Nisha's easy chicken Dhansak - A guaranteed crowd pleaser!
Nisha is making another curry house favourite for us today - chicken Dhansak, flavoured with garlic, ginger, tomatoes, cumin and garam masala. Minutes to put together with 30 minutes on the hob - easy as that and a guaranteed crowd pleaser!
120ml vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 onions, roughly chopped
2 cubes frozen crushed garlic (or 6 garlic cloves, peeled and grated)
2 cubes frozen crushed ginger (or 2 thumb sized pieces of fresh ginger, peeled and grated)
3 large green chillies, left whole
3 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp ground cumin
¼ tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (approx 600g) chopped into 2cm cubes
400g canned chopped tomatoes
200g dried red lentils
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
Juice of ½ lemon
100g baby spinach leaves
Small handful fresh coriander, finely chopped
Cooked rice or flatbreads, to serve (or baguette sliced lengthways and toasted with butter)
1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy based pan over a medium - high heat. Add the cumin seeds and fry then add the onions, garlic, ginger and whole chillies and cook, stirring continuously, for 5 minutes, until the onions are soft and starting to turn golden brown.
2. Add the spices to the pan along with the chopped chicken breast, stirring to coat the chicken and onions in the spices. Add the chopped tomatoes, lentils, salt, sugar and 800ml of boiling water to the pan and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a lively simmer and leave to cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes, until the lentils are soft.
3. Add the lemon juice to the pan and taste the sauce, adding more salt and sugar if necessary, then stir the spinach leaves through the curry and leave to cook for 5 minutes more, until the spinach has wilted.
4. Stir the coriander through the curry and remove the pan from the heat. Serve the Dhansak hot with your choice of rice or bread alongside.