CURRY BAKED CHICKEN WITH SPLIT PEA DHAL          (Serves 3 - with dhal left over)

Ingredients :

300g dried yellow split peas

700ml hot water

1 tablespoonful of sunflower oil

2 onions, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped finely

1 red chilli, seeds optional, sliced finely

a thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, grated

2 heaped teaspoonfuls of ground cumin

2 heaped teaspoonfuls of ground coriander

2 heaped teaspoonfuls of ground turmeric

a large handful of fresh coriander - mostly stems - chopped

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

2 teaspoonfuls of vegetable stock powder

10g salted butter

a pinch of sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

3 skinless boneless chicken breasts

2 dessert spoonfuls of Greek yoghurt

1.5 dessert spoonfuls of mango chutney

1.5 dessert spoonfuls of curry paste

1 garlic clove, chopped finely.

Method :

1.  Place the split peas and the water into your slow cooker and turn on to High.

2.  Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onion.  Fry on a medium to high heat until transparent and just starting to brown.

3.  Add the garlic, chilli, ginger and spices.  Stir well to combine and continue to cook for another few minutes, to cook out the spices.

4.  Add the fresh coriander and the tomatoes, along with the vegetable stock powder.  Stir well to combine and heat through.  Once hot, decant into the slow cooker and stir to combine.

5.  Replace the lid on the slow cooker and cook on High for 4 hours.

6.  When the 4 hours are almost up, start with cooking the chicken by cutting each chicken breast into three pieces.

7.  Place the yoghurt, curry paste, chutney and garlic into a bowl and stir to combine.  Add the chicken and toss liberally in the mixture.

8.  Place the chicken in separate pieces onto a baking tray and spoon the remains of the mixture over the top of each piece.  Bake at 200degC/400degF/Gas 6 for 20-25 minutes, until the chicken is white throughout and the surface has begun to caramelise.

9.  In the meantime, give the dhal a stir and taste for seasoning.  Add sea salt and black pepper to taste, plus the butter.  Allow the butter to melt, then stir through.

10.  Serve the chicken and dhal with some plain boiled basmati rice.