Chicken Dhansak Recipe

Serves 1-2
Difficulty: Moderate
Total: 25 mins
Prep: mins
Cook: 25 mins

A sweet and sour curry with lentils that give a distinctive texture and flavour to this dish. Pineapples are usually added for a fresh and fruity twist but can be left out if you’re not keen on them.


  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon (10g) garlic paste
  • 3 tablespoons (45g) BIR tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon (1g) hot chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon (4g) salt
  • ½ teaspoon (1g) kasoori methi
  • 1 tablespoon (10g) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) lemon juice
  • 170g precooked tarka dal (cooked to a very thick consistency)
  • 60g pineapple chunks with a tablespoon of the syrup
  • 400g BIR base gravy (200g gravy diluted with 200ml water & heated)
  • handful of chopped fresh coriander


  1. Heat a frying pan on a medium high heat and add the vegetable oil.

  2. Stir in the garlic paste and BIR tomato paste for around 10 seconds.

  3. Add the BIR mix powder, hot chilli powder, salt and kasoori methi and stir for another 10 seconds.

  4. Stir in the sugar and lemon juice for 30 seconds.

  5. Add the pre-cooked tarka dal with 3 tablespoons of base gravy and mix.

  6. Add the pre-cooked chicken and stir for around 1 minute coating all the chicken pieces with the sauce.

  7. Pour in half of the base gravy (200g) and cook on a high heat for 2 minutes. Stir occasionally, scraping any dried sauce on the sides back into the pan.

  8. Add the remaining gravy (200g) and cook on a high heat until the sauce boils rapidly.

  9. Add the pineapple chunks and stir.

  10. Turn down to a low heat and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens.

  11. Add the coriander and stir through.