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Balti Chicken with Lentils

This is rather an unusual combination of flavours, but it is certainly worth trying! The mango powder gives a delicious tangy flavour to this spicy dish. Split yellow lentils, known as chana dhal, are available from Asian stores. However, if you cannot get them, split yellow peas are a good substitute.

ingredients

serves 4 - 6
75 g (3 oz) split yellow lentils
60 ml (4 tbsp) corn oil
2 medium leeks, chopped
6 large dried red chillies
4 curry leaves
5 ml (1 tsp) mustard seeds
10 ml (2 tsp) mango powder
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) chilli powder
5 ml (1 tsp) ground coriander
450 g (1 lb) boneless chicken, skinned and cubed
salt
15 ml (1 tbsp) chopped fresh coriander, to garnish
paratha, to serve

method

1. Put the lentils in a sieve and wash carefully under plenty of cold running water.

2. Put the lentils in a saucepan and add just enough water to cover. Bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes or until they are soft but not mushy. Drain thoroughly, transfer to a bowl and set aside.

3. Heat the oil in a pre-heated wok until hot. Lower the heat and add the leeks, dried red chillies, curry leaves and mustard seeds and stir-fry gently for 2 - 3 minutes.

4. Add the mango powder, tomatoes, I chilli powder, ground coriander and chicken. Season with salt and stir-fry for 7 - 10 minutes.

5. Mix in the cooked lentils and fry for a further 2 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

6. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve immediately with paratha.

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