Dhansak is a traditional Parsi dish, prepared with spiced chicken or mutton in lentil gravy and definitely not a common dish in my kitchen! It’s amazing how certain recipes find their way into our kitchen rather than it being the other way around. It was around 4-5 months ago when one of my friend’s was visiting Bombay and he wanted to buy a Dhansak masala for back home, which inspired me to buy the same. Yesterday when I was going through my spice cupboard before a trip to the supermarket, I saw that masala packet standing unopened and decided I have to try it sometime soon. And as a popular hindi saying goes “If you are planning to do it tomorrow, do it today; and if today, do it now!”
With Ashima and Sikander coming home for dinner, I thought now was perfect. I looked up a few versions of chicken dhasak on the internet and finally made my own recipe. And Ashima was persuasive enough to make me do a guest post here. Here’s the recipe which saw 4 very happy people at the end of the meal! 🙂
Note: You can easily skip the meat to make a vegetarian version.
Preparation Time: 20 mins | Cooking Time: 1 hr + time for marinating the chicken | Serves 4
½ cup Toor/ arhar daal
2 tbsp dhanshaak masala (I used Badshaah dhanshaak masala)
½ cup red masoor daal
1 tsp turmeric powder
|2 potatoes, chopped
1 tsp red chilli powder
3 onions, chopped
|1 tsp black pepper powder
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp tamarind paste
|250 gms cauliflower, chopped
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
150 gms bottle gourd (lauki), chopped
|3 tbsp curd
|½ kg boneless chicken pieces
Salt to taste
|Fresh coriander for garnish
Oil for marinade and cooking
5-6 mint leaves
- Marinate chicken for at least 2 hours with 3 tbsp curd, ½ tsp salt, 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste and 1 tbsp oil
- Soak daals in 3 cups water for an hour
- Pressure cook the daals (with water) and bottle gourd with salt and turmeric for 3-4 whistles. Open after the steam has escaped and make it a smooth paste by mashing with the back of a spoon.
- Heat oil in a wok and sauté potatoes and cauliflower for 8-10 minutes. Keep aside.
- In the same pan, sauté onions till they are golden brown, add chicken and pan fry till it’s cooked
- Add the boiled daals, sautéed vegetables and all the spices and mint leaves
- Add another 2 cups of water and simmer for 20 – 30 minutes
- Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with steamed rice.
Nowadays Dhansak masala is easily available in all supermarkets under various brands, but you can also make your own dhansak masala at home and store. A couple of recipes that I found on net for Dhansak masala mix: