Herbie’s Spices Curry Essentials Chicken Dhansak


May 7, 2013 by Joanne T Ferguson


Anyone who knows me, KNOWS how E-X-C-I-T-E-D I get when it comes to food, herbs and spices!

I could go on and on and on about finding new ingredients, recipes to put “on the list” and those to create!

My PASSION for food IS my FATE! πŸ˜‰

While placing an order online at Herbie’s Spices, I saw their newΒ CURRY ESSENTIALS GIFT BOX and became “wide-eyed” curious too!

“Whole spices for curry blends in tins in a metal box!,” I S-Q-U-E-A-L-E-D!!
I do that A LOT! If you run into my friends they will tell you it’s true! Laughing

A very big thank you to Mr. Ian (Herbie) Hemphill who supported my food “PASSION and ENTHUSIASM” and sent me this WONDERFUL CURRY ESSENTIALS GIFT BOX to see what I could create too! Very HappyVery Happy

When the box arrived, I “S-L-O-W-L-Y and EXCITEDLY” opened the box and what did I do? This time I did not YELL like in Apple Crumble Pie Cookies -The Daring Kitchen: Baker’s March 2013 Challenge, but w-h-i-s-p-e-r-e-d as if this box was MY secret now too! Wink


“Cardamon pods, Fennel Seeds, Bird’s Eye Chili,” thisΒ CURRY ESSENTIALS GIFT BOX is DEFINATELY for me!

“Cloves, Coriander Seeds, Nigella Seeds, Cumin and Fenugreek!” I then closed my eyes to “savor the aroma flavor” and didn’t peek! Wink

“Tellicherry Pepper, Cinnamon Quills, Star Anise, Brown Mustard Seeds,” TRUE!

What would be the first dish I could create with this FANTASTIC “premium whole spices” sitting in front of me!

I was already doing the Herbie’s Spices Happy Dance, just PLEASE do not ask me to dance like in B is for Brazil. πŸ˜‰

SEE, how EXCITED (and distracted) I get when it comes to all things food?

Seriously, I WISH you could all smell the wonderful spices in front of me that now have put me “in the mood” Very Happy


My name is Joanne, and I LOVE curry!

When I opened my What’s On The List folder, I had (many months ago) saved Chicken Dhansak —Eastern Curry Powder Recipe and thought this would be perfect to “slightly adapt” using Herbie’s Spices CURRY ESSENTIALS GIFT BOX ingredients and with my unique creative twist.

I am glad today’s post by you was not missed! πŸ˜‰

Dhansak is a traditional Indian dish that can be made with chicken or lamb. The meat is cooked in spiced Dhals and PLEASE do not let the long list of ingredients put you off from being “inspired” to make this VERY healthy, economical dish too!


1/2 cup Toor Dhal
1/2 Channa Dhal
500 grams (~18 ounces) boneless chicken thigh
10 Herbie’s Spices Tellicherry peppercorns (which comes with this Herbie’s Spices Curry Essentials Gift Box πŸ˜‰ )
1 inch piece cinnamon quill (which comes with this Herbie’s Spices Curry Essentials Gift Box πŸ˜‰ )
1 inch piece mace
2 bay leaves
1 star anise (which comes with this Herbie’s Spices Curry Essentials Gift Box πŸ˜‰ )
3 dry red chillis (which comes with this Herbie’s Spices Curry Essentials Gift Box πŸ˜‰ )
1 tablespoon cumin seeds (which comes with this Herbie’s Spices Curry Essentials Gift Box πŸ˜‰ )
1 tablespoons coriander seeds (which comes with this Herbie’s Spices Curry Essentials Gift Box πŸ˜‰ )
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (which comes with this Herbie’s Spices Curry Essentials Gift Box πŸ˜‰ )
1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seed (which comes with this Herbie’s Spices Curry Essentials Gift Box πŸ˜‰ )
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 bunch coriander
1/2 to 1 bunch mint
1/4 orange juice
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 tablespoon garlic paste
1 tablespoon ginger paste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 litre (~4 cups) chicken stock (used homemade style)
1 cup water
salt to taste
Lime (optional; but recommended)

Wash lentils well. Place them in a deep pan, add chicken stock, salt to taste, and 1 cup of water; bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer until lentils become soft. (about 20 – 25 minutes)

Do not drain lentils.

Feel free to substitute any variety of lentils you have on hand too! πŸ˜‰

Hint and Tip
You can whisk the lentils (with a stick blender) for a more “soup-like” consistency. πŸ˜‰

Combine dry ingredients. (except turmeric and nutmeg)

In a fry pan on the stove, dry fry ingredients until they start to “release their aroma.” Remove from heat to cool.

Hint and Tip
You will know then they release their aroma WHEN you make this Herbie’s Spices Curry Essentials Chicken Dhansak recipe as the seeds start to “pop like popcorn.” πŸ˜‰

Remove bay leaves and add turmeric and nutmeg to dry fry ingredients. Grind spices.

I chose to remove the bay leaves before placing all the dry fry ingredients into a spice grinder.

In a pan on the stove, heat oil, add to pan, adding fresh coriander leaves and fresh mint leaves. Fry until soft. Remove and cool.

Grind leaves into a “smooth” paste.

Cut chicken thigh into small bite-size pieces; set aside.

In large pot, over medium heat, add lentils in cooked water, ginger and garlic pastes, orange juice, lime juice, and bring to a boil; stirring occasionally.

Add 1 cup of water, ground spice mixture and coriander-mint paste; add salt to taste and chicken pieces.

Cook until chicken is done.

Hint and Tip
Mine took about 20 – 25 minutes.

ENJOY! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

I purchase Herbie’s Spices on a regular basis locally, TRUE! I have previously ordered online, sent inquiries about products and always received a prompt reply back and GREAT customer service too!


My “PASSION and ENTHUSIASTIC” words are my own and was not influenced by Mr. Ian (Herbie) Hemphill “graciously” sending me this CURRY ESSENTIALS GIFT BOX too!

Look forward to my next Herbie’s Spices CURRY ESSENTIALS GIFT BOX

recipes I create! (coming soon) πŸ˜‰

I LOVE the CURRY ESSENTIALS GIFT BOX simplicity, versatility and to sum up in ONE WORD….GREAT!

What is YOUR favorite type of curry? And can you GUESS what next with this Herbie’s Spices CURRY ESSENTIALS GIFT BOX I am going to create?

Not only is this FUN to buy (conveniently online) but is a FANTASTIC “foodie present” for that difficult to purchase friend or family member too!

I personally LOVE when a company matches their face with a name, TRUE!

“Ian (Herbie) Hemphill and Liz Hemphill have been associated with spices for over 40 years, and enjoy sharing their experience with their customers.”

7 thoughts on “Herbie’s Spices Curry Essentials Chicken Dhansak

  1. […] food like in Feast! Fine Foods Sausage Making Class, Daniella e Stefania Saporito! Cookbook Review, Herbie’s Spices Essentials Chicken Dhansak, and in Little Box of Yum May “Australian Theme” Box to name a […]

  2. Miz Helen says:

    Oh my goodness, I can almost smell the wonderful smell of all of those most wonderful spices. Thanks for stopping by to visit!
    Miz Helen

  3. That’s wonderful! Herbie’s spices are fantastic and it’s such a great Australian company πŸ™‚

  4. Karen says:

    wow, this looks amazing, what a wonderful idea! I can virtually smell those spices from here πŸ™‚

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About me

Joanne T. Ferguson

Passionate Home Cook who tries to inspire one recipe and one event at time!


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