Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Chicken dhansak curry

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 4
This traditional, Indian, high-protein dish is the perfect weekday supper to warm you up. If you don’t fancy rice you could serve the curry with wholemeal flatbread, roti or salad. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for a day or can be frozen. With a GI of 50, this meal is <a href=_http_/ protein, low GI</a> and provides 457 kcal per portion.


  1. Spray a wide-based saucepan or sauté pan with oil and place over a medium heat. Cook the onions for five minutes, stirring regularly, until softened and very lightly browned.

  2. Cut the chicken thighs in half and add to the pan. Cook for two minutes, turning occasionally. Stir in the garlic, ginger, garam masala and chilli powder and cook for a few seconds, stirring constantly.

  3. Tip the tomatoes into the pan and add the chicken stock, lentils and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, then cover loosely with a lid and simmer gently for 35 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and the lentils have completely broken down, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid for the last 10 minutes of cooking time, stirring regularly so the lentils don’t stick.

  4. About 25 minutes before the curry is ready, cook the rice in plenty of boiling water until tender, then drain well.

  5. Season the curry to taste. Serve with the rice, topped with yoghurt and sprinkled with coriander.


  • low-calorie cooking spray
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 6-8 chicken thighs, boned, skinned and all visible fat removed
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 20g/¾oz ginger, finely grated
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp hot chilli powder
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 600ml/20floz chicken stock, made with 1 chicken stock cube
  • 100g/3½oz dried red split lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 200g/7oz wholegrain long grain rice

To serve

  • 150g/5½oz fat-free natural yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped fresh coriander leaves

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