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With the weather getting colder outside, I am turning to more stewed food and soups, just like this Chicken Dal Curry. It is a perfect Burmese stew which combines all the cravings for chicken and curry and the rest of the spices in this fall season.

If you are asking yourself what is Burmese food, look at the map. Formerly known as Burma, today Myanmar is located between India, China and Thailand, three super great world cuisines. Well, this Burmese food is a combination of these three traditional cuisines. You get the point now.
There is a special restaurant in San Francisco, the US, called Burma Superstar. It is a real destination for truly food lovers, where you’ll have to wait for 2 hours in line, to taste this amazing cuisine. Once you try it, believe me, you’ll stay obsessed forever. I tried to find some similar restaurants nearby, but with no success. So I found this recipe from a cookbook and adapted it to my taste.

I prefer making this by cooking it slow on a low heat, but I also tried it in the Instant Pot and the results were simply amazing.

PREP TIME: 15 mins
TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 15 mins


2 1/2 lbs (8) bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
2 1/2 cups minced yellow onion
1/3 cup minced garlic
1/2 cup yellow split peas
1 tablespoon paprika
1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala
1 teaspoon Madras curry
1 to 3 Thai chiles, optional
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 ounce piece ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup cilantro sprigs for garnish
1 lime, cut into wedges for garnish
2 1/4 cups water
2 bay leaves


Stove method:

  • Soak the peas into the water overnight and drain the next day. If you don’t have time to prepare it night before, simmer the peas for 20 minutes with two cups of water.
  • Coat the chicken with turmeric, salt and paprika.
  • Heat two teaspoons of oil over medium heat in a pot.
  • Add the ginger and cook until it gets brownish colour, for about 2 minutes.
  • Put the onions inside the pot, and stir everything until soft enough, for about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add bay leaves, garlic, chiles and decrease the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 5 minutes, and when finished, transfer to a bowl.
  • Clean the pot and add remaining teaspoon of olive oil. Heat it on medium.
  • Add the chicken inside until it gets brownish colour on both sides, for about 3 minutes.
  • After chicken is browned, return the onion mixture to the pot and let it boil.
  • Lower to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes until the chicken is soft and tender.
  • Mix in the soaked peas which you first prepared, add curry powder, garam masala and cook for about 50-55 minutes. The peas should be tender and delicate. If it is too watery, cook for some additional time until the part of the water disappears, or if it is too thick, add some water to it. If you cooked split peas separately, add them in the pot in the last 10 minutes of cooking.
  • Adjust salt to your taste, and remove ginger and bay leaves.
  • Serve it to your taste with cilantro and lime wedges on the side.

Instant Pot method:

  • Season the chicken with salt, turmeric and paprika.
  • Heat two teaspoons of olive oil in the Instant Pot.
  • Add the ginger and brown it for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the onions, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until soft.
  • Stir in chiles, garlic and bay leaves for 2 minutes, and when finished, transfer to a bowl.
  • Clean the pot and heat up the remaining olive oil, adding the chicken in a single layer and cooking until it gets brown on each side, for about 4 minutes.
  • Put the mixture of onion back into the pot and add some water. Add chicken, peas and the rest of the spices, and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes with natural steam release.
  • Before serving remove the ginger and bay leaves, and serve to your taste with cilantro and lime wedges.


Serving: 2thighs
3/4 cup peas, Calories: 529kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 64g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 3.5g, Cholesterol: 266.5mg, Sodium: 771mg, Fiber: 9.5g, Sugar: 6.5g

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