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Pakistani Chicken and Chickpea Curry / Murgh Cholay

Course Main Course
Cuisine Pakistani
Keyword Chicken, Chickpeas, Cooking, Curry, Main Course, Pakistani
Servings 4 Servings


  • pounds boneless or bone-in chicken, skinless and cut into desired size pieces
  • cups boiled chickpeas, divided
  • ½ cup neutral flavored oil
  • ½ medium onion, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 green chili (serrano or jalapeño), sliced in half lengthwise
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro


  • ¼ cup neutral flavored oil
  • ½ medium onion, sliced thin


Prepare Curry

  1. Use ½-cup of chickpeas and blitz them in a blender or food processor to form a thick puree. Add water as necessary to help attain a smooth paste. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large vessel over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Add ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, turmeric, and salt, and cook until the oil starts to separate from the spices, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and chicken, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Cook until the tomatoes have softened and the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Stir and sauté periodically, and add splashes of water as necessary to prevent the mixture from burning.
  4. Add chickpeas and pureed chickpeas to the chicken, and continue cooking until the chickpeas have slightly softened and the curry has thickened. Add garam masala and green chili, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for a few minutes.

Prepare Tempering

  1. Heat oil in a small pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until golden brown, stirring often. Once onions have turned golden, carefully pour the mixture over the curry. Cover and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and garnish with cilantro.