Balti Chicken with Lentils

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 17 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
4 to 6 servings


  • 1/2 cup chana dhal (split yellow lentils)
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 2 medium leeks, chopped
  • 6 large dried red chillies
  • 4 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp amchur
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 1/4 cups chicken, skinned, boned and cubed
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro


Wash the lentils carefully and remove any stones.

Put the lentils into a saucepan with enough water to cover, and boil for about 10 minutes until they are soft but not mushy. Drain and set to one side in a bowl.

Heat the oil in a medium karahi or deep round-bottomed frying pan (skillet). Lower the heat slightly and throw in the leeks, dried red chillies, curry leaves and mustard seeds. Stir-fry gently for a few minutes.

Add the amchur, tomatoes, chilli powder, ground coriander, salt and chicken, and stir-fry for 7-10 minutes.

Mix in the cooked lentils and fry for a further 2 minutes, or until you are sure that the chicken is cooked right through.

Garnish with cilantro.


from The Complete Book of Indian Cooking

by Shehzad Husain and Rafi Fernandez

Hermes House, London 1995

ISBN 1 84038 169 8