Frithad (chicken)

My mom left me this amazing old cookbook called the East Indian Cookery Book. Before we immigrated to North America, we had no idea we were called East Indians, this is ofcourse so we don't get confused with native Indians.

In India, East Indians are known as East Indians or East Indian Catholics and are typically Marathi-speaking, Roman Catholic ethnic group, based in and around the city of Mumbai (formerly Bombay) in the state of Maharashtra.[2] These people are of the original Marathi ethnic group and had been evangelized by the Portuguese, while retaining much of their pre-Christian traditions. More in this on Wikipedia

East Indian recipes are long and laborious and are often kept secret for generations. Lucky for you I'm a blabber mouth. I made this Frithad with chicken, but you could easily make it with mutton or beef.

Masala paste
10 red dried chillies (kashmiri)
1 tsp cumin seeds
8 flakes garlic
1 1/2 tsp khus-khus(poppy seeds)
6 cloves
4 cardamoms(remove seeds)
11/2 tso coriander seeds
6 peppercorns
11/2 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 inch stick cinnamom
Grind the above using a little water if necessary.

4 red onions chopped
2 tomatoes chopped
1 2 x1 inch piece of tamarinf soaked in 2- 3 cups of water.
1 full chicken cut in small pieces
2 potatoes cut in small cubes

Fry the onions till golden brown. Add the masala paste, and fry for a few minutes. Add chopped tomatoes. Cooke covered for 5 mins and stir frequently. Remove the masala paste from the pan add add some more oil. Brown the chicken for a few minutes. Add the paste and cook for 5 - 10 mins covered. add salt and the tamarind water. Cook the chicken till tender stirring frequently and adding wayer and salt as required for about 20 mins. Add the potatoes and cook for another 5  mins.


  1. Hi Karen Ahmed. :) I came by your site when I did a search on frithad coz i desperately wanna know what frithad means. do u have any clue?:)

  2. Main articles: History of Bombay under British rule and Bombay Presidency

    On 11 May 1661, the marriage treaty of Charles II of England and Catherine of Braganza, daughter of King João IV of Portugal, placed Bombay in the possession of the British Empire, as part of Catherine's dowry to Charles.[7] From the early days of the East India Company, there were no other Indian Christians in the North Konkan except the East Indian Catholics. Employments that were intended for the Christians, were the monopoly of the East Indians. With development, came in railways and steamship, a boon for the travelling public. And with that came a number of emigrants from Goa who were also known as Portuguese Christians. The British found it expedient to adopt a designation which would distinguish the Christians of North Konkan who were British subjects and the Goan and Mangalorean Catholics who were Portuguese subjects. Accordingly on the occasion of The Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria, the Christians of North Konkan, who were known as "Portuguese Christians" discarded that name and adopted the designation "East Indian”. By the adoption of the name "East Indian" they wanted to impress upon the British Government of Bombay that they were the earliest Roman Catholic Subjects of the British Crown in this part of India, in as much as Bombay, by its cession in 1661, was the first foothold the British acquired in India. As the children of the soil, they urged on the Government, that they were entitled to certain natural rights and privileges as against the emigrants.[2]

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