Chicken Dalcha
45 Min

Chicken Dalcha

Dalcha is meat and lentil stew that originated in the Hyderabad region of India and the combinations are endless. Many dals can be used but the most common is channa dal. Chicken or meats can be slow stewed with beans to add tremendous flavor. Chunks of carrot, squash or pumpkin can also be added to the stew.

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Cook Time

60 Minutes



Step 1
Rinse the channa dal 2 to 3 times in cold water. Soak in cold water for 30 to 45 minutes. Drain.
Step 2
In a heavy bottom stock pot, heat the ghee and pop the mustard seeds. Add the kari leaves and onions and sauté until light golden in color. Add chicken pieces, turmeric, black pepper, and salt. Cook on high heat for 5 to 7 minutes, allowing the spices to coat the chicken.
Step 3
Then add the chili powder, ginger purée, and dried fenugreek—cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add the drained channa dal and 2 cups of water. Cover the pot and cook on low-medium heat for 30 to 40 minutes (stirring every 5 minutes) or until the lentils are tender and the chicken is cooked through. Add the tomatoes and coconut milk and continue cooking. If the lentils appear dry, add more water. Lastly, stir in the cilantro, lemon juice, and serve.
1 cup channa dal
4 tablespoons ghee
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
10 to 15 kari leaves
2 cups chopped onions
4 chicken thighs or legs, skinless bone-in
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon chile powder
2 tablespoons ginger purée
1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves
2 cups minced or cherry tomatoes
1 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Juice of one lemon

Notes & Variations

  • Use any lentils like masoor, moong or whole lentils in your pantry. Note that cooking times may vary.
  • For a vegetarian option, replace chicken with large chunks of butternut squash.
45 Min

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