Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chicken with French Green Lentils

I adapted this recipe from 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer. This book is really handy if you suddenly want to whip up something Indian or use an Indian ingredient you haven't before. Every recipe I have tried from it has turned out great.

His dish in this case was Chicken with Yellow Split Peas and had curry leaves, ginger and mustard seed which I didn't happen to have on hand. I did however have French green lentils.

Chicken with French Green Lentils

1 cup French green lentils, rinsed
1 teaspoon tamarind paste
1 small onion, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 Anaheim pepper, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
6 skinless chicken thighs
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Stir in lentils and return to a boil, reduced heat and simmer until they begin to get tender. Stir in the tamarind paste.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat. add the cumin seeds, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks and cook, stirring constantly until aromatic, about 15 seconds.

Add the minced, onions, garlic and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until beginning to brown.

Arrange the chicken pieces meat side down on the onion mixture and cook until the chicken turns lightly brown. Add the salt and the turmeric. Pour in the lentils with their cooking water and give it a couple of stirs.

Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are cooked and the chicken is done, about 45 minutes. Stir in the cilantro.

His recipe went on to cook mustard seeds in oil and add the curry leaves ultimately pouring the oil over the dish.

Even without this step it tasted quite delightful and evocative of the streets of Hyderabad...I can only imagine.


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