Curried pheasant legs with dhal and coconut chutney

Milo Brown


4 pheasant legs or roast 2 whole pheasants and remove the legs, saving the breast meat 
2tbs curry powder
2 cloves garlic, peeled 
thumb sized chunk ginger, peeled
1 red chilli, finely chopped 
1tsp cumin seeds 
1tsp ground coriander
1tsp turmeric 
250g red lentils 
400ml coconut milk 
500ml chicken (or pheasant) stock 
1 lime
coriander, to serve 

For the chutney 
100g fresh coconut 
1 green chilli, roughly chopped  
thumb sized chunk of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped 
vegetable oil 
handful curry leaves, optional
2tsp nigella seeds 
2tsp mustard seeds 

Milo Brown

Serves 2-4

Heat the oven to 160˚C. 

Make the chutney in a mini chopper, blitzing the coconut with the chilli and ginger; add a splash of water to make it come together to make a thick chutney. Add more water as necessary. Season well with salt and set aside in a serving bowl.  

Rub the curry powder all over the pheasant legs and season with salt and pepper. Lay them skin side up in a large roasting tray and roast, basting occasionally, until cooked through; about 30 minutes. Rest for 10 minutes.

Make the dhal while the pheasant is roasting. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Use a fine grater to grate the garlic and ginger into the pan. Add the red chilli and sizzle for a couple of minutes, then the spices; toast for a minute longer. Tip the lentils into the pan and stir to coat in the spice mix, then pour in the coconut milk and stock. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Check and taste the lentils; they should be totally soft, but if not cook a little longer. Squeeze the lime juice into the pan and season well, then set aside. 

Return to the chutney. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a small frying pan, add the curry leaves, nigella and mustard seeds, fry until the curry leaves turn a dark green and the seeds pop a little, then remove from the heat and spoon over the top of the chutney. 

To serve, spoon the dhal onto a serving plate and top with the pheasant legs, drizzling over any juices from the pan. Serve with the chutney.