Chicken, spinach and lentil curry

Angela Nilsens healthy chicken, spinach and lentil curry is a fragrant supper made with onion, garlic, ginger, chopped tomatoes, red lentils and lots of aromatic herbs and spices
By Angela Nilsen
Chicken, spinach and lentil curry
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, halved and cut into very thin wedge shaped slices
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 12 curry leaves
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, about 450g total weight, trimmed of any excess fat and cut into 5cm chunks
  • 1 tsp mild chilli powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 600 ml chicken stock
  • 230 g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 50 g dried red lentils, rinsed in cold water
  • 75 g spinach leaves, cut into thin strips
  • handful coriander leaves, chopped
  • cooked basmati rice, to serve

Tips and Suggestions

This is the perfect dish for making ahead - and the spicy flavours can develop all the more.

Instead of just using chicken thighs, you could use a mix of breast and thigh. Just make them up to the same weight called for in the recipe.

Only add the spinach at the last minute and try not to overcook it otherwise it will lose its bright green colour.

Season the lentils with salt towards the end of cooking as early salting can toughen them.

This is good served with basmati rice and a yogurt and cucumber raita.


1. Heat 1½ tablespoons of the oil in a large wide saucepan or sauté pan. Tip in the onion, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander seeds and curry leaves and fry on a medium-high heat until the onion is starting to go brown, about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Pour in the rest of the oil, then add the chicken and stir fry for a few minutes until it is no longer pink. Mix in the chilli, paprika, garam masala and turmeric, cover the pan and cook on a medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to scrape up the sticky bits from the bottom of the pan.

3. Stir in the stock, then the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes, then stir in the lentils, bring up to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes uncovered. By now the chicken should be tender and the lentils cooked. If not, cook a few minutes longer.

4. Scatter in the spinach and stir just until it has wilted, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Season with pepper and a little salt. Serve scattered with coriander and accompany with basmati rice.

Want to see more? Take a look at our favourite chicken curry recipes.

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