Chicken and Red Lentil Curry

This is a curry I first made a few years ago, from whatever I could find in my kitchen. Rob had been away for 10 days walking the Coast to Coast (The Wainwright Coast to Coast for those of you that don’t know it). England may be a relatively small country, but walking from one side of it to the other is still a fairly impressive feat, particularly as Rob went ahead with it on his own despite his friend pulling out of the last minute. And the fact that the crazy poor boy was particularly unlucky with the weather, resulting in a pretty continuous soaking for must of the journey. So, after 10 wet, lonely days, he reached his final destination – Robin’s Hood Bay on the North Yorkshire coast, and proceeded to toss the stone he had picked up from the start of his walk at St Bees on the Cumbrian coast into the sea on the opposite side of the country. He then phoned me from the train station telling me that he had made it, that he would be home in a few hours, and that he was practically hallucinating at the prospect of a hot bath, a curry and a beer.

Once ensuring there was hot water and bubble bath, I cried “to the kitchen!” I must make my crazy darling man a curry! On entering the kitchen however I found there to be none of my usual curry ingredients – fresh chillis, rice or mustard seeds. I peered out the window, “hhmm looks a bit wet and blowy out there. Not sure I want to walk to the shop…” (The irony of this does not escape me given the journey that he had just made). I shall be inventive and concoct a new curry instead. Thank god there were at least beers in the fridge! And so one of our favourite currys was born; the chicken and red lentil.

Here’s what you’ll need to make around two generous portions or three smaller ones;

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 200g red lentils
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 1 large clove of garlic or 2 medium-sized ones
  • Chunk of ginger
  • 2 tbsp curry paste (Rogan Josh was the one I had in the fridge that day, but I’ve made this with a few different ones depending on what I’ve had in)
  • Around 1 and half tbsp curry powder
  • 1 heaped tsp tumeric
  • 1tsp chilli powder
  • Around quarter of a tsp of nutmeg
  • Decent squeeze of tomato puree (between 1/3 and 1/2 of a tube)
  • 500ml chicken stock

Heat a little oil in a pan and add the curry paste, curry powder, tumeric, chilli and nutmeg. Then add the chopped onion, crushed garlic and grated ginger (grate the ginger straight over the pan to keep all the flavour!) Fry for a few minutes until softening.


Stir in the diced chicken and then the roughly chopped red pepper and cook on a fairly high heat for around 5-10 more minutes. Add the rinsed lentils, the chicken stock and the tomato puree and leave to simmer for around 20 minutes – until the lentils have cooked.


Serve with a toasted pitta or naan bread. And a cold beer, of course! (And excuse my mucky table cloth! Oops!)


6 Comments on “Chicken and Red Lentil Curry”

  1. Tasty and healthy! I wish The Mister liked curry!

  2. Cam says:

    Sometimes I wish the interwebs had smell-o-vision. I bet this smells great when you’re toasting the spices and simmering everything. Thanks for sharing.

    Since I’m too lazy to walk the 2 blocks to the market when I’ve forgotten an ingredient, I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about 😉

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