Burmese Chicken Curry with Yellow Lentils (Kalapei Kyetharhin)

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups)
Source: Cooking Light, April 2005
CL Comments: Situated between India and China, Myanmar (formerly Burma) combines the food traditions of both countries it borders. This dish is evidence of those influences--yellow lentils, sometimes called chana dal, are common to Indian cooking, and this thick, comforting stew is often served over Chinese egg noodles (though basmati rice is also a good base). As with most curries, a frosty cold beer is a great match.

Comments from a cook in PA: I LOVED this. It was like something you'd get in a good Indian restaurant. I used regular brown lentils because that's what I had on hand. I served over brown basmati and used only 2 bay leaves (they were on the large side). The only change I would make next time is that it needs more salt... once I sprinkled my individual serving with salt, it really brought the flavors out much better. Anthony gave this a 4 (because he wanted it to be spicy, I think, and it is not spicy at all), but for me it was a definite 5 star recipe. You could make this with chicken breast, but I think the thighs are more authentic and get super tender.


1 1/2 cups dried yellow lentils
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 3/4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3 bay leaves


  1. Place lentils in a large saucepan; cover with water to 2 inches above lentils. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. Combine cumin and next 5 ingredients (through cloves) in a large zip- top plastic bag. Add chicken; seal and shake to coat.
  3. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add the mixture; sauté 4 minutes. Stir in broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add lentils and bay leaves; cover and simmer 30 minutes. Uncover and simmer 10 minutes. Discard bay leaves.


Healthy Units: 6.5 per serving or Core
CALORIES 344 (21% from fat); FAT 8.2g (satfat 1.6g, monofat 3.1g, polyfat 2.4g); PROTEIN 35.8g; CARBOHYDRATE 31.9g; FIBER 6.3g; CHOLESTEROL 94mg; IRON 5.3mg; SODIUM 576mg; CALCIUM 50mg

Back to Recipes in Alpha Order
Back to Recipes by Type