Curry for Change

Changing the lives of families
who suffer from hunger.

Dried Ginger and Lentil Spiced Chicken Balti by Torie True (Chilli and Mint)


Torie took part in our Natco Recipe Challenge, and this is the dish she created - try it at home!

100g Natco yellow split peas

1 tsp Natco turmeric

1 tbsp Natco shredded coconut

10g Natco dried ginger

1x 4 inch piece of Natco cassia bark, broken in two

1 tsp Natco cumin seeds

500g chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces

5 tbsp vegetable oil

1 white onion, finely chopped

1 tsp garlic paste

2 green chillies, stalk removed but kept whole

1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder

6 large tomatoes (900g), finely chopped

400g boiling water

2 tsp salt

2 dried red chillies

10 fresh curry leaves (or dried if you can’t get hold of fresh)


Dried ginger and lentil spiced chicken balti is both aromatic and flavoursome, combining dried ginger with shredded coconut, cassia bark, cumin, turmeric, curry leaves and chilli. The tomatoes and onions help form the base note of the sauce, which coats the tender chicken pieces, whilst the yellow split peas adds a new dimension to the dish.

Straightforward and relatively quick to prepare, aside for a small pan to make the tarka at the end, it only uses one large pot - hence the balti. Chicken tends to be the most popular meat so I felt it was suitable to create my dish around this protein. By including yellow split peas the dish becomes very substantial and filling, perfect to cook when feeding a crowd for a charity curry evening!

  1. Heat a large deep pan with 1 tablespoon of oil. When it is hot add the dried ginger and move around the pan for under a minute. Remove the ginger and place in a blender along with the shredded coconut.
  2. In a bowl add the chicken pieces, turmeric powder, the ground dried ginger and shredded coconut as well as one tablespoon of vegetable oil. Stir well so that all the chicken pieces are coated. Leave to rest whilst you prepare the rest of the dish.

  3. In the same large deep pan that you heated the dried ginger, add 3 further tablespoons of vegetable oil. When it is hot add the onion and gently fry it until it begins to brown in colour. Add the garlic paste, salt, Kashmiri chilli powder, fresh green chillies and cassia bark and stir for a few minutes.

  4. Add the spiced chicken pieces to the pan and stir into all the other ingredients. Place a lid on the pan and allow the chicken to whiten and begin to bronze in places. Stir at intervals. This will take around 10 minutes.

  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and the boiling water, which will allow the yellow split peas to cook easily. Continue to cook the curry on a medium heat for 20 minutes with the lid on. Then remove the lid and simmer for a further 10 minutes.

  6. In a separate small pan heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil and when it is hot add the cumin seeds, dried red chilli and curry leaves -  this will be the tarka. The cumin seeds will begin to sizzle almost immediately. Move the ingredients around the pan for one minute and then pour into the main pan when ready to serve.

  7. Serve with either plain rice, naan, paratha or puri.

Note: If you prefer less of a sauce keep the lid off the pan for a little longer, which will allow the sauce to thicken and reduce.

For more recipes from Tori, visit her site Chill and Mint.

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