The traditional East Indian chicken tope is the perfect food for picnics

Special East Indian Chicken Tope Recipe

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East Indian Tope, a marriage of our Portuguese cultural inheritance with our Maharashtrian Indian roots. It’s the perfect all in one meal at any time. In continuing with the East Indian Series, Sarah from TheWingedFork talks about cooking this yummy recipe.

It was my turn to help mom in the kitchen yesterday, and we were making Chicken Tope again after a long time. yeah, we like Mutton Tope too, but this time it was chicken. 😉 Just so you know, tope is pronounced as “toh-pay”. From the hall sis kept taking breaks from her work to scream, ‘Take pictures, take pictures of the chicken!’. We had already started chopping the onions and the chillies, so no pictures of that. Anyway I managed to take a few pics in the middle of mess.

By the way, did you know that my friend Karen makes some great tasting vegan BBQ chicken! It was the first I heard of vegan meat, but yeah, that’s a thing!

How to make the East Indian Chicken Tope

We had already cut a whole chicken into pieces. So we sliced about half a kilogram of onions, along with 8 green chillies (we’re spicy like that, ha!) and ginger.

Ginger-garlic-ghee-for-the-East-Indian-tope--Sarah -TheWingedFork
Frying the masala, aka onions, garlic, ginger, and chillies

Mom then set me to heating 3 large spoons of ghee (the traditional Indian version of clarified butter) in the toap (vessel). We then added in the chopped onions and chillies, and fried it for about 5 minutes.

See the steam and smell the garlic
See the steam and smell the garlic coming out of the toap?

We chop the ginger fine and then crush it. The garlic cloves we just crush to release the flavor.

Next, we add in the crushed garlic and ginger to the onion mixture and fry for another 7 minutes.

Add in the cinnamom powder and crushed cardamom
Add in the cinnamon powder and crushed cardamom

Next comes 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder and the crushed cardamoms.

Here's how the chicken looks after adding the masala
Here’s how the chicken looks after adding the bottle masala

We then added in the chicken pieces and about two and a half spoons of the East Indian bottle masala, 700 ml water, and left it to cook on a medium flame for about 10 minutes. The pic above is just before we add the water in.

Chicken tope before we add the poha in
One more pic of the chicken tope before we add the poha in

Here’s one more closeup pic of the chicken! It would taste great as a stir fry on its own, but why leave it that way? So onwards to make the famous East Indian chicken tope.

Chicken-tope-gravy- Sarah--TheWingedFork
Chicken tope cooking on a low flame

While we’re doing that sis takes another break from her work to scream, ‘Pictures! Pictures!’ We scream back, ‘You come and take pics if you want!’ But she’s got deadlines and isn’t leaving the computer. So we feel sorry for her and take some pics. She’s lucky she has us, isn’t she?

Chicken-Gravy-mint-coriander- Sarah--TheWingedFork
Adding in the more ingredients, especially the mint

After a bit, we add in the chopped coriander and mint leaves. Mom then sets me to squeezing the juice of 2 whole sourlimes in it and turn off the fire in a few minutes.

Add in the poha to the chicken tope and leave to rest
Add in the poha to the chicken tope and leave to rest

Once we’ve taken the chicken off the flame, we add in the poha and leave it be for some time.

Add-in-the-poha- Sarah--TheWingedFork
After taking it off the flame, add in the poha

After some time we see that the poha, which is a form of beaten rice has absorbed all of the gravy from the toap and grown to double its size.

Chop the fresh coriander roughly
Chop the coriander roughly
East-Indian-Special-Tope-ready-- Sarah -TheWingedFork
Chicken Tope ready to eat

We just stirred it once more and then garnished with some roughly chopped coriander before digging in. That’s it, quite simple and easy. Our delicious East Indian Special Chicken Tope was ready to relish!

The traditional East Indian chicken tope is the perfect food for picnics
The traditional East Indian chicken tope is the perfect dish for picnics

We love our chicken tope because it’s the perfect all-in-one dish. It’s similar to the Indian biryani but truly in a league of its own. It’s also perfect to carry for picnics and serve with a side of fresh tomatoes!

East-Indian-Special-Tope-ready-- Sarah -TheWingedFork
Print Recipe
4.34 from 3 votes

Special East Indian Chicken Tope

Recipe Notes by Sarah of, for the Traditional East Indian Chicken Tope recipe handed down by my grandmother. While cooking for a friend I also confirmed that this recipe is gluten free.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time22 mins
Resting Time10 mins
Total Time52 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: East Indian, Indian
Servings: 8 people
Author: Sarah


  • 1 Chicken Cut into pieces
  • 500 g Onions Sliced
  • 2 tbsp East Indian Bottle Masala If you can't find it in your country, use a mix of Garam Masala and chilli powder. It will get you halfway there taste wise.
  • 8 Green Chillies
  • 2 in Ginger
  • 12 flakes Garlic Crushed for flavor
  • 3 tbsp Ghee (Indian clarified butter)
  • 8 pods Cardamom Crushed
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon powder
  • 2 tbsp Coriander Roughly chopped
  • 2 Sourlimes Juiced
  • 400 g Poha (beaten rice)
  • 1.5 tbsp Salt
  • 700 ml water


  • Chop the onions long and the chillies fine and fry for 5 minutes with 3 tbsp ghee.
  • Add in the crushed ginger and garlic, and salt and continue to stir for 7 minutes.
  • Add in the crushed cardamoms and cinnamom powder.
  • Add in the East Indian bottle masala and chicken pieces with 700 ml water and stir occasionally on medium fire for 10 minutes.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, add in some of the mint leaves and coriander, the juice of two limes and stir.
  • Turn the flame off. Add in the poha and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Stir again and garnish with the rest of the chopped mint leaves and coriander before serving.


  • We never use fixed amounts of ingredients. So feel free to add or remove as per your taste.
  • If you cannot find bottle masala in nearby stores, use a 2:1 mix of garam masala and chilli powder.
  • Gluten free as long as your ingredients are properly sourced. 

Well that’s it for my gluten free East Indian chicken tope recipe. I hope to see some of your recipes next week! Ping me at to post them.

East-Indian-Chicken-Tope - TheWingedFork

Updated to add info about beaten rice or poha for those who haven’t tasted it before.
Beaten rice or poha is rice that has been parboiled, then flattened by rolling and finally dried to produce flakes. The flakes can vary in texture and thickness, with different types being used in both sweet and savory Indian snacks and dishes. The most popular Indian snack is the namesake, the Maharastrian poha.

Beaten rice is an easy on-the-go snack. Just add the poha with any spices and leave it to soak in a pot of boiling water, and it’s done in 10 minutes. But of course, spend 10 or 20 more minutes with it and you can create a whole array of dishes, from chiwda to vadas, from pudding to pakodas.

Beaten rice is a fat-free gluten free food that’s easy on the heart and the stomach. You can find it in the Asian section of Walmart’s and Amazon in raw or pre-cooked form. Maybe I’ll come back with another recipe for poha sometime soon. 😉

How to make the East Indian Chicken Tope
How to make the East Indian Chicken Tope

12 thoughts on “Special East Indian Chicken Tope Recipe”

    • Thanks Julia. Beaten rice or poha is a South Asian cooking ingredient. It is rice that has been parboiled, then flattened by rolling and finally dried to produce flakes. It’s similar to dried cereals, but at the same time very different. You’ll find it in the Asian food section of the store.

    • Thanks Claire. Beaten rice or is a form of rice flakes that finds use in Indian cooking. Updating the recipe to add in a description. 🙂 You’ll find it in the Asian food section of any stores.

  1. Here we cooked chicken in Tender coconut and which is best food as healthy receipe.
    Ingrdients :
    Tender Coconut – 2
    chicken – 1kg
    ginger,garlic paste – 2 tsp
    garam masala – 2tsp
    red chilli powder – 2 tsp
    pepper powder – 2tsp
    chicken masala – 2tsp
    turmeric powder – 2tsp
    lemon – 2
    coriander – required

    cut chicken into small pieces. mix all mixer powders together in chicken, mix nicely.
    Then fill mixed chicken in tender coconut after drinking the juice of it. fire the tender coconut for 3 hrs.
    After 3hrs, Open the tender coconut to taste the cooked chicken which mixed with tender coconut. Chicken Ready.
    If get a chance Dont forget to Try it.
    Tender coconut chicken try it yourself stars


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