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British Indian Restaurant Recipes – How To Make Chicken Dhansak

British Indian restaurant (BIR) style Chicken Dhansak can be made in minutes

British Indian Restaurant (BIR) style chicken dhansak

This chicken dhansak just gets it!

Over the past few years, I have been shown so many nice chicken dhansak recipes by top curry house chefs all around the UK. This recipe is about as authentic as they get.

As with all of my British Indian restaurant (BIR) curries, it is a good idea to make the base curry sauce ahead of time. You may also want to pre-cook your chicken as I do here. These are both time saving methods used in curry houses and also add a lot to the flavour of the end dish.

Both the curry sauce and the chicken keep well in the fridge for a few days and also freeze well.

Many curry house chicken dhansak curries have pineapple in them. My daughter loves this but I’m not that keen. I’ll let you decide whether you include the fruit or not.

How to make british indian restaurant style meals

Illustrated with photographs of each recipe!

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British Indian Restaurant Recipes – How To Make Chicken Dhansak
Author: 
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4
 

Ingredients
  • 4 chicken breasts pre-cooked or raw chicken pieces cooked for longer – cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 4 cloves garlic smashed to a paste
  • 1 inch ginger finely cut and smashed to a paste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon good quality curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 250ml (1 cup) red split lentils (rinsed and cook until soft – about 30 minutes)
  • 750ml (3 cups) base curry sauce – link above
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped coriander
  • salt and pepper
  • 100ml pineapple juice (optional)
  • 3 pineapple rings – cut into pieces (optional)

Instructions
  1. Heat the ghee/oil over medium heat.
  2. Throw in the ginger and garlic pastes along with the turmeric and let sizzle for about 30 seconds. The turmeric will become darker as you do this.
  3. Now add the cumin, curry powder, chilli powder and tomato paste.
  4. Stir to combine before adding the base curry sauce, cooked lentils and chicken pieces and heat through.
  5. Stir in the pineapple juice and/or pineapple pieces if using.
  6. Test for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Sprinkle with the chopped coriander and serve immediately.

 

 

 




13 Responses to “British Indian Restaurant Recipes – How To Make Chicken Dhansak”

  1. This is my favorite curry and this recipe was great. I’ve never made it before, in fear of it not being as good as it is in restaurants, but it was!! All my friends loved it too.

  2. Ken says:

    Made this for the first time this evening and I was very pleased with the results and just how fast it was to make.

    My local takeaway produces a Dhansak that has a distinct fruity taste but no fruit pieces so I was interested to see the mention of pineapple juice in your recipe.

    The taste and texture of your recipe is almost identical to my local which is what I wanted but its clearly not pineapple juice they are using. I suspect they are using orange juice so I will give that a try next.

    Thanks for your hard work.

    • Dan Toombs says:

      Hi Ken

      I’ve found that a lot of the better restaurants mix in papaya pulp or juice. This works really well. I’ve never tried orange juice with a dhansak so I look forward to hearing what you think.

      Cheers.
      Dan

  3. Please feel free to join us on Facebook/UK Loves Curry! We are a friendly forum dedicated to promoting, chatting about and enjoying Indian food.

    Get to chat with lots of fellow curry lovers, other restaurants, chefs, suppliers, trade journals and curry bloggers from all over the UK and the rest of the world.

    Just type UK Loves Curry! Into Facebook from a personal account and click “Join Group”

    We look forward to seeing you there.

    Regards, Adrian

  4. Noel says:

    I moved to CANADA 3 tears ago and miss my favourite Chicken Dansak. Will try this but my cooking skills are very limited hope my BIR curry sauce is as good as hours to complete the Dansak…

  5. Lauren says:

    I have been looking for a recipe for this for ages and am keen to try it, I have been cooking curry fir a long time but have never come across curry gravy?!

    • Dan Toombs says:

      Hi Lauren

      It’s often called a curry sauce or base sauce. Base sauces aren’t used in authentic Indian cookery so if you purchased an Indian cookbook, you wouldn’t have seen it. This recipe is for British Indian restaurant style food. The recipe is very close to what you’ll find at a curry house.

      Hope you get a chance to try it.

      Dan

  6. Dave says:

    Will try this. Just curious about the pineapple juice though, is this the type of pineapple juice that you would use as a drink mixer, or the juice from a tin of pineapple rings? Two different things or does it matter?

    Thanks

    • Dan Toombs says:

      Hi Dave

      Use fresh pineapple juice. The juice in the tin of pineapple rings will do the job just fine. :-)

      Dan

  7. Adam says:

    Could you clarify something for me please? Is it one cup of cooked lentils or one cup of raw lentils, cooked? One cup of raw lentils once cooked, seems an awful lot.

    Love the BIR recipes, by the way. Garlic chilli chicken is a favourite!

    • Dan Toombs says:

      Hi Adam

      I better have a look at my wording. It is a cup full of pre-cooked lentils. As with more curry house food, the food is almost always pre-cooked and then assembled again when ordered.

      Dan

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