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Murgh Cholay – Chicken with Chickpeas

2008 January 25
by taiyyaba

Seasoned chicken cooked with chickpeas and potatoes. Delish. My mom cooks it with whole chicken pieces, which I think tastes better, but I didn’t have any so I shortcutted it with boneless chicken breast.

Click below for the recipe

– 1/2 boneless chicken breast, cubed
– 2 cans chickpeas
– 1 medium potato, sliced (about equal parts chickpeas-potatoes)
– 1 medium onion, diced (or pureed, easier)
– 1 heaping tsp minced or pureed garlic
– 2 heaping tsp tomato paste
– 2 tomatoes, chopped
– 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
– 1/2 tsp black cumin seeds (not nigella seeds – they’re long and thin like normal “white” cumin, just black and a little drier)
– 1 heaping tsp powdered cumin
– 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
– 1/4 to 1/2 tsp garam masala (this can be strong, so start with a little, taste, and add more of any of the spices if you want)
– Coriander [a.k.a. Cilantro], stalks and leaves
– Chicken broth, about 2 cups
– salt to taste

Making the Masala
1. Put oil in a deep saute pan. When it’s warm, add in the whole spices and let them toast a little. Add in the onions. (if using whole onions, sweat/soften them). Add garlic. Add tomato paste.
2. Add powdered spices and salt. Mix it together, let it cook until it looks past-y and darkens a little.
3. Add in one of the tomatoes. Mix, cook a little till some juice comes out.

Adding the chicken
4. Add in the chicken cubes. Mix well to cover in the masala and cook for just a few minutes until they’re just cooked/seared on the outside. Usually you “bhoon” (cook with whole spices) meat before adding in the vegetables. Don’t cook the chicken all the way.

Adding the vegetables.
5. Add in the other tomato, the chickpeas, and the potatoes. Stir well, covering with the masala, let it cook for a few minutes.
6. Pour in the chicken stock. You might want to start with less and add more if you need it to finish cooking the potatoes and chickpeas. Put it on medium-high, cover, let it bubble and cook.
7. Finely dice the stalks of coriander – about 7 or 8 of them, and put into the mix. As the liquid simmers, it’ll draw a fresh, tangy flavor from the stems.
8. Let it bubble until the vegetables are soft or almost soft. Add in some fresh jalapeno (Unseeded, baby. Seeding a jalapeno for a desi is like cutting off your own hand.) Uncover to let the rest of the liquid evaporate, to your desired soup-iness.
9. Add in some fresh chopped cilantro. Let it wilt into the mix.

Serve with rice and/or naan.

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