Author Topic: Chicken Dansak (Camellia Panjabi version)  (Read 14205 times)

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Offline tempest63

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Chicken Dansak (Camellia Panjabi version)
« on: December 28, 2009, 04:38 PM »
This is a version from Camellia Panjabi from her "50 Great Curries
of India" and can be found at These recipes are based on curries served at a restaurant that Camellia Panjabi was involved with in India and show that a restaurant curry can follow the roots of the authentic dish.

I always use a Madhur Jaffrey recipe for Rogan Josh and I always use this recipe for Dhansak

Dhansak is the best-known and liked dish in Parsee cuisine. The Parsees fled
from Persia to avoid religious persecution in the thirteenth century and
settled on the Western Coast of India, in what is now Gujarat State. They
adopted Gujarati as their language and absorbed local influences into their
cuisine. Dhan in Gujarati means wealth, but in Parsee Gujarati Dhaan means
rice. Sak means vegetables. Dhansak is a meat, vegetable and lentil curry
eaten with caramelized brown pulao rice. It is often eaten at Sunday lunch
but is not served on auspicious occasions since it is customarily eaten on
the fourth day after a funeral.

Although there are many ingredients, it is quite simple to prepare. The
dhansak masala may be available in some Indian grocers, but Parsee sambar
masala has not yet found its way to the West

Serves 6

3lb (1.4kg) chicken, cut into 6 or more pieces
10oz (300g) toor dal (whole dried variety)
20z (50g) tamarind pulp
2in (5cm) square piece of fresh ginger
6 garlic cloves
2 large onions, chopped
7oz (200g) red pumpkin, chopped
5oz (150g) aubergines, chopped
1 potato, chopped
? cup fresh dill, finely chopped
? teaspoon turmeric powder
1 cup + 1 tablespoon coriander leaves

20 leaves fresh mint
? cup oil
? bunch fresh fenugreek or 2 teaspoons dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
3 teaspoons Parsee sambar masala
2 teaspoons dhansak masala
1 teaspoon cumin powder
3 teaspoons coriander powder
3 tomatoes, chopped
6 green chillies, chopped
1 tablespoon jaggery or palm sugar
juice of 1 lime

  a.. Make a chicken stock with the bones, neck, giblets and trimmings.
  b.. Wash the toor dal and soak it in water for 30 minutes. Soak the
tamarind in 1 cup water for at least 30 minutes.
  c.. Chop 1?-in (4cm) piece of the ginger and 4 of the garlic cloves.
  a.. In a large cooking pot, put the dal to cook in 3 cups chicken stock along with
the onions, pumpkin, aubergines, potato and dill. Add the turmeric, whole
remaining piece of ginger, remaining 2 garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon of the
coriander leaves and 8 of the mint leaves. Simmer until the dal is very
soft. Allow to cool slightly. Liquidize with an egg-beater to achieve a
creamy consistency. Season with 1 teaspoon salt.
  a.. While the dal is cooking, heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry
the chopped ginger, garlic, 1 cup coriander leaves, 12 mint leaves,
fenugreek, sambar masala, dhansak masala, cumin and coriander powders,
tomatoes and green chillies and fry for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
Add the chicken and saut? for 2 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and
stir well.
  a.. Add the chicken to the dal with 3 cups chicken stock. Add the
jaggery. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through before adding the
tamarind water and lime juice; adjust for salt, then simmer for a couple of
minutes. It is now ready to serve.
This is a straightforward and tasty recipe for dhansak. Parsees who are
fastidious use a mix of dals - 7oz (200g) of toor dal and 1 tablespoon each
of moong, masoor and val dal.

Dhansak powder in packet form is available at Indian grocers. If unavailable
use 1? teaspoons garam masala and ? teaspoon star anise powder and ?
teaspoon nutmeg powder.

Instead of Parsee sambar masala make the following mix: ? teaspoon fenugreek
powder, ? teaspoon mustard powder, 1 teaspoon red chilli powder and ?
teaspoon ground pepper.


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