Lahore is situated in the Punjab Province of Pakistan. Lahore is a city that has a very rich cultural traditions. Lahoris are famous for their love of food. My grandmother was from Lahore, I have some vivid memories of the lovely food I ate when I was a kid.
It has been almost fifteen years since my last visit, but the taste of chargha, katlama and other famous foods still haunts me, in a good way! I try to cook Chicken in all the different ways possible so that it doesn't get boring but of all the different chicken recipes that I cook for my family, chargha is the "MOST WANTED".
Preparing the charga involves three main steps i.e. first marinating the chicken then steaming it and finally frying the steamed chicken. For this recipe, you will need a whole chicken and of course, a list of spices that will impart the chargha flavor to the chicken. Below is the ingredient list that you need to buy before proceeding with the recipe.
|whole chicken de-skinned||1|
|ginger/ garlic paste||1 tsp each|
|cinnamon powder||1 tsp|
|red chili powder||1 tsp|
|garam masala powder||1 tsp|
|star anise||1 tsp|
|black cardamom||1 tsp|
|green cardamom||1 tsp|
|oil||for shallow frying|
1. Wash and dry the chicken thoroughly Set aside.
2. While the chicken is having a rest, gather all the dry ingredients and grind either in a pestle or mortar or use a coffee grinder.
3. Take a mixing bowl, first add garlic, ginger paste and then pour the vinegar over it, add the dry ingredients and make a paste.
4. Apply the paste generously on the whole chicken and leave to marinate either overnight or for at least 3-4 hours.
After the marination time is over the chicken needs to be steamed. So either place it in the steamer to steam, alternatively place in a preheated oven covered with a foil paper. Bake at 400 degrees for half an hour.
Traditionally Lahori chargha is deep fried, but I like to shallow fry, which in turn helps me cut down some calories. So whichever route you like to go, it's your choice. Fry the chargha till golden brown. Serve with naan and the dip of your choice.