Blogging Marathon# 52: Week 1/ Day 1
Theme: Parsi Dishes
Dish: Vegetable Dhansak
We are going to our regular 3 day schedule of Blogging Marathon this month and my theme for this week is 'Parsi Dishes'. Parsis, meaning Persians, are the followers of the ancient Persian religion known as Zoroastrianism. They emigrated to India from Persia to avoid religious persecution by the Muslims.
While looking for Parsi dishes, I came across this lovely post by Peri. She is a Parsi blogger and her blog has tons of delicious Parsi (and non-Parsi) recipes. In that explains, she explains the different between Indian and Parsi food and how parsi cuisine is unique. Do check it out more details.
For my first day, I made a very flavorful and spicy Dhansak. It is a hearty dish with lentils, vegetables and choice of meat (which I skipped, of course). It is flavored with aromatic spice blend and is usually served with Parsi brown rice and a kachumber salad (cucumber salad). I didn't make the rice, so served the dhansak with some roti.
As I already mentioned, this dish is very spicy -- I mean not hot spicy, but uses lots of spices. You can buy dhansak masala (I don't remember seeing it here in NJ though) or make your own.
This dish uses a mix of lentils, I've seen recipes with 2~5 different lentils. I used 3 lentils - toor, masoor and moong. Also it has more than 3 different veggies added to it. The good thing is it is very versatile and your choice of veggies (like eggplant, zucchini, kale, any hard squash, sweet potatoes, spinach etc) can be used.
This dish is not the most photogenic but is very tasty and goes well with roti or rice.
For the Lentil-Veggie Mixture (or Dhansak):
For Dhansak Masala:
- Make the Dhansak Masala: Grind all the ingredients into a smooth paste just little water. Set aside.
- To make Dhansak: Combine dals, potato, bottle gourd, pumpkin, tomatoes and methi leaves in a pressure cooker. Add 4cups of water and pressure cook until everything is well cooked.
- Blend the mixture until very smooth with an immersion blender. Alternately the mixture can be strained through a sieve to remove any lumps and make it smooth.
- Heat 2tbsp ghee in a pan. Add the chopped spring onions and cook till wilted. Add the dhansak masala and cook for 3~4 minutes or until it doesn't smell raw anymore.
- Add the lentil & veggie mixture. Cook for 5~6 minutes and add the tamarind pulp.
- If the mixture looks too thick, add water to thin it out. Simmer for 5~6minutes or until the tamarind is cooked through.