Lahore Chicken Curry

Now we’re talking! This is a delicious curry from Pakistan. Characteristically of the country’s food, it’s spicy! It has a peppery flavour with a nutty aftertaste. It has a definite spice, but not overpoweringly so. It’s a really special curry and one that I’ve made time and again. I especially love eating it with a few roti or chapati breads, but it works equally well with a little bit of rice.

INGREDIENTS:
600g chicken thighs cut into thirds
4 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 cloves
70g large split yellow lentils
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion (sliced)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1 teaspoon salt
1 inch cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons coriander powder
2 teaspoons chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 tomatoes (chopped)
1/2 cup fresh coriander (chopped)

DIRECTIONS:
In a large pan, heat the oil and fry the onions over a moderate heat with the bay leaf, peppercorns and cloves for 5-7 minutes – until golden and soft.
Add the chicken pieces, garlic, cinnamon, salt, corriander powder, chilli powder and turmeric and fry for a further 5 minutes.
Add 400ml warm water, enough to cover the chicken well. Bring this to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes uncovered until the chicken is very tender and the liquid reduced.
Meanwhile, in a separate pan, boil the lentils for 15 minutes then drain.
In the last 15 minutes of the curry cooking, add the lentils. Stir every couple of minutes to avoid them sticking. The sauce will gradually thicken, if the sauce becomes too thick add more water. Remove from the heat then stir in the tomatoes and coriander just before serving.

SERVING:
Serve with chapati or rice.

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