I love Indian food, and I find I always gravitate towards it when I am trying to eat healthy. It has so much flavor and you can make curries with so many veggies. I make my end of the week curry all the time and keep the fixings – Naan bread in the freezer, greek yogurt, Major Grey’s Chutney – on hand in case an Indian food craving strikes.
I once saw a lentil and chicken dish on the cover of Cooking Light and I had been dreaming about making it ever since. I had masoor dal lentils from the last time I went to an Indian grocery so I decided to just make traditional dal which I love, and then cook the chicken in that. It turned out to be a perfect match.
This dish is really easy to put together, and it is such healthy comfort food. You feel amazing after you eat it, and it is so full of flavor from the different curry spices plus ginger, garlic and jalepano.
The chicken gets a great flavor boost from the turmeric and paprika, and the thighs are so good in this dish. You could use chicken breasts if you want to but they just fell apart so perfectly.
The real prize is the spiced oil on top, which I made extra spicy.
I used my new tamis to pick through the lentils and realized again what a great tool it is. I wrote about it on my Christmas gift idea post and I have used it ten times already.
You let the lentils soak for 30 min. while you cook the chicken and spices. Then you stir them in with the tomatoes.
Put the chicken back in, cover with the water, and then simmer for 20-30 min. until the lentils are soft. I wish I had a scratch and sniff feature here so you could know how amazing this smelled after simmering away…
When it’s done, stir in the spiced oil…
Garnish with cilantro and pomegranate and serve.
You will love this dish, and you will love how good you feel afterwards. Hope you get to try it soon!
Happy Cooking! xoxo Katie
One-Pot Chicken Dal Curry
1 cup masoor dal red lentils, picked through for stones
4 Tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 lbs. chicken thighs
1 tsp. tumeric
1 tsp. paprika
salt and pepper
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
one 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
2 tablespoon red curry paste
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 serrano or jalapeno chile, minced (optional)
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup pomegranate tendrils (optional)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro or parsley
For the spiced oil
1/4 cup coconut oil or sesame oil
1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
crushed red pepper flakes
Put the lentils in a strainer and rinse them under running water. Add them to a bowl, cover with water and let soak for 30 min. Drain and set aside.
In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle paprika and numeric all over chicken thighs and season with 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. When oil is hot, brown the thighs on both sides, about 3-4 min. per side. Remove from pan and set aside.
In the same pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add onions, garlic, and ginger and cook for two minutes. Then add the jalapeño, curry power, curry paste, and stir to combine. Then add the lentils and tomato stir to combine and cook for one minute before nestling the chicken thighs into the pan. Cover with water, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add salt to taste, and top with spiced oil, pomegranate tendrils, and cilantro or parsley. Serve immediately.