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How To Cook Chicken Dhansak

How To Cook Chicken Dhansak

Most of us love a good curry and there are lots of different varieties to choose from. But how do we recreate the dishes we eat in Indian restaurants? We teamed up with Shahena Ali from the Maharaja restaurant in Benfleet to show us how to make the popular Chicken Dhansak.


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Step 1: You Will Need:

  • 1 kg Chicken, skinned and cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder, ground coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 6 dried red chillies, or birds eye chillies
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 4 Green Cardamoms
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 2 inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 110 g red lentils
  • 6 tbsp water, for the chicken
  • 5 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups (620ml) warm water, for the lentils
  • 1 tsp salt, for the lentils
  • 2 Large Saucepans
  • 2 Stirring Spoons
  • 1 Serving Dish

Step 2: Marinade the Chicken

In a large bowl, add the salt, ginger and garlic paste, coriander powder, cumin powder and mix well. Then add to the chicken, and combine the paste with the meat making sure that the chicken is well coated. Allow to marinade overnight in the fridge.

Step 3: Fry Spices and Chicken

In a large pan melt the ghee over a medium heat; add the fennel seeds, cinnamon stick, dried red chilies and mustard seeds and fry the chicken with any juices for 20 minutes on medium to low heat

Step 4: For the Lentils:

Step 5: Fry Onions and Spices

In a separate pan, heat the oil and add the salt, cardamom seeds, garam masala, turmeric and bay leaves, Add the onions and fry until golden.

Step 6: Add Lentils

Then add the lentils, which have been washed and drained

Step 7: Add Water and Simmer

Add the water and salt, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook for 15 minutes. Mash the lentils with a spoon to make a pulpy mixture. And cook for another 15 minutes

Step 8: Add Lentils to Chicken

Add lentils to the pan containing the chicken pieces.
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook for 30 minutes, whilst stirring occasionally to make sure that it does not stick or burn.

Step 9: Serve

Add a pinch of coriander, stir and serve.