Lesley's Chicken Dhansak

This is my version of Chicken Dhansak - not terribly authentic but as I never have all the ingredients to follow the recipe properly this is what I do, it serves 4:


Ground nut or sunflower oil
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander seed
3 cloves garlic (I often put in loads more than this as I love garlic)
1 large onion
1 tsp curry podwer
1 red chilli
2 large tomatoes - blended
diced chicken - I used chicken thighs that I had roasted the day before so skipped step 1 of the instructions below.
1/2 butternut squash
1 sweet potato - traditionally aubergine is used but I don't like aubergine and sweet potato works well
1 cup red lentils
Chopped coriander leaf (cilantro)


Fry the diced chicken in a little oil until cooked and set aside.

Blend the onion, garlic, chilli and spices to make a smooth paste. Fry this in a heavy bottomed saucepan with about 2 tbsp oil for 3 minutes. then add the blended tomatoes - cover and cook, stirring frequently, until the oil starts to seperate at the edges of the pan.

Add the sweet potato and 1 cup of water, stir, cover and simmer for 10 mins.

Add the squash and 1 cup of water, stir, cover and simmer for 10 mins.

Add the lentils and cooked chicken and 2 cups of water, stir, cover and simmer for 20 mins.

Keep stirring throughout the cooking and add more water if required. The spices can be adjusted to suit your taste - adding more or less curry powder depending on the heat you like.

Stir through the fresh coriander before serving - this is good with indian breads, chutneys and green salad, because of the lentils it is quite hearty so doesn't really need rice. I like lots of lentils and quite a soupy texture, but again adjust quantites to suit your taste.

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