Chicken dhansak with spiced garlic naan

Chicken dhansak with spiced garlic naan

  • serves 4
  • A little effort

The best curry for when we're in a hurry. Chicken and lentils cooked in a spicy Indian tomato sauce makes a dhansak that will satisfy family or friends. Serve with garlic naan breads on the side.




  • red lentils 100g
  • onions 2, roughly chopped
  • chopped tomatoes 400g tin
  • turmeric 1 tsp
  • cumin seeds 1½ tsp
  • coriander seeds 1½ tsp
  • cardamom seeds from 4 pods
  • oil
  • ginger a 4cm chunk, finely grated
  • garlic 3 cloves, crushed
  • green chillies 2-3 sliced
  • skinless, boneless chicken thighs 6, quartered
  • garam masala 1 tsp plus extra for sprinkling
  • coriander a small bunch, chopped
  • butter
  • mini naans 4


  • Step 1

    Put the lentils, onion and tomatoes in a pan with the turmeric and 1 tsp salt. Add water to just cover, then simmer gently for about 20 minutes until the lentils are very tender.

  • Step 2

    Meanwhile toast the whole spices in a dry pan until they release an aroma. Grind with a pestle and mortar or spice grinder.

  • Step 3

    Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, add the ginger, all but 1 tsp of the garlic, most of the chilli and spices then cook gently for 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until opaque, then tip in the lentils and another 150ml water. Simmer for 45 minutes, then stir in the garam masala and sprinkle with coriander.

  • Step 4

    Melt a knob of butter then cook the reserved garlic, green chilli and another pinch of garam masala. Brush the naans with the butter, then heat them through in a hot oven and serve with the curry.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 501
  • Fat 13.4g
  • Carbs 52g
  • Fibre 6.2g
  • Protein 40.2g
  • Salt 2.2g