in two batches, dredge the chicken in the flour to coat, then shake off any excess. Coat the chicken in the beaten egg, allowing excess egg to drip back into the bowl.

  4. Gently and carefully lower the chicken into the hot oil. Cook, basting top of chicken several times with hot oil, until bottom is golden and crisp, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip chicken pieces and continue cooking and basting until chicken is golden and crispy, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thighs reads 160°F, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to the prepared wire rack and keep warm in the oven while cooking the remaining chicken. Serve the chicken with fresh sprigs of cilantro, sliced red onion, and the slaw.

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