This is a dish that is not too difficult to prepare but one that all the family will enjoy.


  •  500 g chicken breast diced (or for better flavour use chicken on the bone eg chicken thighs)
  •  2 medium or 1 large onion chopped
  •  4 cloves of garlic and 1-inch fresh ginger pureed together in a blender or grated
  • 75 g Masoor Dhal Indian Lentils, washed and soaked in cold water for 10 mins
  •    1 level tbsp coriander powder
  •    1 level tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
  •      1 heaped tsp cumin powder
  •    1 tsp paprika powder
  •     1 tbsp tomato puree
  •     1 level tsp turmeric powder
  •     1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  •   3 tbsp oil (vegetable or olive oil)
  •   550 ml boiling water
  •   1 tsp garam masala (homemade or bought)
  •   Handful of chopped coriander


Heat the oil in pan and add onions, once start cooking add salt to taste.  Keep cooking and stirring until onion is translucent.

cooking onions with garlic and ginger

Add garlic and ginger mixture and cook, continuing to stir, for 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken and cook together for 2-3 minutes

adding chicken to onion mixture

Add all the spices except garam masala.  Stir and cook for 3-4 mins. Add tomato puree with 50 ml water, cook over a medium to high heat and stir for 2-3 minutes until oil loosens from the side of pan.

adding spices to chicken mixture

Add the dhal, lower heat and cook stirring occasionally to avoid sticking.dhal

Add 500 ml of boiling water and stir in, once bubbling add the garam masala.

adding liquid

Stir the curry and cover the saucepan with a lid.

lid on bubbling away nearly ready

Cook on a low heat stirring occasionally until the dhal is soft or cooked to your liking.

corriander added ready to serve


Sprinkle over the chopped coriander and serve


For Chicken Dhansak: Before adding the chopped coriander to serve, add the juice of ½ lemon, 1 tsp sugar, more chilli powder (to taste) and cook for 2 minutes.

For a vegetarian or vegan option: Replace the chicken with chickpeas and add spinach at the end. NB less cooking time will be required.

The chicken can also be replaced with lamb (more cooking time needed), or with prawns (less cooking time needed).

Serving suggestions:

Serve with boiled or pilau rice, chapati, paratha or nan bread and a side dish like Saag Bhaji