A rather elaborate preparation, but the labour is worth it in the end! A popular South Asian dish chicken comes together with an assortment of veggies and lentils to form a delectable meal, all by itself!
To make the Saffron Rice:
- Rinse the rice well, drain.
- Boil water in a pan, add the soaked rice and cook for 20 minutes.
- Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Add the saffron.
- Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until stock is absorbed and rice is tender.
- Fluff with a fork and serve.
To make the Chicken Dhansak:
- Mash the ginger and garlic together into a pulp.
- In a grinder mix together the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cardamoms, cinnamon stick, dried chillies, peppercorns, bay leaves, fenugreek seeds, and the mustard seeds. Mix in 6 tbsp water to make a paste, add the garlic and ginger pulp, mix well and add to the chicken, making sure that the meat is well coated.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan and sauté the chicken with any juices for about 10 minutes.
- Add 1/2 litre of water, bring to the boil and cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Mix the split peas and lentils together and wash them until the water runs clear. Drain.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in another pan and fry the onions until they begin to turn golden.
- Add the turmeric and garam masala, cook for 1 minute then add the lentils and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes.
- Add water and salt and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook for 30 minutes.
- Mash the lentilsto make a smooth mixture and add this to the pan with the chicken
- Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook for 30 mins, stirring occasionally
- Dissolve the tamarind in a little hot water and add this to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Serve hot with Saffron Rice
For the rice:
- 1 cup Laila Basmati Rice
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 tbsp butter (optional)
- 1 tbsp dried onion flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 pinch saffron, crumbled
For the Dhansak:
- 450gm boneless chicken thighs cut into chunks
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 4 green cardamoms
- 2-inch cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
- 6 dried chillies
- 10 peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 600ml chicken stock
- 230gm chopped tomatoes
- 85gm yellow split peas
- 85gm dried red lentils, rinsed in cold water
- 1 tsp tamarind paste
- A handful of coriander leaves, chopped