Preparation / Directions:
Mix the brown and green lentils together and wash them well. Leave them to soak overnight in plenty of water. Next day, skin and joint the chicken into 10-12 pieces. Drain the water from the lentils and put them in a saucepan together with the chicken pieces and cover with the water.
Chop the aubergines into 2.5 cm pieces. Peel the potatoes and chop them. Peel and chop one of the onions. Chop the spinach roughly and add it to the chicken. Add the potatoes, onion and aubergines.
Heat very slowly and cook gently just below boiling point until the potatoes begin to soften. When this happens, remove the chicken pieces, drain and put to one side. Increase the heat and bring the saucepan to the boil. Continue to cook until the lentils have completely softened.
Peel and roughly the second onion. top and tail the chiles. Pour the contents of the saucepan into a blender and add the onion and green chiles. Blend together to make a sauce.
Peel the third onion and slice it thinly. Heat the ghee or oil in a large saucepan and fry the sliced onion until it begins to soften. Peel the garlic and ginger and slice thinly. Add to the saucepan and continue to cook for a further minute.
Add the cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon stick and bay leaves and stir for a further minute. Then add the coriander seeds, fenugreek powder, ground cumin, mustard seeds, black pepper and ground turmeric. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes and pour in the mixture from the blender. Bring to the boil and add the chicken pieces. Simmer gently for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is completely cooked. Stir in the salt and chopped coriander leaves and serve.
Encyclopaedia of Indian Cooking, Khalid Aziz
Yield: 4 servings