Chicken Dhal with Red split Lentils

Here is a great recipe for a healthy slightly spicy chicken dish with lots of protein and healthy ginger and garlic.

I also put some cloves through this as they are super good for your Liver and help with blood sugar regulation and when you are on Chemo, anything that helps the stomach or the liver should definitely be included in a recipe.

This recipe works equally well with Paneer or simply cube some potatoes and add in just before it goes in the oven to give you a vegan or vegetarian option.

Also I have kept the chillies to a minimum but feel free to up the heat as you wish or alternatively make a chilli salsa as a side.

I shall post some photos on here but I am still learning so I find it easier to put the photos on my instagram account which is liamcookingthroughcancer.

As always any questions please feel free to ask.

Ingredients and Method

1Kg Skin off chicken thighs bone in (Lower Fat without the skin but better flavour with the bone left in)

2 medium onions sliced

6 cloves garlic leave whole or rough chop

1 good chunk of Ginger about 6cms in length chopped its nice to get a chunk as you eat

150grms red split lentils (Soak and wash for about an hour before if possible)

3tsp of Ground cumin

3tsp of paprika

3tsp of medium curry powder (this is a cheat but it does make you reminisce of doing a curry house pre chemo on a friday night and it add to the flavour)

2tsp of whole coriander seeds (optional but they add a lovely aftertaste)

1/4tsp Dried chilli flakes (More if you want to turn the heat up)

10 Whole cloves (optional but I love them and they are super good for you cooked during Chemo but like everything don’t overdo the quantity)

500mls Tomato passata

500mls water

1 stock cube (No more unless you are using low salt cubes)

Good whack of black pepper.

NOTE BEFORE YOU START!! Make sure everything you use is clean and make sure the chicken is nice and fresh and if its been frozen that you defrosted it completely in the fridge. If something does not feel or smell right then it probably is not and if in doubt chuck it out. Chemo is bad enough and the immune system is low so lets not add food poioning to the mix. Also I try to make this a one pot dish so a heavy iron casserole dish or a pot that will fit in the oven or a deep frying pan with a lid. In the days before Chemo I would have cooked this on say a Monday with the idea of reheating it on Tuesday but now I do not reheat anything with meat protein. If you choose to make the vegan recipe and use potatoes then by all means do but cook the rice on the day as well. Dont reheat rice the risk is not worth it. Wow I started with one worD of caution and look where I ended up, who knew I used to do risk assesments in my life before Chemo.


  1. Fry chicken in sunflower oil for three minutes on both sides the chicken can brown slighly if you want but this is just to start the cooking process off.
  2. Lower heat and add onions and cook for two minutes
  3. Add Ginger and cook for two more minutes (smells good now)
  4. Add garlic and now it smells even better
  5. Add all dry ingredients including the soaked lentils and cook out for a further four minutes and now you can really smell the love.
  6. Add tomato passata and water and cover and put in the oven for 1 hour and ten minutes at 180C
  7. You can of course cook this slower and for a longer period of time but in our modern lives if i put a recipe up that takes two hours or more the majority of people will not use it.Personally i turn the oven to 140C and leave it for 2 hours and 30 minutes.

If you have coriander then wash well and cut and sprinkle over the top but if not don’t worry its still great without.

I like to serve it with a brown rice and raita. I like the brown rice and while I admit it takes a little longer to wash and cook its health benefits over white rice is immense also its got a nutty more intense flavour and worth the time and effort to wash it and then cook it slower.

I love this recipe and when I cook it I always think that there is enough for five adults but don’t be fooled it’s perfect for four or if you are like us its two adults and two hungry kids who love lentils with some curry.

Raita recipe to follow

You can search online for a good raita recipe but all I do is take a quater of a cucumber wash and split in quaters length way, and remove the seeds and dice. Then sprinkle with a little lemon juice and a pinch of salt add two crushed garlic cloves. I have a really old garlic crush and then chop in about six large mint leaves and then bind with enough Greek or natural yoghurt to hold it all together.

Thats it guys, I hope that this recipe works well for you but remenber a recipe is simply a road map you can follow the directions when you want and change what you dont.

A Large PS to say thank you to everyone who has donated on the just giving page this really does restore my belief in what i am trying to do so Thank You all

Photos on liamcookingthroughcancer on Instagram.

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