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dhansak recipe from a parsi grandmom

  • howler Nov 20, 2012 03:44 PM
  • 6

[Serves 4-5
or 1 hungry parsi]

daal:
1/2 cup toor
1/4 cup chana
1/4 cup moong
1/2 cup masoor
1 small eggplant
1 cup of diced pumpkin
2T(ablespoons) dill
1 cup methi (fenugreek) leaves
2T tamarind concentrate
1/2 cup jaggery (goor)
2T coriander leaves with stalks
2T chopped mint

wet masala:
2 inch cinnamon stick
6 cardamom pods
5 cloves
2t(easpoons) cumin seeds
10 black peppercorns
1T coriander seeds
8 dried red chilies
1T chopped ginger
10 cloves garlic
1 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves and stalks

dry masala:
3 cardamom pods
3 cloves
2 star anise
1t cumn seeds
8 black peppercorns
2 red chillies
2t methi leaves

goat:
3T oil
2 lbs cubed goat
1 cup water
chopped coriander and mint to garnish

1. Wash daal mix with other daal ingredients add 2 cups water and boil for 30 mins.
Then cool a bit and puree in a blender.

2. Prepare wet masala by roasting everything in a pan for 3-4 mins (stir constantly, do not burn) except fresh coriander
Remove and grind in mixer with the coriander leaves and some water to make a paste.

3. Roast the dry masala spices separately and grind in a coffee grinder.

4. Heat oil and cook goat - saute on high heat for around 10-12 minutes
After goat looks nicely browned, add wet masala and cook 2-3 mins
Add water and cook on medium heat for 30-40 mins
Add the pureed daal mixture
Add the dry masala
Cook another 30 mins on low heat, or until goat is done

That's it!
But you need to make brown rice (I just saute onions, caramalize some sugar, then add washed rice and toss around and then add water to cook, but you can also add a few cumin seeds, peppercorns, caradamoms, etc. if you like). You also need to make cachumber and cutlace (cutlets) and have Kingfisher shandy otherwise the experience will not be complete.

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  1. Wow Howler, this recipe looks incredible! I can't wait to make it. A couple of questions:

    1) my toor dal takes like 2 hours to cook. Will it be fully cooked when it is pureed or is it okay if it isn't?

    which leads to

    2) I usually cook my dal (especially toor) in the pressure cooker. Can I adapt this recipe and do it in the pressue cooker? I'm just trying to figure out if some textural thing will be lost if I cook the dal for longer or make it softer.

    Also, can I substitute lamb for goat?

    1 Reply
    1. re: missmasala

      yes to everything.

      try it - the second time around will be better ...

    2. I like this! have never actually had dhansak before, just heard about it...must try this soon. This looks like it will be very sweet. Do you think it would change the character of the dish too much if I reduced or even omitted the jaggery?

      1 Reply
      1. re: luckyfatima

        it shouldn't be. parsi cooking - like irani cooking - is all about nailing that sweet/sour balance. try it first the way it is - if if turns out too sweet, reduce it by a half next time.

        but play with the recipe! nothing is exact in indian recipes as i'm sure you know.

      2. My "hungry Parsi" hubs will be happy to give this a try (if I make it, that is!). Looks quite different from the family recipes I've been given, but will try it out. Thanks!

        1. Too complicated. Can your grandma adopt me?