Pic of Chicken and spiced lentils with leek and watercress

Chicken and spiced lentils with leek and watercress

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Chicken and spiced lentils with leek and watercress

Main Serves 2 30 min
This is a simple one-pot dish. The spicing is apparent but not excessive; it is the peppery watercress and pungent yoghurt that brings it all together at the end. Add the garlic into your yoghurt little by little, depending on your tolerance for the raw taste.

Cook's notes

Make sure you keep a good eye on your leeks for the first 8 mins. You don't want them to take on any colour at this stage as you are turning the heat up at a later stage. A splash or two of water in the pan will help. If they colour too early they'll burn later, and a burnt leek is a bitter leek.


  • oil for frying e.g. sunflower or light olive
  • 1 large or 2 smaller leeks, halved lengthways, chopped into angled 1cm pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 120g yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 lemon, finely zested
  • 250g diced chicken breast
  • ½ tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon bouillon powder
  • 1 tin dark green lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 50g watercress
  • salt and pepper
Image of Chicken and spiced lentils with leek and watercress


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 20 min
  • Step 1

    Warm 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Fry the leeks gently for 8 mins, until softening but not colouring. Add a dash of water if it looks like they might.
  • Step 2

    Mix the garlic into the yoghurt to taste. Add the dried mint and lemon zest, too. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Step 3

    Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add it to the leeks and turn up the heat. Fry for 3-4 mins until both the chicken and leeks have lightly coloured.
  • Step 4

    Add the spices and bouillon powder to the pan. Fry for 1 more min, stirring constantly to avoid the spices sticking.
  • Step 5

    Tip the lentils into the pan. Fill the empty lentil tin two thirds full with water and add that, too. Bring to a very gentle simmer and cook for 6 mins.
  • Step 6

    Remove the chicken and lentils from the heat and stir the watercress into the pan. Leave it for 2 mins to allow the watercress to wilt. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
  • Step 7

    Serve the chicken and lentils in bowls. Serve with a generous blob of yoghurt and a fat wedge of lemon for squeezing.

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