Easy Chicken and Lentil Curry

This easy, hearty curry can be made in minutes and is perfect for busy week day evenings. It contains tender chicken thigh fillets, red lentils and chopped tomatoes, but is brought together by a super tasty blend of spices. Serve with basmati rice and steamed veggies for a healthy family dinner packed full of protein and flavour.

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Key Ingredients

(see below for full list of ingredients)

  • Chicken Thigh Fillets: I love chicken thigh fillets as they are succulent and more flavoursome than chicken breast.
  • Peeled chopped tomatoes: The curry sauce is tomato based, so is a little healthier than those based on coconut milk.
  • Red Lentils: Red lentils do not require as much time to cook as some other lentil varieties so they are ideal for this quick curry.
  • Curry Powder, Garam Masala, Ground Ginger, Ground Fenugreek: This blend of spices brings a wonderful flavour to the dish and ties it all together.

How To Make Easy Chicken and Lentil Curry

Step 1: In a large pan heat 2 tbsp light olive oil on a medium-low heat. Fry 1 large finely chopped onion for 5 – 7 minutes until soft and translucent. I like to use a large wok with a lid for this.

Step 2: Add in 3 cloves minced garlic, 1.5 tbsp medium curry powder, 0.5 tsp garam masala, 0.5 tsp ground ginger and 2 tsp ground fenugreek, and cook for an additional 2 minutes stirring throughout.

Step 3: Add in 1 kg chicken thigh fillets, 100 g rinsed red lentils, 400 g peeled chopped tomatoes and 200ml water and stir well. Turn up the heat a little to bring it all to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes without the lid.

Step 4: Give it a stir and then cover the pan with the lid. Allow to simmer with the lid on for a further 15 minutes, stirring again after 7 minutes.

Step 5: Add 0.5 tsp dried coriander and 0.5 – 0.75 tsp salt (according to your taste) and stir through again.

How To Serve Easy Chicken and Lentil Curry

  • Serve with basmati rice, and your choice of steamed vegetables.
  • For a more indulgent meal add a drizzle of plain yoghurt, and also serve with my paratha roti or easy garlic naan.

Tips for Making Easy Chicken and Lentil Curry

  • Take a bit of time to fry the onions until they are soft and translucent as this releases a nice savoury, but less pungent, flavour of the onion which makes the perfect base for this dish.

Easy Chicken and Lentil Curry Recipe


Serves:
4 – 6
Preparation Time:
10 minutes
Cooking Time:
35 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1 large onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1.5 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 0.5 tsp garam masala
  • 0.5 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 1 kg chicken thigh fillets
  • 100 g red lentils
  • 400 g peeled chopped tomatoes
  • 200 ml water
  • 0.5 tsp dried coriander
  • salt to taste (around 0.5 – 0.75 tsp)

METHOD

  1. In a large pan heat the oil on a medium-low heat. Fry the onions for 5 – 7 minutes until soft and translucent. A large wok with a lid is ideal for this.
  2. Add the garlic and spices (curry powder, garam masala, ground ginger and fenugreek) and cook for an additional 2 minutes stirring throughout.
  3. Add in the chicken, lentils, tomatoes and water and stir well. Turn up the heat a little to bring it all to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes without the lid.
  4. Give it a stir and then cover the pan with the lid. Allow to simmer with the lid on for a further 15 minutes, stirring again after 7 minutes.
  5. Add the coriander and salt and stir through again.

NOTES

  • Garnish with some additional dried coriander and a drizzle of plain yoghurt.

Beef Meatball Curry

I used to associate meatballs with Italian food or IKEA 😉, but they are a lot more versatile than I initially thought. They work really well in this Indian inspired curry. The meatballs themselves are seasoned with onion and chilli, and the tomato-based sauce contains an aromatic blend of spices and creamy coconut milk which ensures full-on flavours with every bite.


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Beef Meatball Curry Recipe

Serves: 4

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

For the meatballs:

  • 1 tbsp light olive oil
  • 700 g lean beef mince
  • 0.5 large onion finely diced
  • 1 green chilli finely diced
  • 3 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1.5 tbsp dried coriander leaf
  • 1 tsp salt

For the curry sauce:

  • 1 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1.5 large onions finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 thumb sized piece ginger finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 0.5 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 0.5 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 400 g tin chopped tomato
  • 400 ml tin coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 180 g spinach

METHOD

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C fan (or 200°C conventional oven), line a baking tray with grease proof paper and brush with the oil. In a large bowl combine the mince, onion, chilli, garam masala, garlic powder and coriander leaf.
  2. Shape into 24 meatballs and spread them out on the prepared baking tray. Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes until the balls have browned turning halfway.
  3. In the meantime make the curry sauce. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan on a medium heat and fry the onion, garlic and ginger until softened for around 7 to 10 minutes.
  4. Pour in the spices (coriander, cumin, turmeric, chilli powder, mustard powder and cinnamon) and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and stir in the coconut milk.
  6. Add the cooked meatballs to the pan.
  7. Cook on a low heat with the lid on for 40 minutes. Be sure to stir the curry every 20 minutes.
  8. Add the spinach to the pan and cook for a further 10 minutes with the lid on until wilted.
  9. Season with salt and pepper.

NOTES

  • For an even more flavoursome meatball, prepare the meatballs the day before and leave overnight in the fridge to marinade.
  • This also works well with lamb mince.
  • I use mild chilli powder in this dish to make it toddler friendly, but if you like spice then you may want to use the hot (or extra hot) version.
  • Serve with steamed basmati rice and a side salad.