Tuesday, 27 January 2009

slow cooked chicken dhansak

Last night i enjoyed leftovers of chicken dhansak and rice that i cooked at the weekend. And it was pretty good. This classic curry is my all-time favourite indian restaurant dish and my test of a good curry house. I've had various attempts at recreating it in the past, none very successful, but this has been the best so far. Not sure whether the secret was in the actual recipe or the fact that i cooked it in a slow cooker but the lentils had melted beautifully into the sauce, and the chicken was tender and tasty. It had the right amount of spiciness (sometimes they are a little too hot to handle in the restaurants, depending on how generous they've been with the green chilli...). Give it a try and see what you think, and you don't need to use a slow cooker, just seal the chicken in the pan before cooking the onion and spices, double the amount of stock (and more if it needs it during the simmering time) and cook on a slow simmer for as long as you can, stirring often.

Recipe taken from Slow Cooking Curry & Spice Dishes by Carolyn Humphries and feeds 4...

Chicken and red lentil curry with tomatoes

  • 2 large potatoes, cut into walnut size chunks
  • 4-6 skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 175g/1 cup red lentils
  • 15ml/1 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 fat green chilli, chopped (and seeded if preferred)
  • 1/2 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves (i used 2 whole cloves)
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 750ml/3 cups boiling chicken stock
  • 30ml/2 tbsp malt vinegar
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp demerara sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped gresh corainder
  • Rice and/or naan bread to serve

Put the potatoes, chicken and lentils in the slowcooker/crock pot and stir well to mix together.

Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion and garlic and fry, stirring, for a minute. Stir in the chilli and dried spices and cook, stirring, for a further minute.

Add all the remaining ingredients* except the coriander, seasoning well. Bring back to the boil and pour into the pot with the chicken and lentil mixture. Stir, cover with lid and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours until everything is tender.

Check for seasoning. The sauce should be thick but not stodgy, so thin it if necessary with a little boiling water. Serve garnished with the coriander with rice and naan

* I reserved some of the tomatoes which i added to the pot 10 minutes before the end.


Biba said...

Mmmm i can almost smell it... :)

eze said...

You have omitted lemon juice and pineapple chunks from recipe. It is not a Dhansak without these.

Anonymous said...

No, that's incorrect. The traditional/original dhansak never had fruit or juice in it.

Anonymous said...

Who cares what the original recipe should have in it when this tastes so delicious.

Marc Wigham said...

Lovely dish. I’ve added a cou0le of tbsp of lemon juice as it’s my preference. I’ll either reduce water content next time or make it then have later by reducing it again. It’s so tasty though. Thanks so much