Easy Chicken & Lentil Curry

by Auntie M
Easy Chicken & Lentil Curry

from One-Pot: Frugal Recipes for Busy Cooks


I'd forgotten I had this 2009 cookbook until the other night when the weather had suddenly turned cold and I wanted to make an easy, comforting recipe. I went for this one because I had all the ingredients except curry leaves on hand. As promised, it was made in one pot and it was easy...AND was very, VERY tasty!


The authentic flavor of a curry comes from using fresh spices (not ones that have been lurking in your very own kitchen graveyard) ad the heady, slightly sour taste of bay leaves. Chicken thighs work better here than breast meat, as they are harder to overcook.*  Warm chapattis** and mango chutney make good accompaniments. - from the authors


*I used breasts and the meat was not at all dry.
**I micro-waved puppodums (for about 30 seconds). Naan bread would be good too!

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium to large sized onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons garam masala (I also added a tablespoon of curry powder)
  • 1 lb. boneless chicken thigh or breast meat cut into chunks (2-3 inch pieces)
  • 1-1/4 cups tomato puree
  • 8 bay or curry leaves
  • 2/3 cup red lentils
  • 1-3/4 cups chicken stock
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • cilantro leaves, to garnish (I actually added 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro after adding chicken stock)
Make Basmati or Brown Jasmine Rice according to directions for serving




    Melt the butter in a deep skillet, add the onions, and saute, stirring over medium heat. Once they are sizzling, cover wit a likd, reduce the heat, and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.


    When the onions have softened, add the garlic and garam masala, cook for a further 3-4 minutes, until the spices start to release their aroma and the onions are beginning to turn golden. If you are using chicken thighs, add them now and cook for 5-6 minutes. Add the tomato puree, bay leaves, lentils, and stock. If you are using chicken breast, add it now. Cover wit a lid and simmer for 15 minutes until the lentils are tender.


    Make the cucumber yogurt or raita (see recipes below)


    When the curry is cooked, season generously with salt and peppers (lentils tend to absorb a lot of seasoning, so don't be stingy). Transfer to bowls, scatter with cilantro, and serve with rice and cucumber yogurt/raita.  If using serve with mango chutney and warm chapattis rolled up, if desired.





    * this is my recipe for RAITA


    • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
    • 1/4 teaspoon of honey (to taste)
    • 1/4 teaspoon of salt (to taste)
    • 1/4-1/2 cucumber, cut into small dice
    • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh mint leaves
    • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (ground slightly with mortar and pestle to release aroma)


    Put the yogurt in a smallish bowl. First add salt and then a little honey so the yogurt has a slightly sweet taste. Mix well.

    Add the cucumber, mint and cumin seeds and mix in well.

    Put in the refrigerator for about a half hour so the flavors can meld together.

    * The recipe in the cookbook only calls for 1/2 cup plain yogurt and 1/4 cucumber, cut into ribbons or chopped.

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published