Murghi aur Masoor Dal is a cozy and comforting chicken dal dish hailing from Bombay. It features red lentils and chicken pieces stewed together in a fragrant mixture of onions, garlic, ginger, and spices.
¼ to ¾teaspoonIndian red chili powder(you can substitute cayenne)
2tablespoonsfresh lemon juice
3tablespoonschopped fresh cilantrooptional
Combine the lentils, onions, green chili, cumin, turmeric, ½ teaspoon minced ginger and the water in a large, heavy pan. Bring to a simmer, cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar, and cook on low heat for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are very tender.
Stir in the salt and add the chicken pieces. Bring to a boil and cover. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 25 to 35 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
Heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the remaining ½ teaspoon minced ginger and the garlic. Fry until the garlic starts to barely brown. Stir in the ground chili powder, then immediately pour this mixture into the pan with the chicken and lentils.
Stir in the lemon juice, sugar, and garam masala. Stir to combine and cook on medium heat uncovered for about 15 more minutes until the mixture reduces and thickens a bit. It will continue to thicken more as it sits.
Sprinkle the cilantro over the top just before serving, if desired.
This chicken dal is not as thick as some other chicken curries. It's a bit more like a stew in it's consistency with a lentil-thickened broth and large bone-in chicken pieces. You may cook it longer uncovered it you want to reduce it even further.
Chicken dal is often served with basmati rice on the side, but I also love it with warm naan. Crusty bread would also be a delicious accompaniment.
This recipe uses kosher salt (aka cooking salt, kitchen salt, coarse salt outside of the US). If you are using table salt, definitely scale down the salt as that is a saltier type of salt! The type of salt will make a big difference in how salty your food tastes, so keep that in mind.