Place of origin
|Lentils, vegetables, spices, cumin seeds, ginger, garlic, meat (mutton, goat meat), either gourd or pumpkin|
Dhansak is a popular Indian dish, especially popular among the Parsi Zoroastrian community. It combines elements of Persian and Gujarati cuisine. Dhansak is made by cooking mutton with a mixture of lentils and vegetables. This is served with caramelised brown rice, which is rice cooked in caramel water to give it a typical taste and colour. The dal cooked with mutton and vegetables served with brown rice, altogether is called dhansak.
In Parsi homes, dhansak is traditionally made on Sundays as it is a heavy dish to digest and owing to the long preparation time.
Dhansak is also always had on the fourth day after the death of a near one. There is no meat consumed for three days after the death of a near one. And dhansak is used to break this abstinence on the fourth day. Dhansak hence, is never prepared on auspicious occasions like festivals and weddings.
Dhansak is made by cooking mutton cubes in a mixture of five lentils; arhar dal, Bengal gram or chana dal, red masoor dal and brown masoor dal. And potato, tomato, brinjal, pumpkin and fenugreek leaves. The dhansak is flavoured with dhansak masala, which is a mixture of fifteen different spices, ginger, garlic, coriander leaves, green chilli and mint leaves. Within the Parsi community, dhansak usually contains goat meat or mutton; it is rarely made with other meats, or without meat.
Outside of India, some variants of dhansak use pineapple chunks for sweetness, however the traditional recipes never contain fruit, instead favoring the subtle sweetness of pumpkin, squash or gourd.
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