Monday, 18 May 2015


Dhansakh recipe
Hello dear all and welcome to the very first post on my blog!, after much ponder on what my first recipe should be, I've hit home on Dhasakh, a Sunday lunch favourite of my family.

So without further ado lets jump right into the pot folks ;-)

A little introduction on Dhansakh (though any Indian would need absolutely none of it (the intro I mean)

Here's what Wikipedia has to say:

Dhansak is a popular Indian dish, especially popular among the Parsi Zoroastrian community. It combines elements of Persian and Gujarati cuisine. Dhansak is made by cooking mutton or chicken with a mixture of lentils and vegetables. This is served with caramelised brown rice, which is rice cooked in caramel water to give it a typical taste and colour. The dal cooked with mutton and vegetables served with brown rice, altogether is called dhansak.

In Parsi homes, dhansak is traditionally made on Sundays, as it is a heavy dish to digest and owing to the long preparation time.

Dhansak is also always had on the fourth day after the death of a near one. There is no meat consumed for three days after the death of a near one, Dhansak is used to break this abstinence on the fourth day. Dhansak hence, is never prepared on auspicious occasions like festivals and weddings.

For serving 4 people

You will need:
For Dhansakh Masala

2 tbsp sabut dhania (corriander seeds)

2 tbsp jeera (cumin seeds)

3 - 4 sabut kashmiri lal mirch (whole red chilies)

1/2 tsp tsp shahi jeera

1/2 tsp methi dana (fenugreek seeds)

1/4 tsp phool pathar (also known ar kalpasi and dagad phool)

1/4 tsp sabut kali mirch (whole black pepper)

1/4 tsp khus khus (poppy seeds)

1/2 inch piece dal chini (cinnamon)

1/4 tsp laung (cloves)

3 nos tamal patta (bay leaf)

1 small badian (star anise)

1 small mace (javitri)

A pinch of (jaiphal) nutmeg powder

For Rice:

1/2 kg Basmati Rice

2  tsps jeera (cumin seeds)

4 tbsps sugar

2 bay leaves

5 nos cloves

5 nos whole pepper seeds

Salt to taste

For Dal (Lentils)

2 cups yellow toor daal (pigeon pea lentils)

1 cup orange masoor daal

2 mediun sized onions

2 big tomatoes

1/2 small aubergine

1 small slice red pumpkin

Few sprigs of mint leaves

3 medium potatoes

Salt to taste


For the Brown Rice

Start by heating the sugar a big pot, when the sugar has fully turned deep brown in colour fill the entire pot with water

Add in pre washed rice along with whole pepper seeds, bay leaves and cloves.

Allow to reach to a boil and simmer till rice is done.

Drain the entire pot of rice in a colander and allow the same to air dry.

For the Masala

Dry roast all the spices one at a time (except the bay leaves)

Transfer all the roasted spices after cooling a bit into a small blender 

Blend to a fine powder

Keep aside.

For the Dal

In a big pressure cooker, pressure cook both dals, potatoes, meat, aubergine, pumpkin and mint leaves on a slow flame for (45 mins if using mutton) or (30 mins if using chicken)

You can use different boxes for the vegetables, but I recommend cooking the meat and dal together for the dal to thoroughly infuse with all those yummy meat juices.

After the dal is cooked, remove the meat pieces and blend the dal with a hand blender (You may have to drain off some of the water before blending, as we are aiming for a thick dal)

However keep the drained water handy for later.

Next in a separate pan fry finely chopped onions until deep golden in colour.

Add in tomatoes that have also been finely chopped.

Allow both of these to cook down to a mash i.e. all the water has evaporated

Add in HALF of the prepared Dhansakh masala into this mix along with the bay leaves.

Saute till the spices loose their raw smell and your entire kitchen wafts of divine Dhansakh goodness.

Now add this prepared concoction along with the boiled aubergine, pumpkin and mint leaves into the dal and blend again until well combined.

Add in salt.

Add in the meat and potatoes and bring to a boil.

Garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve hot along with the brown rice and tangy Kachumber.

Sleep to your hearts content as there will be little else you could do post devouring this gastronomical delight!


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