This Chicken & Lentil Curry is impossibly creamy and delicious. A silky, smooth aromatic sauce coats every morsel of juicy chicken. It’s pretty dreamy really!

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My chicken & lentil curry has fast-tracked its way to the top 10 of curry dishes served in my household! I've long been a fan of dal curries - just get a taste of my Pakistani Lahore Chicken curry, my Parippu Dal or my Red Moong Dal Curry and you'll see why. But this dish, which combines all the delights of a dal (think rich, creamy, nutty and splendid) with all the juiciness of chicken.

What you're left with is a cornucopia of adjectives. A veritable thesaurus of words pertaining to 'delicious'. Whenever we eat this curry at home, the moans and grunts of delight echo through the house with every spoonful (I've dispensed with a fork - I'd use a shovel if I could).

I ate lots of lentil curries travelling in the south of India. Most in the form of vegetarian dal dishes, but on a couple of occasions served as a sauce to accompany meat. I remember a beef and lentil curry that was so spicy I spent the entire time chilli crying into my bowl (but couldn't stop) and a chicken curry, like this one which was so nutty and delicious I didn't want it to end - they kept topping up my bowl too, so technically this could have become a reality.

Lentils are good for you!

It goes without saying, and most people should know this now (ignore the Paleo crowd), that lentils are very good for you. A super food, that matches its health benefits with flavour. Lentils are low in fat, calories and rich in protein and fibre. That means they'll fill you up (and then help empty you out!).

The use of lentils in this curry, aid in thickening the sauce - the lentils break down durning cooking, creating the unique texture. Indian's use many techniques to help create rich, glossy sauces like an abundance of onion, gram flour, yoghurt, coconut cream, dairy cream and pulses. Lentils are, in my opinion the best (and healthiest) ways to create a great texture of sauce. That said, I used lentils AND coconut milk - that's why this dish is SO CREAMY! I use two types of lentils in the recipe - the moong dal breaks down completely and is the main star of the show, but the chana dal (split chickpea) will partially breakdown to retain a little lentil bite - which is glorious.

This curry has a wonderful fragrant sauce too - the roll call of spices might seem like a lot, but each little ingredient plays its small part in the marrying of flavours - the resulting curry has a masterfully flavour-packed finish. It's not spicy either, but instead has a warm glow - a little chilli heat, but nothing to worry yourself about if you're not into hot stuff.

So, if you love lentils, like I do, then you'll absolutely need to create this curry yourself at home - an added bonus it freezes extremely well, so why not make a double portion and treat yourself for the coming weeks and months with ready-to-go meal-prep portions?!

More essential Curry recipes

It's well documented at cookeatblog that I love a curry - I cook and eat at least 2 a week. Some Indian, some not - here are a few of my favourites that you must try:

How to make my Chicken & Lentil Curry

Chicken & Lentil Curry

Chicken & Lentil Curry

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Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Servings (adjustable) 4
Calories (per serving) | 682

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large pan over a moderate heat until hot. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, chillies, peppercorns, bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Let them sizzle for a minute until they begin to pop and jump around the pan.
  • Add the onion and fry for 2-3 minutes until soft and lightly golden. Add the garlic and fry for a further 1 minute. Add the turmeric and chilli powders and stir briefly before adding the chicken. Stir fry for 4-5 minutes until the chicken is lightly fried and the pan hot again.
  • Add the lentils and then pour in the coconut milk. Fill the can and pour in two more can-fulls of water (28oz/800ml). Season with salt.
    Let this come to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low and let it bubble, partially covered with a lid for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and gently simmer, uncovered for 25 minutes. Stir frequently to avoid sticking.
  • The moong dal will break up completely to create a rich, creamy sauce. The chana dal should be intact but soft.
  • Garnish with whatever you like - I like a simple garnish of fresh chopped tomato and sometimes a little cilantro. Serve with plenty of fluffy basmati rice or Indian breads.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Chicken & Lentil Curry
Amount Per Serving
Calories 682 Calories from Fat 378
% Daily Value*
Fat 42g65%
Saturated Fat 29g181%
Cholesterol 55mg18%
Sodium 661mg29%
Potassium 397mg11%
Carbohydrates 54g18%
Fiber 12g50%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 29g58%
Vitamin A 377IU8%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 107mg11%
Iron 7mg39%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course | Main Course
Cuisine | Indian
Keyword | Chicken, Pulses
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