Dhanshak

I am blogging after a big long gap. All this while however, I was not away from food. I cooked many new dishes and also cooked the same ones many times over. I was plain lazy, sometimes busy and most of the times too hungry to click pictures and upload on the web.

I must have cooked Dhanshak at least 5-6 times in the last few months and I still don’t have a single picture of the final dish. With the realisation that taste is all that matters, I am going to share the recipe with the work in progress pictures I have.

‘Dhan’ means grains and ‘Shak’ means vegetables. Dhanshak is a pure non-vegetarian, Parsi dish cooked with Lamb, lentils and vegetable. Ironically, I tasted it the first time in a Gujrati household as a pure vegetarian food (i.e. without the lamb).

 

There are 3 preparatory parts to the recipe;

1)      Marinate the meat (lamb / chicken).

2)      Cook lentils and vegetables together  in a pressure cooker

3)      Prepare the spice paste

 

Washed lentils

Washed lentils

 

Ingredients;

A.  Marinate;

½ Kg of Lamb / Mutton / Chicken – with bones

½ tsp Turmeric powder

1 tsp alt

 

B.  The lentil and vegetable mixture;

1)      Lentils

½ cup Tovar dal (Split red gram)

1 tbsp of whole Green Moong dal (green gram)

1 tbsp Urad dal (white lentil / Black gram skinned and split)

1 tbsp Whole Masoor dal (Brown Lentil)

 

2) Vegetables

1 medium Potato

1 medium Tomato

3/4th cup of Methi leaves (Fenugreek)

4 sticks of Spring onions

½ cup of Dudhi / Lauki (Bottle Gourd)

 

Lentils and the veggies

Lentils and the veggies

 

 C.  The Spice paste;

2 medium size Green chillies (not too dark in colour)

1 ½ tsp Ginger Garlic paste (blend together ginger and garlic in equal portions)

4 cloves

1 tsp of Pepper corns

1 tbsp Coriander seeds

½ cup of Fresh Coriander with the stock

 

The spice paste

The spice paste

 

D. Tampering and Miscellaneous;

1 sliced Onion

Juice of a Lemon

1 tsp Cumin seeds)

¼ tsp Cinnamon powder

½ tsp Cardamom powder

4 tbsp of Ghee / Clarified butter

 

Procedure;

  1. Wash chicken / lamb clean. Apply turmeric and salt and let it marinate for about 30 mins.
  2. In a bowl, wash all the lentils together- B 1).
  3. Peel potato and pumpkin. Wash and roughly chop all vegetables – tomato, potato, pumpkin and spring onions.
  4. In a large tin, add washed lentils (2), chopped vegetables (3) and methi leaves. Add 2 glasses of water and let it pressure cook for about 15-20 minutes. Lentils take longer than vegetables to cook. Make sure that the lentils are fully cooked.
  5. Once the mixture cools, grind to a fine paste.
  6. While the mixture cools, prepare spice paste by grinding all the ingredients (C) together in a blender.
  7. In a separate bowl, heat ghee, add cumin seeds. Let it crackle. Add sliced onions and cook till limp. Add cinnamon, cardamom powder.
  8. Add spice paste and meat and let it cook with the lid on till meat is nearly done. (You can add a little water – half a cup or so to help the meat cook)
  9. Once meat is nearly cooked, add lentil and vegetable paste to it. Mix well.
  10. Add salt to taste and some water if the mix is too dense. Cover and simmer for 5 mins.
  11. Top it with a dollop of ghee while serving.

 

While Dhankshak tastes the best with Lamb/chicken, you can try it without meat. Reduce the quantity of spice paste to half. Serve with steamed brown rice or lachha paratha. Makes it a perfect Sunday lunch.

You can also enjoy it as a stew in winters. Reduce the spice paste to 1/6th of the quantity and make the dish more watery. Serve with Brune.

 

 

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