Lahori Murgh Cholay

04 May 2023 Jules Verne
Lahori Murgh Cholay


  • 250g dried chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp dried red lentils
  • ½ tsp gluten-free baking powder

For the ginger paste:

  • 5cm root ginger, roughly chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 green chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes

For the curry:

  • 125g vegetable oil (or ghee*)
  • *Use vegetable oil, not ghee, if dairy-free.
  • 1.35kg chicken, jointed into 8 pieces
  • ½ tbsp sea salt flakes, plus extra as needed
  • 3 red onions, sliced
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns, coarsely ground
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds, coarsely ground
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, halved or quartered (optional)
  • small handful coriander leaves, chopped


  1. The day before cooking, rinse the chickpeas and lentils, place in a large bowl and soak in cold water overnight.
  2.  Rinse the pulses thoroughly and drain. Add to a large saucepan with 1 litre cold water and the baking powder and bring to the boil. Cook on a low simmer for 1 hour 15 – 1 hour 30 minutes, or until the chickpeas are tender but not starting to break down (the lentils will break down). Add more water if required.
  3. Place the ginger paste ingredients in a small food processor with 125ml water and blend until smooth.
  4. Add the ghee to a large saucepan or sauté pan and heat over a high heat until beginning to smoke. Season the chicken with flaky salt, then brown on all sides until deep golden; about 8-10 minutes. Set aside on a plate.
  5.  Add the onions to the fat remaining in the pan, lower the heat and cook until light golden. Add the cardamom, cinnamon, black peppercorns and half the coriander seeds. Continue to cook the onions until deep golden. Add the ginger paste to the pan; take care as it will bubble vigorously. Continue to cook until the fat separates out; about 8-10 minutes over a medium heat.
  6. Return the chicken to the pan with ½ tablespoon salt flakes and stir to coat. Stir through the cooked chickpeas and lentils, along with the remaining coriander seeds and the garam masala. Simmer for a further 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of water if the mixture starts to catch on the pan.
  7. Check the chicken is cooked through and tender, by removing a little meat from the bone. The meat should pull away with little resistance. Taste and adjust the seasoning as required. Top with the boiled eggs, if using.
  8. Serve in a large bowl, garnished with the coriander. Any leftovers can be chilled for 2-3 days; reheat with a splash of water until piping hot.

Credit: Silver Travel Advisor