Healthy chicken dhansak recipe

Chicken dhansak

Filling lentils, tasty chicken thighs and plenty of veg make this Slimming World curry a great alternative to a Friday night takeaway. It also contains some nutrient-rich turmeric.

Total time: 1:10
Level: Easy
Serves: 4


  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 large butternut squash or pumpkin, deseeded and cut into bite-size chunks
  • 100 g. dried red split lentils, washed and drained
  • 6 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2cm fresh root ginger, grated
  • 2 green chillies, seeded and chopped
  • 3 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. Ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp. mild chilli powder
  • 2 tsp. cardamom seeds, crushed
  • 8 skinless and boneless chicken thighs, quartered
  • 1 pinch of salt and black pepper
  • 1 Finely chopped fresh coriander, to serve


  1. Put the onion, squash or pumpkin, lentils and tomatoes into a wide heavy based saucepan and pour over enough cold water to just cover everything. Bring to the boil over a high heat then add the turmeric, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Tip half of the mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth. Return the blended mixture to the vegetables and lentils in the saucepan and stir in the lime juice.
  2. Meanwhile, spray a non-stick frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger and chillies and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, then add all the spices and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes to seal in the lovely flavours then stir everything into the lentils.
  3. Bring the chicken and lentils to the boil over a high heat, cover tightly and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Season to taste and scatter over some fresh coriander to serve.