Cooking chicken with yellow lentils was something I had never done until last night. Frankly, I didn’t think it would work. But I saw a stew made by Nigella Lawson on her show on TLC (something which I have become addicted to now) and thought, yeah why not? The stew she made, though, had lamb shanks in it. My husband doesn’t like lamb meat, so I made the stew with chicken drumsticks instead. The result was good. I did make a few alterations which were not there in the original recipe. Something to make it my own recipe.
- 4 chicken drumsticks
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium onions
- 8 cloves of garlic
- 1 inch piece of ginger
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/4th tsp nutmeg powder
- 2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp oyster sauce
- 1/2 tsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp honey
- 3 cups chicken stock (or plain water)
- 6 tbsp yellow lentils (masoor dal)
- salt to taste
First make a coarse paste of onions, garlic and ginger. Keep it aside.
Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Dry the chicken drumsticks on kitchen towel. Lay them side by side in the oil. Don’t crowd them. If your pan is small, fry two drumsticks at a time. Fry them till they are golden brown on each side. Remove them from the oil and keep them aside.
In the same oil, saute the onion, garlic and ginger paste for 5 minutes with a pinch of salt. The salt helps the onion to cook faster and makes the onions moist. Once the paste has fried well, add the dry spices and the sauces. Stir one or two times, and add the honey. Mix the paste well.
Place the chicken pieces back into the pan. Add the chicken stock or water and add the seasoning. Bring the gravy to a boil. Now add the yellow lentils and cover the pan. Cook on a slow flame for 20 to 25 minutes. The lentils cook and become swollen and softened. They add the thickness to this gravy. Taste once and adjust the seasoning if required.
Serve hot with soft white bread or steamed rice.