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Indian-Style Lentil Chicken Stew Over Rice


Indian spices and coconut milk give this lentil stew an exotic Indian flavor. Atop brown or white rice, it's a hearty meal. If you don't have a rice cooker, you can make the rice on the stovetop, or you can serve the stew on couscous. Be sure to save the leftovers - it's one of those dishes that's almost better the next day.

Special Cooking Equipment Needed: Rice cooker, Dutch oven

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: Serves 6 to 8 people


  • 2 cups brown or white rice
  • Water, as needed
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 1/2 cups dried red lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 cup frozen peas


  1. Place the rice in a rice cooker, add the appropriate amount of water according to the rice cooker instructions, and set the rice cooker to cook.

  2. When the rice cooker has about 30 minutes left to go, make the stew. Heat the vegetable oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell pepper and carrots and saute, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

  3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add it to the pot and sprinkle the cumin, turmeric and coriander over it. Saute, stirring, until the chicken is browned, 3 to 4 minutes.

  4. Add the lentils, water and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add the peas and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more, until the lentils are tender and the peas are heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, spoon about 1/2 cup of rice into a shallow bowl, and top with about 1 cup of the lentil stew.

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