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Recipe for Murgh Cholay (Chicken curry with chickpeas)

Murgh Cholay is a curry recipe from Lahore, Pakistan; in this name the word Cholay or Choley means chickpeas. Essentially Murgh Cholay made with deboned chicken pieces cooked in a relatively liquid curry sauce with chickpeas.

Some people like to make this curry recipe with chicken drumsticks, but this is not the traditional way to make this. Eating this dish you will notice the spiciness of the sauce this dish contrasting nicely with the mildness of the yogurt mixed within...





Ingredients (for four guests):

* 2 lb. boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs
* 2 chopped onions
* 1 red ripe tomato, chopped
* 2 cups cooked or canned Chickpeas
* 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
* 3 tablespoons oil
* 1/2 cup plain yogurt
* 1 teaspoon spicy paprika
* 1 tablespoon dhania powder (powdered coriander seeds)
* 1 tablespoon garam masala
* 1 tablespoon turmeric
* 1 teaspoon cumin
* Salt to taste
* 2 cloves
* 2 green cardamoms, without seeds
* 4 black Peppercorns
* 1 cinnamon Stick

To garnish:
* Chopped cilantro to garnish
* 1 inch ginger, sliced lengthwise in strips to garnish
* 3 green Chillies (jalapeños), sliced lengthwise thinly

Preparation:

1) In a skillet heat up one tablespoon oil and fry the onions until they start to brown. Pour the onions in the blender and blend to a paste then mix with the yogurt; reserve.

2) Heat up 2 tablespoons of oil then put the chopped tomato in; cook to reduce the tomato's liquids a little bit, for a few minutes.

3) Mix in the yogurt-onion mixture. Put the chicken pieces or drumsticks in, the cumin, cloves, dhania powder, turmeric, garam masala, salt and paprika. Mix gently it so that the chicken absorbs the spices' aroma and then cover; simmer over medium-low setting.

4) At this point pour the cooked chickpeas (choley) in and about 1/4 cup water; cover and simmer slowly until the chicken is cooked; your Murgh Cholay is ready.

Pour in stylish Pakistani metal dishes and garnish with finely chopped cilantro, sliced green chillies, the thin strips of ginger and serve the Murgh Cholay with rice and or naan bread