Turmeric and Yoghurt-Braised Chicken

Morgh Lawang


Preparation info

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By Durkhanai Ayubi

Published 2020

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This is a chicken kebab dish called a lawang because of the richly flavoured yoghurt sauce in which it’s cooked. You’ll need to soak the split peas for a couple of hours before you start cooking.


  • 110 g (½ cup) yellow split peas
  • 250 ml (1 cup) sunflower oil
  • 1 x 1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) chicken, skinned and cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 large brown onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 3 fresh long red chillies, thinly sliced
  • 130 g (½ cup) plain yoghurt
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1 lime or lemon, thinly sliced
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves


Cover the split peas with water in a bowl and set aside to soak for 2 hours. Drain the water from the split peas and parboil them in 500 ml (2 cups) fresh water in a saucepan over high heat for 8–10 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large wok over high heat. Once hot, fry the chicken, turning occasionally for 7–8 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer the chicken to a plate with tongs or a slotted spoon.

Reduce the heat to medium, then add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli to the wok, and fry for 2–3 minutes, or until soft and fragrant. Stir in the yoghurt, turmeric, 1 tablespoon salt (or to taste) and 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

Return the chicken to the wok along with the split peas and cook, stirring occasionally over low heat for 10–15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink inside when cut, and the split peas are soft. Stir in the tomato and cook for a further 2–3 minutes, or until the tomato softens.

Serve the morgh lawang on a large platter, garnished with the lime or lemon slices, red onion and coriander leaves.