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A Taste of India: Easy & Delicious Chicken & Lentil Dhal [Recipe]

by Benjamin Smith

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Alongside spicy curries, naan breads, and delicious onion bahjis, one of the most popular dishes to come out of the India is the scrumptious & savory dhal. 

Often comprised of lentils, it’s a dish that serves as a fantastic vegetarian alternative to meat-based curries often associated with Indian cuisine.

It’s a beautifully healthy dish, packed full of protein and fiber while remaining very low in calories and fat. If that’s not enough to convince you to give this pulse dish a try, then how about the fact that it’s absurdly cheap to make?

It’s a brilliantly versatile dish, with types ranging from Tarka to Dhaba, to Rasam. In this particular dahl recipe, however, we’re going to make our dhal topped off with chicken. The two go well together superbly, but if you prefer to keep the dish without meat then you can easily drop the chicken altogether.


variety of lentils

Image credit: Alibaba.com

Lentils come in three main color groups: brown, green and red. For this recipe, we want to use either red or green, as both tend to cook for longer, allowing them to lock in the flavors of the other ingredients. If you prefer it to be a little bit thicker, then I recommend going for the red, but as a personal preference, I’ve gone for the green version.

Below, I’ve measured the ingredients for this dish enough to serve 2-4 people. Feel free to adjust depending on the number of people who will be enjoying and how large their appetites are!


The Ingredients


[For the chicken]

  • Chicken breast
  • Tandoori spice


[For the dhal]

  • One whole white onion, chopped
  • One large green chili, chopped
  • Tbsp Cumin seeds
  • Tbsp turmeric
  • Tsp ground ginger
  • 200g green/red lentils
  • 500ml vegetable broth


[To be served with (optional)]

  • Natural yoghurt
  • Mango chutney
  • Naan/pita/rice


How to Prepare




  • Start by making your broth by adding vegetable stock to 500ml of boiled water. Put that to one side and heat up a small amount of oil in a heavy bottomed pan on a medium-low heat. I tend to just use rapeseed oil here, but if you like to cook with coconut oil instead then feel free to go for that.
  • Once the pan has heated up, add the onion, chili, cumin and dried spices on. Stir them all continuously so that they don’t burn.
  • Once the cumin seeds start to pop, add the lentils and vegetable broth to the pan. Change the heat to low and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the lentils are soft. If you want your mixture to be creamy, then you’ll need to blend the mix using a hand blender.
  • While the dhal is cooking, heat up a griddle pan on medium heat. While the pan is warming up, rub tandoori spice into your chicken strips, ensuring that you cover them all over.
  • Add the chicken to the pan and grill for 5 minutes, making sure that you grill them evenly all over and thoroughly through. Then remove from heat.
  • Serve the dhal in one bowl per person, with your choice of rice, naan or pita, and topped with yogurt, any remaining green chili, and the chicken.
  • The dish is ready to be eaten – enjoy!


Interested in learning an abundance of authentic Indian recipes? Why not book yourself a culinary holiday in India? Not only will you be able to eat and prepare your own Indian dishes, you’ll get to visit India’s many breathtaking sites too! Want to check out more posts from Ben? Be sure to visit The Online Grill!

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