Dhansak is an iconic dish from the Parsi community, reserved mostly for Sunday dinners. It’s a dish associated with family gatherings and comfort – no wonder it’s also made it’s way it’s way onto most Indian restaurant menus, and our hearts.
Dhansak is the perfect combination of sweet and sour; influenced from both Persian and Gujarati cuisine. The sweetness of this dish comes from butternut squash; and sourness from lime juice and spices.
Dhansak is a dish which always tastes better the next day; make enough to have leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day, and todays effort will be well worth it.
How To Make Chicken Dhansak at Home:
1. Marinate your chicken with garlic ginger paste, and salt. Then set aside in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes
2. Gather the rest of your ingredients whilst your chicken is marinating
3. Crush and combine the dry spices by either using a pestal and mortar or blitzing in a blender
4. Chop your onions, tomato, butternut squash and chilli. Rinse your lentils, drain, and set aside.
< 5. Add the washed lentil, chopped tomato, onion and butternut squash to a pan of water and bring to the boil. Cook until butternut squash is soft.
6. Drain the lentil vegetable mix, and then crush the large chunks of butternut squash with a fork until mixture is smooth, set aside.
7. Heat oil in a pan, then add onions and chilli. Fry until onions begin to go clear.
8. Add dry spice mixture.
9. Mix until combined; add more oil if the mixture is too dry.
10. Add the earlier marinated chicken to the pan; mix and cook until chicken gets some colour.
11. Add the lentils vegetable mixture to the pan, and stir so the spice mixture is completely combined.
12. Add 1 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of lime juice to the mixture. Stir, and bring to a low simmer.
13. Simmer the mixture for 15 minutes.
14. Serve with chopped coriander, enjoy!
- 4 Chicken Breasts - Diced
- 120g Lentils
- 2 tbsp garlic ginger paste
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp tumeric
- 1 tsp fenugreek
- 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
- 4 whole cardamons
- 3 tomatos
- 1 small butternut squash
- 1 onion
- 4 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 green chilli
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- handful coriander leaves
- Marinate the chicken by mixing diced chicken with garlic ginger paste and salt. Set aside in fridge until ready to use (30 mins minimum, but up to 8 hours or even overnight if you have the time)
- Mix the curry paste ingredients in a postal and mortar or blitz in a blender, until smooth
- Rinse your lentils until water runs clear
- Add washed lentils, butternut squash, tomato and water to a pan - bring to the boil and cook until butternut squash is soft enough to mash with a fork
- remove from the heat, drain, and crush any large peices of butternut squash with a fork until smooth. This part is up to your preference; if you’d rather have a chunky dhansak then leave larger chunks.
- Heat a large, non stick pan and add oil.
- Add onions and green chilli to the hot oil, stir until coated with oil and reduce the heat. Cook until onions are clear
- Add dry spice mix to the onion mixture, stir and cook until raw smell has disappeared. Add more oil (or water) here if the mixture is dry.
- Add pre-marinated chicken to the pan and stir to completely coat with the spice mix, cook until chicken gets some color
- Add the drained, crushed lentil and squash mixture to the pan, mix thoroughly
- Add 1 cup of water (or more/less depending on how much liquid you’d like in your end curry)
- Bring to a low simmer and cook for 15 minutes
- Remove from the heat, top with chopped coriander, enjoy and serve!