Butternut and Red Lentil Chicken Curry

Prep 20 mins

Cooking 30 mins

Serves 4

Not keen on highly spiced food? This butternut, red lentil and chicken dish is packed with flavour but very mild, just the thing you need to gently introduce kids or curry-averse friends to the wonders of a warming plate of curry.

What you will need

  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 3cm ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
  • 1½ -2 Tbsp Natural Herbs and Spices Mild Curry
  • 1 large butternut, peeled and cut into 3cm cubes
  • 1½ cups red split lentils
  • 2½ cups water
  • 400ml tin of reduced fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 skinless free range chicken breasts
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


Start by frying the onions over low heat in the vegetable oil until soft. Then add the garlic, ginger and Natural Herbs & Spices Mild Curry powder and fry for a further minute. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the chicken, cover and cook over low heat until the red lentils and butternut are soft – it takes about 20 minutes.

While the curry is cooking, slice each breast into three chunks. Fry the chicken in a bit of vegetable oil in a hot non-stick pan until golden brown and almost cooked through. Add the browned chicken to the curry for the final 5 minutes of cooking.

Serve this fragrant mild curry with basmati rice. To make things extra interesting, sprinkle some mixed seeds over the basmati rice just before serving.

(Cook’s note: to introduce extra veggie goodness to this curry, you can also add some baby spinach, frozen peas or baby pak choi for the final few minutes of cooking.)


Recipe concept & photography by Lizet Hartley.

Lizet Hartley is a freelance stills and reel food stylist, food photographer and recipe developer. In her spare time she – rather predictably – cooks. Get more of her recipes on her blog at http://www.melkkos-merlot.co.za