This is a dish I often craved as a child, because I would only get to enjoy it at a family friend’s house whose origins linked them back to Lahore. On those special occasions when we paid this family a visit, I made sure to tell my mom about my dinner request. It had been years since I tasted this authentic Punjabi dish, but this time, I was able to pick up the recipe from the same family, allowing me to recreate those bold and delicious flavors from my childhood. Murg Cholay is a variation on the classic cholay dish which is a common snack food all over the subcontinent.
And introduction of chicken made this a popular breakfast item for the meat loving people in Lahore. No meal is complete without the extra protein according to the boisterous bunch, which not only demonstrates their passion for cuisine, but also their hearty appetites.
In a large stockpot, cover chickpeas with water, add a bay leaf plus a pinch of baking soda and bring to a boil. Cook for approximately 15-20 minutes or until chickpeas are tender, but not mushy, set aside.
In a large sauce pan bring Noor Oil to a high temperature. Add onions and cook carefully allowing them to brown, but NOT burn. Now, add chicken, salt and pepper and sear on all sides for about 5-7 minutes at a med-high temperature. Add in the spices, ginger, and garlic.
Mix all the ingredients together and cook for a few minutes. Add yoghurt; lower heat, cover pan and simmer for 10 minutes.
Bring the temperature back to high, add chickpeas, and cook for another 10 minutes. If sauce is drying out, add a little bit of water. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for another 10 minutes.
You can enjoy Murg Cholay on its own as a hearty meal. It also pairs really well with steamed basmati rice or hot rotis or chapathis.