• Chicken cooked with Lentils and Vegetables (Chicken Dhansak)

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    Chicken cooked with Lentils and Vegetables (Chicken Dhansak)
    Prep: 30 min Cook: 30 min Servings: 4
    by Manju Nair
    170 recipes
    Chicken Dhansak is a popular dish among Parsee cuisine. It's a different approach to traditional Indian chicken curry and I must say it is a perfect dish, complete with lentils, vegetables and chicken. This was my first try and it came out simply finger licking good. I made slight variations from the original recipe for ease of preparation and unavailability of certain spices in my pantry :-) This recipe was take from the book 'The Great Curries of India' by Camellia Panjabi.


    • Chicken - 3 lbs ( with or without bone, cut into small pieces)
    • Toor dal (yellow pigeon peas) - 1 cup
    • Carrots - 2 medium (chopped)
    • Potatoes - 2 small yukon gold potatoes (chopped)
    • Pumpkin - 7oz (chopped)
    • Onions - 2 large ( chopped)
    • Garlic cloves - 4
    • Ginger - 1.5inch
    • Cilantro - 1cup + 1tbsp (chopped)
    • turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
    • dried fenugreek leave(kasuri methi) - 2tsp
    • Roma tomatoes - 3large (chopped)
    • Green chillies - 3-4
    • Garam masala - 1tsp
    • Chicken masala - 1.5tbsp
    • Sambar powder (optional)- 1tbsp
    • Red chilli powder / Paprika (optional) - 1tsp
    • Chicken stock - 2 cups
    • Tamarind water - 1/2 cup
    • Oil - 2tbsp
    • Jaggery - 1tbsp
    • Lime juice - 1 lime
    • Salt - to taste


    1. Soak the toor daal (Yellow Pigeon peas) in water for 30mins.
    2. Soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup of water for 15mins.
    3. Chop 2 garlic cloves and 1/2 inch of ginger into thin slices and keep aside.
    4. In a large pot add 3 cups of water and cook the toor dal, once the dal begins to boil , add the chopped carrots, potatoes, pumpkin, 1 chopped onion ,1tbsp cilantro leaves and crush the remaining 1 inch ginger and 2garlic cloves and add to the daal.
    5. Add turmeric and enough salt to season the lentils and let it cook well.
    6. Once the dal is cooked soft, lightly mash the entire mixture so that it thickens.
    7. While the daal and veggie mixture cooks, parallely heat the oil in a large pan and fry the slices of ginger, garlic, the other chopped onion ,green chillies , 1 cup of cilantro, dried fenugreek leaves and tomatoes for 1minute.
    8. Add the Garam masal, chicken masala, sambar powder and redchilli powder / Paprika and fry for another minute.
    9. Add the chicken pieces and saute for 3-4minutes, until chicken just starts to cook.
    10. Now add the lentils-veggies mixture into the pan along with 2cups of chicken stock and let it simmer until the chicken is well cooked (best done with lid closed)
    11. Season with salt as required.
    12. Lastly add the tamarind water , jaggery and lime juice and let it simmer.
    13. For the gravy to thicken , simmer without closing with a lid for another 2 mins. Now it is ready to serve!
    14. Suggestions: For veggies you may also add Brinjal (eggplant)
    15. You can add or reduce the spice as per your taste.

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