1/4 pint by volume of split peas and red lentils (mixed 50/50) - washed in several changes of cold water, and soaked for as long as you can - min 1 hr of pref 4 hours to overnight
1 pint hot water, or better still veg stock
1 tbsp ghee or veg oil
2 onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
2 medium chicken breasts, cubed
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp turmeric
large pinch black onion seeds
your favourite curry paste/powder to taste
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Method Prep:20min › Cook:2hr › Ready in:2hr20min
Base gravy: Heat the Ghee or veg oil, and add the finely chopped onions and soften gently for 5 mins or so without browning. Crush and chop the garlic, add and sweat for a further 5 mins.
Add your dry spices and cook through for a few mins, be careful to avoid burning.
Raise the heat and add your lentils, and stir through, once coated in the spices, add 1/2 pt of the water/stock, bring to the boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Do NOT add salt. This will need simmering for at least 1hr - and you will need to skim the foam from the as it rises during cooking. Top up with stock as you go.
When the lentils are soft and crushable you should now "blitz" them with a stick blender in short bursts - don't puree them right down - aim to leave at least a third of the lentils whole. Top up if necessary with the remaining stock/water to make a thick gravy.
Preparing the curry: Soften the onions in oil/ghee, and add the garlic, then dry spices in the same manner as before. Add your chosen Curry paste or Spice Mix and cook it out.
Stir through the chicken breasts - don't brown them, just coat them in the spice mix.
Add about half of the lentil gravy, and simmer for half an hour (minimum), at least until the chicken is cooked through. Don't let the gravy dry out, but further cooking will make the chicken even more tender!