Chicken w/ Yellow Split Peas (Murghi Dalcha)

This recipe is adapted from Raghavan Iyer's 660 Curries... I have made a few minor changes to suit my cooking style and tastes... Enjoy!

  • 1 cup yellow split peas
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate/paste, dissolved in a bit of water
  • 1 red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • about 3 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 4 fresh green chilies, stems removed
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 bay leaves, fresh or dried
  • 2, 3-inch long cinnamon sticks
  • 2 pounds chopped chicken breast
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • handful chopped, fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 12 - 15 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Wash the dal a few times in a small bowl until water runs relatively clear; add 3 cups water and bring dal to a boil over medium-high heat, uncovered. Skim off any foam that forms on the surface. Lower the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the split peas are partially tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tamarind water.

While the split peas are cooking, combing the onion, garlic, ginger, and green chilies in a food processor and process until minced.

Heat about 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in the cumin seeds, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks and cook until they sizzle, about 10 - 15 seconds. Add the onion-chili blend and stir-fry until the onion mixture turns light brown, 3 - 5 minutes. Sprinkle in salt and turmeric.

Throw the chicken pieces in with the onion-chili paste adding the vinegar and sugar and cook until chicken turns light brown, about 2 - 4 minutes. Pour in the split peas with their cooking water and heat to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat is cooked and desired texture is reached. Stir in cilantro.

Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds, cover skillet, and cook until the seeds have stopped popping, about 30-seconds. Remove the skillet and throw in the curry leaves. Pour this oil over the chicken curry, stir once or twice and serve.

~ "What other people think about me is not my business." - Michael J. Fox ~


Priya said...

Fingerlicking murgh dalcha, truly tempting..

Swathi said...

chicken with yellow split peas sounds delicious, double protein addition.

Usha said...

Meeso.. Thanks for sharing Murgh Dalcha recipe..It is snowing here in NC right now...I got cravings for this chicken dish.

Di said...

Looks delicious, Meeso!

That cookbook has been on my wish list for a while now. You're inspiring me more and more to go ahead and get it for myself. Err, I mean -- for my family. ;)

Kevin said...

This split pea curry sounds tasty!