Chicken Dhansak
In this variation of Chicken Dhansak I use ingredients which are quite widely available without sacrificing the taste. This is a very thick and rich dish which features lentils and aubergines. It also contains a lot of fibre, if you know what I mean… ahem.


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  Serves:  4       Print   


For the sauce
  • 150 g (5 oz) lentils or dahl (red, green, moong, …)
  • 400 g (14 oz) tin of tomatoes (or use fresh if you prefer)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 medium aubergine, chopped
  • 1 medium potato, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 small piece of ginger
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 4 mint leaves
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
For the chicken half
  • 600 g (20 oz) chicken, cubed
  • 125 ml (½ cup) chopped coriander
  • 6 mint leaves
  • 3 green chillis, chopped
  • 3 star anise segments, crushed (see Tips below)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1½ cm (¾”) piece of ginger, chopped
  • 1½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1½ tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp fenugreek powder
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp oil or ghee
Other stuff
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Juice of a lime
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) chicken stock (optional)
  1. Get the sauce underway by putting all the sauce ingredients in a large pan and adding 500 ml (16 fl oz) of water. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for about 45 minutes.
  2. Now start on the chicken. Heat the oil in a pan and add all the herbs and spices. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken and stir-fry for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and put to one side.
  4. Once the lentils and vegetables are cooked, mash them with a masher, whizz them with a hand blender, or process with a food processor.
  5. Add in the chicken and spices together with the salt, the sugar and 300 ml (10 fl oz) of water or chicken stock. Simmer gently for 20 minutes to cook the chicken.
  6. Add in the lime juice. Test the seasoning and adjust if necessary, then serve.
Titli's Tips
For the star anise I use three little segments broken off a whole star anise where each segment has a single seed inside. DON’T use 3 WHOLE star anise or your curry will be inedible! Alternatively use ¼ tsp of ground star anise.

For extra sourness you can add a tbsp of tamarind paste into the mixture at the same time as you add the chicken to the lentils.

If the consistency of this dish turns out too thick for you, simply add a little boiling water before serving.

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving       % Daily Value
Calories 469 23%
Calories from Fat 154
Total Fat 17.2g 26%
Saturated Fat 3.1g 15%
Unsaturated Fat 12.8g
Amount Per Serving       % Daily Value
Total Carbohydrate 41.4g 13%
Dietary Fibre 8.4g 33%
Sugars 12.3g
Protein 41.7g 83%
Cholesterol 107.3mgs 35%
Percent Daily Values based on a 2,000 calorie diet.