Dhansak is a delicious traditional delicacy made on the occasion of Jamshed Navroz. Explore to know the recipe of how to make dhansak.
Jamshed Navroz is celebrated by the Zoroastrians to commemorate the first day of the New Year. It is marked on 21st March which coincides with the Vernal Equinox, a day when the length of the day and night are equal. The term Navroz literally means ‘new day’ where ‘nav’ means ‘new’ and ‘roz’ meaning ‘day’. The festival is celebrated with zeal and enthusiasm. Scrumptious and lavish delicacies are made to mark the occasion. Dhansak is a delicious and traditional Parsi preparation cooked on festivals and weekends. The word dhansak comes from two words, ‘dhan’ which means ‘lentils’ and ‘sak’ which means ‘greens and vegetables’. This is accompanied with chicken or lamb while cooking. Browse through the following lines to know how to make dhansak.
How To Make Dhansak
- 4 tbsp Vegetable Oil or Ghee
- 1 cup mixed Lentils
- 500 g Chicken Pieces (skinned and cut into bite sized cubes)
- ½ ltr Chicken Stock
- 1 inch piece Cinnamon
- 6 Cloves
- ½ tbsp Cumin Seeds
- ½ tbsp Coriander Seeds
- 7 Black Peppercorns
- 3 large Bay Leaves
- 1 Star Anise
- ½ tsp Sesame Seeds
- ¼ tsp Nutmeg (grated)
- 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 2 dry Red Chilies
- ½ tsp Fenugreek Seeds
- Mint Leaves (small bunch)
- 1 large bunch of fresh Coriander Leaves
- 1 large bunch of fresh Fenugreek Leaves
- 1 tbsp Ginger Paste
- 1 tbsp Tamarind Paste
- 1 tbsp Garlic Paste
- Salt (to taste)
- Wash and clean the lentils thoroughly.
- Pour cold water in a pan and put the lentils in it.
- Add a pinch of salt and turmeric powder.
- Boil the lentils for 10 minutes. Remove any scum that accumulates on the top of the pan.
- Add chicken stock and salt.
- Boil for about 20 minutes till the lentils turn soft.
- Whisk the lentils to achieve a soup-like consistency.
- Add a little water incase the water dries up.
- Combine cinnamon, cloves, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, bay leaves, star anise, sesame seeds and fenugreek seeds in a dry pan.
- Dry roast the spices till you can smell their aroma.
- Remove and grind the spices to a fine powder.
- Add turmeric powder and nutmeg. Stir well and set aside.
- Heat oil in a large heavy frying pan.
- Fry the chicken pieces on moderate flame till they turn white and are sealed.
- Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Heat some oil in a pan.
- Add coriander, fenugreek and mint leaves. Stir fry them on medium flame.
- Fry the leaves till they turn soft.
- Remove from fire and cool them.
- Thereafter grind them to a smooth paste.
- Place a deep, heavy-bottomed pan on fire and heat it.
- Add red chilies and stir fry till they start to swell.
- Add dry spice powder, coriander leaves paste, ginger paste, tamarind paste and garlic paste. Stir well.
- Add 1 cup of water, lentils, chicken pieces and salt to taste. Mix well.
- Simmer the preparation till the chicken pieces are well cooked for about 25 to 30 minutes.
- Serve hot dhansak with brown rice and cucumber salad.
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