If you have ever explored Parsi cuisine, then surely you have come across the dish named dhansak. 'Dhansak' is dubbed as the ultimate comfort food in a Parsi cuisine. This dish is not only known for its delicious taste, but also characterises the history of the Parsi community in India. For the unversed, Parsis came from Persia a thousand years ago and started residing in Gujarat. Hence, their food culture combines elements of both Persian and Gujarati cuisines. The story behind the origin of Dhansak is the same!
Legend has it, 'Dhan' stands for Gujarati cereal dish and 'Sak' is derived from Gujarati term 'shaak' that means cooked vegetables. In layman's language, dhansak is a dish made with meat cooked in a lentils and vegetables. In contrast to the simple and mellowed down Iranian recipes, Dhansak has a liberal usage of variety Indian herbs and spices.
How To Make Prepare Dhansak Masala At Home:
The masala plays a special role behind the global fame of this dish. The spices used for this masala include coriander seeds (dhania), cumin seeds (jeera), mustard seeds (rai), fenugreek seeds (methi), poppy seeds (khus khus) and more. The list of the spices might look lengthy and tedious in the first glance, but recipe in reality is simple and quick. All you need to do is to take the spices in right amount and grind together. You can also store the dhansak masala in an airtight jar for later use.
Also Read: How To Make Parsi Mutton Cutlet At Home (Recipe Video Inside)
The recipe of Dhansak has evolved over the years
How To Make Prepare Dhansak:
It is said that every Parsi house has their special Dhansak recipe that is passed on with generation. Traditionally, this dish is cooked with mutton cubes and a combination of four types of dals- arhar dal, chana dal, red masoor dal and brown masoor dal. Some recipes also include vegetables like potato, tomato, brinjal etc.
The recipe, however, has evolved over the years. While some substitute mutton with chicken, others make a completely vegetarian version of it.
Dhansak tastes best with a special kind of caramelised rice, where basmati rice is cooked with a few whole spices and caramelised onion.
If legends are to be believed, Dhansak is prepared on the fourth day of mourning. There is no meat consumed for the first three days of mourning. And Dhansak is used to break this abstinence on the fourth day.