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Chicken Dhansak

A Persian curry made with lentils and spices, dhansak can be prepared with most meats, but is particularly good with chicken. Traditionally served with saffron rice, the chicken meat should be taken off the bone after cooking, mixed with the spices and reheated before serving.

ingredients

serves 4
4 chicken portions, skinned
175 g (6 oz) brown lentils, washed, soaked overnight and drained
2 medium-sized onions, peeled and chopped
396g (14 oz) can tomatoes
2 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and sliced
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin seeds
150 - 300ml (1/4 - 1/2 pint) chicken stock
Salt
Juice of 1 lemon
25 g (1 oz) butter

method

1. Put the chicken, lentils, vegetables, spices and 150 ml (1/4 pint) of the stock in a pan. Add salt to taste and bring slowly to the boil.

2. Lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer gently for 45 minutes or until the chicken, vegetables and lentils are cooked and all the liquid has been absorbed.

3. When cooked, remove the chicken from the pan and allow to cool slightly. Take the meat off the bone and cut into bite-sized pieces.

4. Puree the lentils and vegetables in an electric blender or Mouli-legumes. Return to the rinsed-out pan with the chicken, lemon juice and butter and heat through gently, adding more hot stock if the sauce is too thick (it should just coat the chicken pieces).

5. Adjust seasoning. Transfer to a hot serving dish and arrange saffron rice around the edge of the dish. Serve with mango chutney and yogurt.

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