Friday 5 April 2013

Chicken Curry with Dhal Recipe

Here is a classic British-influenced curry dish that prepares the curry and the dhal (lentil) accompaniment together.

This is a great dish for a Friday night curry and it can even be prepared the night before (indeed, the dhal tastes better the day after it's prepared).

Chicken Curry with Dhal

Serves: 4
Classic chicken curry served with cooked dhal (lentils) in a bowl garnished with a lime wedge


4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp chilli powder
thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 tsp ground turmeric
4 skinless chicken breast fillets
25g butter
1 onion, finely chopped

For the Dhal:

3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
225g red lentils, rinsed
400g (14 oz) tin of tomatoes
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

lime wedges, to garnish
poppadums, to accompany
tomato and onion salad, to accompany


In a mortar, pound the oil, garlic, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, chilli powder, ginger and turmeric to form a paste. Rub this mixture all over the chicken breasts then place in a bowl, cover with clingfilm (plastic wrap) and set aside to marinate for 60 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the dhal. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan and use to gently cook the onion for about 4 minutes, or until soft and translucent but not brown. Add the garlic, curry powder, turmeric and ginger, then cook the mixture for 2 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure the spices do not burn.

Add the washed lentils, tomatoes and 1 tsp salt then pour in sufficient water to just cover the lentils. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until the lentils are tender (add more water, as needed, during the cooking time).

To finish the chicken, heat the butter in a large pan or frying pan, add the onions and cook gently for about 4 minutes, or until soft but not coloured. Add the chicken breasts (with their marinade) and cook for about 3 minutes per side, or until cooked through.

Now add just a little water and bring to a boil. Divide between warmed serving plates, garnish with the lime wedges and serve accompanied by the dhal, poppadums and a tomato and onion salad.

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