Murg Dhansak - Chicken with Lentils

Ramadan is hardly a couple of weeks away... how fast! I feel that days are flying in such breakneck speed. Months come and go, so as to say that 2014 is almost hitting the half way mark! Sometimes, when you think about it, it kind of scares you, at least I feel very jittery with the way that time is flying. There is not much moving as per plan, it just seems to be a mad rush! As usual before every Ramadan, umma and I are running around to finish our Eid shopping so that we do not have to bother about it at all during this holy month. Just like the last couple of years, we are going to have a long 15 hours of fasting with temperatures peaking at 45 degrees. We have taken it the past years so InShaAllah, hopeful to take it during this year as well... :)

Chicken always has a special place in our house. The list of chicken dishes featured on this blog only goes to prove it, right? Another one to add to that long list... I love my lentils but the folks don't so when I saw this recipe, I was so excited that I could tie up the lentils along with chicken. It tastes awesome, especially with bread, that's how we had it! Subtly flavored with spices, the kids also loved it because there is hardly any chilli factor to it... :) I found it quite similar to the Beef Dal Mash I had prepared some time ago... Now off to the recipe...

Murg Dhansak - Chicken with Lentils
Serves 3
Recipe adapted from here


500 gm chicken, cut into medium pieces
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
3/4 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tbsp oil
1 small stick cinnamon
2 cardamoms, crushed
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 dry chillies
2 bay leaf
3/4 cup lentil (I used masoor)
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
Salt as per taste


Marinate the chicken along with ingredients from ginger to coriander for 1 hour. If possible, you may marinate overnight, but I didn't have the time!

Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a saucepan. Add the cinnamon and cardamom, and sauté for a minute. Add the onion and cook till soft. Add the marinated chicken and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and give it a nice stir. Cook till the chicken is tender.

In a pressure cooker, heat the remaining oil. Fry the red chillies and bay leaf for a few seconds. Add the lentil with 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and salt with enough water. Cook for 2-3 whistles till mashed up.

Add the cooked and mashed lentils to the chicken, sprinkle in the red chilli and garam masala powders and allow to simmer for around 5 minutes. Check the seasoning and switch off. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rotis or rice!!!


1. You can use any dal of your choice, adjust the cooking time accordingly.
2. If you need some curry, add some water and cook till it boils. The curry tends to thicken as it sits, so better to serve immediately!

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