Dhansak is specific to Parsi Indians, who migrated to india from Persia in the seventh Century. Their food is rich in rice, curry and lentils. A kachumbar salad is a typical side dish.
Dhansak can be made with any other meat, including lamb, mutton or goat. However, tougher cuts should just be cooked a little longer, perhaps simmered for 2-3 hours until very tender.
Chicken Dhansak Ingredients
- 1kg chicken – skinless boneless thigh or breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
Dhansak Gravy Ingredients
- 200g chana dal
- 200g red split lentils
- 1.65 litres water
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 tin tomatoes
- 1 medium aubergine
- 150g butternut squash or pumpkin
- 1tsp dried mint
- Fistful chopped coriander
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 4 tsp cumin powder, divided
- 1 tsp fenugreek powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ tsp hot chilli powder
- Chopped coriander leaves
- Cooked basmati rice
- Kachumbar salad recipe
- Cut chicken into bit size pieces. Season chicken with 1 tsp Kosher salt.
- Put the chana dal, split lentils, onion, potato, tomatoes, aubergine, squash or pumpkin, dried mint, chopped coriander, 1 tsp Kosher salt, coriander powder, 2 tsp of the cumin powder, fenugreek powder, turmeric powder and hot chilli powder into a pressure cooker or a large-lidded saucepan.
- Simmer for 45 minutes or cook in a pressure cooker for 15 minutes. The lentils should be cooked and the vegetables tender.
- Blend until just smooth, taking care not to blend for too long – over-blended potatoes have a strange texture. The resulting gravy should be like a thick soup. If it is closer to a paste, thin with a little water.
- Separately, add 3 tbsp ghee or oil to a frying pan and fry ginger-garlic paste and remaining 2 tsp cumin powder until aromatic. Pour into the dhansak sauce along with the lemon juice and salt. Taste for seasoning.
- Fry chicken pieces, turning regularly, for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. Stir into the dhansak gravy.
- Serve with plenty of chopped coriander leaves, cooked basmati rice, and kachumbar salad.
After a stage as a chef at a London Michelin-starred restaurant Nicola became obsessed with seeking the best flavours from around the world. She started Sous Chef in 2012, and is always sharing her knowledge of ingredients and writing recipes to showcase those products. Learning from the products, Sous Chef's suppliers and her travels, Nicola has written the majority of the recipes on the Sous Chef website, all of which are big on flavour.