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    You are in: Home / Recipes / Chicken Dhansak Recipe
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    Chicken Dhansak

    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    2 hrs

    20 mins

    1 hr 40 mins

    Brian Holley's Note:

    An Indian classic. The chicken is cooked in spiced Dhals. This was my fathers favourite, he always asked me to cook this dish for him. I still cook it but with a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye as he is no longer with us. There is plenty to do in this recipe so take your time. You could use precooked canned lentils but, the result is not the same. Prepare the chicken the day before cooking it.

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    Units: US | Metric


    1. 1
      Cut chicken breasts in two and sever the legs at the joint.
    2. 2
      With the salt mash the ginger and garlic to a pulp.
    3. 3
      In a grinder mix together the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cardamoms, cinnamon stick, dried chillies, peppercorns, bay leaves, fenugreek seeds, and the mustard seed. Mix in 6 tbsp water to make a past, add the garlic and ginger pulp mix well and add to the chicken, making sure that the meat is well coated. Refrigerate overnight.
    4. 4
      In a large pan melt the ghee over medium heat and fry the chicken with any juices for about 10 minutes.
    5. 5
      Add the water, bring to the boil and simmer covered for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat.
    6. 6
      Mix the split peas and lentils together and wash them till the water runs clear. Drain them.
    7. 7
      Heat the oil in another pan and fry the onions till just golden.
    8. 8
      Add the turmeric and garam masala, cook for 1 min, add the lentils and cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
    9. 9
      Add the water and salt bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook for 30 minutes.
    10. 10
      Mash the dhal to make a smooth sloppy mixture and add this to the pan with the chicken inches.
    11. 11
      Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook for 30 mins,stirring to make sure that it does not stick or burn.
    12. 12
      Dissolve the tamarind in a little hot water and add this to the pan cook for 3 minutes.
    13. 13
      Serve with boiled rice and a good chutney.

    Ratings & Reviews:

    • on October 13, 2014


      Made this today and it tastes delish and will be making again. The only change I made was that I doubles on the cumin and coriander seeds. Yum Yum

      people found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No
    • on July 15, 2014


      Very good and tasty recipe for an alternative to the simpler onion and tomato based curries.

      people found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No
    • on April 06, 2014


      Made this last night with sole fillets (what we had on hand). This was so very, very good - thank you! Nicely balanced and full of flavour, plus it is easily adjustable to boost spice or sweetness. Made this with a caramelized onion peas pullao, naan and mango lassi and we were in heaven. This replaces my old recipe hands down.

      people found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No

    Read All Reviews (5)


    Nutritional Facts for Chicken Dhansak

    Serving Size: 1 (662 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 4

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 887.2
    Calories from Fat 315
    Total Fat 35.0 g
    Saturated Fat 9.5 g
    Cholesterol 257.5 mg
    Sodium 810.2 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 39.4 g
    Dietary Fiber 10.2 g
    Sugars 7.3 g
    Protein 101.3 g

    The following items or measurements are not included:

    fresh ginger

    green cardamoms

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