Chicken and Chickpea Curry/ Murgh Chanay

Growing up in California, there was a mosque nearby that we used to attend frequently.  It was a small mosque, a ranch-style home that was transformed into a few prayer halls and a large kitchen.  It had a very homey feel to it and I have wonderful memories of my time spent there.  Unfortunately several years ago, a bigot that lived nearby decided to take it upon himself to vandalize and set fire to the mosque (you can read more about that here).  Since then, a new mosque has been built in its place.

Some of my fondest memories of that Masjid (mosque) revolve around the community potlucks.  They were simple affairs, and the women from the community always brought with them plenty of home-cooked meals.  The majority of the community in that area was of Pakistani Punjabi background, and that reflected in the food that was brought to these events.  Murgh Chanay, Chicken and Chickpea Curry, was almost always present at these potlucks, and was loved by all.  It is a simple dish, and it is often enjoyed with Matar Pulao (Green Pea Pilaf), plain rice, or with Naan/Roti (traditional flatbread).




Murgh Chanay

Yield:  3 to 4 Servings


  • 1 pound boneless chicken, cut into desired pieces
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced, divided
  • ½ cup oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • ¾ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cups chickpeas
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 green chili, sliced lengthwise
  • Cilantro, chopped, for garnish


Heat half of the oil in a cooking vessel over medium-high heat.  Add half of the sliced onions and cook until transparent.  Add ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, turmeric, and salt and cook for 2 minutes.

Add ½ cup water, tomatoes and chicken, cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the chicken is no longer rare and the tomatoes have lost their shape and begun to form a paste.

Run half of the chickpeas through a blender or food processor with ½ cup water, and blitz until a thick paste is formed.  Add chickpea paste and whole chickpeas to chicken, mix, and cook until a thick gravy is formed.

Heat remaining oil in a small fry pan over medium-high heat.  Add remaining onions and cook until golden brown.  While the onions are cooking, add garam masala and green chili to chicken and mix well.  Top with tempered onions (with oil), cover, and reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Garnish with chopped cilantro.


16 responses

    • Lollll thank you!
      Tell him thw key to a happy marriage is to eat whatever the wife cooks and then complement it over and over again, until he tires.
      Happy wife= happy life (wise words from everyones favorite Bravolebrity, Teresa Guidice)

      • It’s true though!! Haha he’s learned that very quickly. I ran out of chickpeas (I know unforgivable haha) so I’ll just make it tomorrow night.

        Thanks for the recipes!

  1. This looks so good!!! I am so bad at taking shots of desi food…which explains why I haven’t posted desi food for so long! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Wlill give it a try soon once I pick up some chicken 🙂

    So sad to hear that someone would set fire to the Masjid. And I can’t believe it was so recent. Really sad there is so much prejudice out there.

    Growing up in a big city with a lot of Muslims our experiences are so different. When we would go to the Masjid I wouldn’t get that homey family feeling like you did. It was a great place to go but with a smaller community you really get to know everyone. With such a big community we all stick to people we already know.

    • Thanks doll! 🙂 Desi food is sooo hard to photograph! It always takes me the longest to try to photograph.
      It’s really sad that in this day and age there still is so much hate. I never realized it before, when I was living in San Francisco, because it’s a large city and very liberal. But after moving to the Midwest I realized that the rest of the world isn’t as progressive and liberal as the big cities.
      Hopefully our children will live in a world free from hate. InshAllah 🙂


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