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Dhansak Lentil Meat Stew Recipe - Sunday Meal


Persians came to India around the 5th Century A.D. They follow Zoroastrianism which is Iran's pre-Islamic religion. In the Zoroastrian religion, FIRE is the symbol of god and is kept buring in their temples called fire temples or Agiaris. Nowruz their festival is officially registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Outside India, USA has the 2nd. largest concentration of Zorastrians.

Here is Dhanshak recipe which is based on their love for hearty stews which is now considered Parsi Indian Cuisine.
Dhansak consists of several types of lentils cooked with meat and vegetables and served with fried brown rice and kababs. Serves 6.
Ingredients:
Dal (lentils) 1/3 cup toover dal, 1/3 cup moong dal, 1/3 cup masoor dal or 1 cup toover dal (yellow lentil)
1 lb.lamb cut into 1 inch cubes or 1/2 cup coconut milk for vegetarians
2 medium onions, finely sliced
Make following Paste or use 1 teaspoons each (or more) of readymade Garam Masala  and Sambhar Masala.
6 garlic cloves
1 inch piece of fresh ginger root.
8 dry red chilies
1 desert spoon cumin seeds
1 desert spoon coriander seeds
1 inch piece cinnamon stick
2 cardamoms, peeled
4 black peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons cumin coriander powder

1 medium japanese eggplant cut into 6 pieces or add new spring potatoes
1 cup of red hubard squash cut into 1.5 inch cubes or zuchini in spring and summer
1 cup spinach leaves
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
1 tablespoon grated jaggery
2 1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted ghee.
Method
Heat oil or ghee in a deep pan and fry onion in it till brown.
Add masala paste, tumeric powder and cumin coriander powder and cook for 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes
Add meat and cook till water from meat has dried.
Add the 3 dals (lentils), eggplant, spinach and mix well
Gradually add 6 cups water and salt bring to boiling point. Cover and cook on a slow fire till meat is tender. Remove pan from fire.

Add tamarind juice and jaggery to meat and dal and cook on slow fire for 10 minutes adding extra water if dal is too thick.
Before serving sprinkle over dal 1 finely sliced onion, fried brown, and finely chopped fresh coriander.

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