Indian kitchen is incomplete without various kinds of lentils. ‘Dal’ is one of our staple food. I don’t think there is any Indian household who never cooked dal.According to historians, dal gained most of the popularity from the queen Jodha Bai’s kitchen.Queen Jodha Bai was the first Rajput Empress of Emperor Akbar.Jodha Bai was from the different culture who believed in Hinduism.She was pure vegetarian.She introduces her cooking to the Emperor.Later on, her cooking gained so much popularity that every Thursday officially she cooked for the entire kingdom.Her vegetarian delicacy made King Akbar to become vegetarian.Even now we still celebrate Jodha Bai’s kitchen festival in some part of Rajasthan.
Let’s not drift away from the current time.My recipe today is the fusion of veg and nonveg combinations. Cooked red lentils with some yellow split peas and chicken drumsticks , also added some spinach and spices.As you all know lentil has full of dietary fiber and lean protine.So it is very healthy dish.You also can make it vagitarian by following the same steps , just don’t add the chicken.
- Spinach : 350gm
- Chicken : 5 drumsticks.
- Red lentil : little less than one cup.
- Yellow split lentil : one handful.
- Tomatoes : One large.
- Onion : half from one large,chopped.
- Garlic : 4 large cloves.
- Ginger : one inch or two table spoons.
- One green chili.
- Lemon juice : 2 table spoon.
- Coriander leaves.
- Olive oil : 4 table spoon.
- Ghee or clarified butter (optional): 1 table spoon
Spices you will need :
- Cumin : 1 tea spoon whole.
- Turmeric : one hip teaspoon.
- Coriander powder : one ane half tea spoon .
- Cumin powder : one tea spoon.
- Paprika : 1 tea spoon. (Sorry it’s not in the picture, but I have used it in cooking).
- Whole black pepper : 9 to 10
- Cassia or cinnamon sticks : one medium stick broken into small pieaces.
- Nutmeg : small piece ground or grated.
- Mace : half tea spoon, if you have whole flower, then use half of it.
- Sugar : 1 and half tea spoon.
- Salt to taste.
Clean the chicken and slit the chicken with the knife (see the picture bellow),then add some salt , pinch of turmeric powder and some splash of lemon juce.After mixing set it aside. Then clean the spinach until you are satisfied and no dart left.I have used spinach from locally produced ,straight from the field.So I had to clean them 4 to 5 times.Then clean the lentils couple of times.
Boil the lentil in a large saucepan with pinch of salt ,pinch of turmeric powder and table spoon of ghee (clarified butter) . If one cup lentil, add 2 and half cups of water.I have used pressure cooker to make the process faster.If you are using pressure cooker it will take 3 whistle to cook them.Open the pressure cooker lid when it cools down compleately.If you are cooking the lentils in saucepan ,it is a good idea to soak them in hot water for 1 hour before cooking , this way lentil cooks faster.In saucepan it should take 40 minutes to become mushy or soupy lentil.Probably you can see me taking snap in the following picture..haha…
Step 3 :
Grind the tomato , garlic, ginger,chilie.You can grind the mace at this time so save some extra effort to grind it separately.
Put the oil in the pan, when the oil is hot add whole cumin,cinnamon pieces,whole black peppers.Stir them for 2 to 3 seconds,then include chopped onion.
After 2 minutes when onion is soft add all the powdered spices, cumin powder,coriander powder, turmeric powder and sweet paprika.Saute them for about 1 to 2 minute in mediam heat.then add tomato,garlic,ginger,chile and mace paste.Stir them well and cook them in low to medium heat for about 5 to 7 minutes or until the oil comes out from the edges.
Now add the marinated chicken drumsticks.This time adds grated nutmeg powder.Stir the chicken until all the spices are coated very well.This process should take 2 to 3 minutes.Then add the cook dal into the chicken with 2 cups of hot water.If you want the gravy to be extra thick then add less water.But to cook the chicken you will need a good amount of water,cause lentil gets thicken very easily.You will see after lentil cools down,it will go thicker.So adjust the water according to that.Now you will add the spinach and cover the lid for 20 to 30 minutes or until the chicken cooked.
After cooking the chicken for about 30 minutes in medium heat add the chopped coriander leaves.Turn the heat off.Enjoy the hot chicken dal with the rice or bread or roti.