Day 1 of Lentils – Chicken Dhansak

3 Jan

3 days into our month of Indian Food and I have succumbed to the first dish that contains Lentils. A very tasty Chicken Dhansak where the Masala is comprised of Red Lentils. Mr Tesco delivery man came today so we were able to move away from just using the contents of our freezer (which was mostly fish) and onto Chicken šŸ™‚ Tesco Man also brought the hard to track down spice Asafoetida (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asafoetida) which is required later in the week.

After lunch (minty pea soup for me, remains of the Goan Fish Curry for him – which I tried – v nice after a night in the fridge), I also paid a visit to the other Asian foodshop on the lower high street. Sadly not at the end of the my street this time, but about 5 mins walk down the high street). I picked up some more spices including dried crushed pomegranate seeds (from Wikipedia – Wild pomegranate seeds are used as a spice known as anardana (from Persian: anar+dana, pomegranate+seed), most notably in Indian and Pakistani cuisine, but also as a substitute for pomegranate syrup in Persian cuisine. Dried whole arils can often be obtained in ethnic Indian subcontinent markets. These seeds are separated from the flesh, dried for 10ā€“15 days and used as an acidic agent for chutney and curry preparation. Ground anardana is also used, which results in a deeper flavoring in dishes and prevents the seeds from getting stuck in teeth.) Looking forward to eating those :0)

Anyway back to today. After assembling an impressive array ingredients Mr M and myself set about making dinner. First we gathered up spices (Cumin, Coriander, Cinnamon, Mustard seeds, Black Peppercorns, Chilli, Fennel, Fenugreek – first use for me) and crushed these with Garlic and Ginger.

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After frying off some onions, we added the spices and fried these for a while before adding some water and tomato puree to make the Masala (sauce) it smelt amazing!

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To the spices we added Chicken, then Red Lentils, then Aubergine and water and cooked it all off for about 30 minutes (also made some brown rice with mushrooms to serve it with). After 30 minutes, we added Tamarind paste for some authentic tang and some Garam Masala. Ohh and the obligatory Coriander leaf. Funny as a child I hated Coriander with a passion (I think a Greek Aunt used to force feed us salads which were almost entirely comprised of Coriander leaf), now I quite like the flavour it adds.

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Any how. Dinner was served with some Greek Yogurt (which goes with everything especially Roast). It was very, very tasty. Spicy, with that sour lentil tang and just full of flavour. Mr M has marked it as 9 out 10. I would have liked a slightly thicker sauce… but I’m a bit of a perfectionist. More chicken tomorrow… Possibly with Naan as I really want to make some…

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One Response to “Day 1 of Lentils – Chicken Dhansak”

  1. Cormac Heron January 4, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    Love the site and the idea! The pics have me salivating. Yummy yummy yum drops! Will be keeping half an eye on this. Good on you!

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