Marinated chicken breast with a coconut curry sauce with dhal and fragrant rice

Indian spices add flavour and fragrance to David Massey's delicious chicken dish, served with rice, lentils and a coconut sauce
By David Massey
Marinated chicken breast with a coconut curry sauce with dhal and fragrant rice
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 2 hrs marinating
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

main

  • 2 chicken breast fillets, rench trimmed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the marinade:

  • 4 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • juice of 1 lemons
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • black pepper

For the coconut curry sauce:

  • 2 red chillies, deseeded
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 finger ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil, for frying
  • 400 ml tinned coconut milk

For the dhal:

  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 2 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 225 g split red lentils
  • 600 ml vegetable stock
  • black pepper

For the fragrant rice:

  • 200 g basmati rice, rinsed of excess starch
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom pods
  • black pepper

Method

1. First make the marinade. In a shallow dish, mix together the yogurt, lemon juice, garam masala, turmeric, salt and freshly ground pepper.

2. Add in the chicken breasts, coating well. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

3. To make the dhal, heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add in the shallot, garlic and cumin and fry gently until softened.

4. Mix in the lentils then add in the stock.

5. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer partly covered for around 20-30 minutes, stirring now and then, until the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.

7. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan. Add in the chicken and brown on both sides. Transfer the chicken to a roasting tray and roast for 8-11 minutes, until cooked through.

8. Meanwhile, make the fragrant rice. Place the basmati, fennel seeds and cardamom pods in a heavy-based pan. Add in double the amount of water to rice. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover tightly and cook over a very low heat until the water has been absorbed and the rice is cooked through.

9. Meanwhile, make the coconut curry sauce. Place the chillies, lemon grass, coriander seeds, lime juice, shallot, garlic and ginger in a food processor and blend into a paste.

10. Heat the groundnut oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add in the paste and fry gently for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.

11. Add in the coconut milk, mixing well. Stirring, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce reduces and thickens to a creamy consistency.

12. To serve, place the rice into a greased mould and turn out onto the plate.

13. Slice each chicken fillet into three, place around the rice and spoon over a
generous amount of the curry sauce. Serve with the dhal as a side dish.

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