Chicken Dhansak 2 - A Quick Version
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The original version of this popular and delicious Parsee/Parsi dish called Dhansak/Dhanshak is quite time consuming to make. This is my simple and quick version. I use it often, especially when I am busy. It is always better to cook Dhansak a day before you need it, it allows the spices to infuse into the chicken/meat. Serves 6-8
1 kg. chicken pieces
300 gm. arhar dal or tuvar (red gram dal, also known as pigeon peas). You can use red lentils (dhuli masoor dal) too.
Approximately 1 litre water (3 times the dal)
1 large onion or 2 medium onions, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large potato, peeled and roughly chopped
2 medium tomatoes, washed and roughly chopped
1 medium Aubergine (brinjal), roughly chopped (optional)
100-125 gm. pumpkin, if available, peeled and chopped (optional)
2 tbsp. fresh or 1/2tbs. dry mint leaves, washed
A cup of coriander leaves, washed and roughly chopped
1 1/2 inch piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
A large pinch (1/2 tsp.) turmeric*
2 tsp. coriander or dhania powder*
1 tsp. chilli powder (adjust to taste)*
1 1/2 tsp. salt (adjust to taste later)
1 tsp. Garam Masala*
For tarka or tempering:
2-3 tbsp. cooking oil
3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped or grated or crushed
*You can use Dhansak Masala also, in place of all these spices.
Measure all ingredients before you start. This makes cooking easier.
Wash and soak lentil and place it in a pressure cooker with all ingredients, except chicken and Tarka ingredients. Cook dal under pressure for 6-7 minutes. If you do not have a pressure cooker, boil in a heavy bottomed pan until all vegetables and lentils are cooked through. Allow to cool a little.
Meanwhile, boil chicken pieces in a separate pan with a little water, until tender.
Place cooked vegetables and dal mix into a blender and blend until fine. Add more water if necessary. It should be of custard like consistency.
Lift out chicken pieces from the pan it was cooking in, and add to the dal and vegetable mix.
Transfer to a serving bowl.
Add garlic, fry for a minute or two and pour over the dhansak.
Serve with brown or Boiled Rice.