1 ½kilograms(3 pounds) jointed chicken pieces, skinned(I used a couple Cornish game hens instead of a standard larger chicken)
2 ¼teaspoonskosher salt
2 to 4clovesgarlicpeeled and finely chopped
¼ to ¾teaspoonIndian red chili powder(you can substitute cayenne)
3tablespoonschopped fresh cilantrooptional
Combine lentils, onions, green chili, cumin, turmeric, half the chopped ginger and the water in a big, 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. Add the chicken pieces and the salt. Mix and bring to a boil. Cover, turn the heat to low and simmer gently for 25 to 35 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
Put the oil in a small frying pan and set over medium heat. When hot, add the remaining ½ teaspoon chopped ginger and the garlic. Fry until the garlic turns slightly brown. Now add the ground chili powder. Lift up the frying pan immediately and pour its entire contents into the pan with the chicken and lentils. Also add the lemon juice, sugar, and garam masala. Stir to mix and cook on medium-low heat uncovered for about 15 more minutes until the mixture reduces and thickens a bit. It will continue to thicken as it sits.
Sprinkle the cilantro over the top just before serving, if desired.
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.