Coconut Chicken and Lentil Curry - rich and creamy easy Coconut Chicken and Lentil Curry using leftover cooked chicken to make this ready and on the table in 40 minutes.
It's probably no surprise that I love a good curry recipe, as you will find heaps to choose from here on Slimming Eats.
Curries are probably one of my favorite dishes to eat, you can literally turn the more basic of ingredients into a curry that is delicious and packed with flavour and this Coconut Chicken and Lentil Curry is full of flavour.
Easy Curry Paste
The base to any curry is what adds flavour, get that wrong and your curry will be tasteless and not very appetizing. All you need is a good blend of spices, that any storecupboard or pantry should contain.
I use a blend of spices, green chillies, onion, garlic, ginger and tomato paste to create an easy curry paste, that not only adds flavour, but also thickens the curry, making it feel lovely and creamy and rich.
Types of Lentils in Curry
You will see various types of lentils used in curry recipes. For dhal type recipes, it tends to be red lentils or similar, which when cooked soften completely and break down into a thick sauce.
If you want a lentil curry where the lentils retain their shape - green or brown varieties are best.
Buy any lentils in bulk and they are a super cheap and a really versatile ingredient in a many different recipes. Great subsititute for meat too, in dishes such as bolognese, chilli, shepherds pie etc.
Can I use a different variety of Lentils in a curry?
In this recipe I use green lentils as I wanted the lentils to retain their shape. You can of course use any variety of lentil you prefer, just be aware that cooking time will vary to that specified in the recipe below and you may need to use more or less liquid.
The appearence will differ also if you choose to use a different variety of lentils.
Can I use raw chicken?
I used some leftover cooked chicken breast, as I had some on hand after roasted a whole chicken the previous day. So it was nice and quick to just throw some in at the end.
You can definitely use raw chicken if you don't have any cooked chicken on hand. But I recommend browning it in a pan prior to adding it into the curry at the end and ensure it is cooked through by simmering it in the sauce before serving.
Both chicken breast or chicken thigh will work well in this dish. You can even omit the chicken altogether and keep it as a Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry - yum!!
Sides for Coconut Chicken and Lentil Curry
I kept it very simple and just went for some basmati rice and fresh cilantro (coriander). Basmati rice is so easy to cook. I use the 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of liquid method. You just add 1 cup of rice to a saucepan with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, and simmer until the liquid is almost absorbed, then add a lid, turn off heat and leave for 10 minutes. Do not stir or touch in the cooking process, the steam trapped under the lid for the last step continues to cook the rice to perfect. This method will work for long grain rice, jasmine rice and basmati rice.
Some other great sides for this are any kind of sauteed vegetables like zucchini, mushrooms or if you want to make this even healthier, serve alongside this yummy Roasted Cauliflower Rice
Can I use light coconut milk?
You can if you want to reduce the syn, just be aware that the sauce won't be as thick and creamy, as light coconut milk has a higher water ratio.
Did you know the only difference between light and regular coconut milk is the water ratio, so you are actually paying more for light coconut milk. Even if you want light coconut milk, just buy the regular and add more water to it.
Any leftover coconut milk can be frozen for another day or use it in one of these recipes containing coconut milk
Cooking Lentil Curry in a Instant Pot or Slow Cooker
I haven't yet tested this in an Instant Pot or Slow Cooker, you would definitely want to reduce the amount of liquid used, as it won't reduce down like on a stove top. I also recommend making the paste part on the stove or using the saute method of the Instant Pot to ensure you develop all those flavours, before setting it to cook.
If adding cooked chicken as per the recipe, then add that in at the end with the coconut milk to ensure the chicken is not overcooked and dry.
More Lentil Recipes
Looking for some other delicious lentil recipes? Check out these:
- BACON AND LENTIL SOUP
- TACO LENTIL SOUP (INSTANT POT OR STOVE TOP)
- LENTIL CHEDDAR SWEETCORN BAKE
- ONE POT SAUSAGE AND LENTIL CASSEROLE
- LENTIL BOLOGNESE
- CHICKEN AND LENTIL SOUP
- SPICY CARROT AND LENTIL SOUP
- LENTIL CURRY (INSTANT POT AND STOVE TOP)
or head on over to my Full Recipe Index with over 900 delicious Slimming World and Weight Watchers friendly recipes all fully searchable by meal type, ingredients, syn value and smart points etc
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For the curry paste
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbs of freshly grated ginger
- 2 green chillies, deseeded and chopped
- 1 teaspoon of chilli powder (I use a mild chilli powder)
- 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons of ground coriander
- 1.5 teaspoons of turmeric
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- ½ cup of water
For the curry
- 1 cup (190g) of dried green lentils, rinsed
- 3 cups (720ml)of water
- 1 tsp of salt
- 2 cups (250g) of diced cooked chicken (breast)
- 1 cup (240ml) of coconut milk
- cooking oil spray (I use avocado)
- fresh coriander
- Spray a deep frying pan or saucepan over a medium high heat with cooking oil spray.
- Add the onion and fry for a couple of minutes to soften, add in a little splash of water to prevent from burning (if needed)
- Add in the garlic, ginger, chillies, chilli powder, cumin, coriander and turmeric and continue to fry for about a minute just to infuse all the flavour.
- Add the paste to a mini food processor with the tomato paste (puree) and half a cup of water and blend to a paste.
- Add the paste back to the pan with the lentils and 3 cups of water, salt and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes until lentils are tender, stir a few times through cooking to prevent any sticking to the bottom (if you prefer a softer lentil you can cook for a little longer (note: you may need some more water, if it is all absorbed).
- Once lentils are cooked, add in the two cups of cooked chicken and cup of coconnt milk and continue to simmer until chicken is heated through and curry is creamy.
- Taste and season with salt and black pepper as needed.
- Serve with fresh coriander and your choice of sides and enjoy!!
This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, Slimming World and Weight Watchers friendly
- Slimming World - 4 syns per serving
- WW Green Smart Points - 12 per serving
- WW Blue Smart Points - 6 per serving
- WW Purple Smart Points - 6 per serving
SUITABLE FOR FREEZING
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Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1 SERVING
Amount Per Serving Calories 323Total Fat 10.5gSaturated Fat 6.4gTrans Fat 0gCholesterol 40mgSodium 598mgCarbohydrates 30.2gFiber 3.6gSugar 2.2gProtein 26.5g