Chicken Dhansak Parsi

Chicken Dhansak Parsi

The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 90 mins
Total: 100 mins
Servings: 4 servings

This delicious and popular Parsi dish can be made with chicken or lamb. You can even omit the meat altogether and go vegetarian. Dhansak is traditionally served with brown rice and Kachumbar salad.

While it seems like a lot of ingredients at first glance, most of them are for the Dhansak masala powder. To make and store some for later, just double or triple the quantities from the recipe below, prepare, and store in an airtight container or freeze in a freezer container.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup lentils. a mixture of toor, masoor, urad and moong dal, 1/4 cup of each

  • 4 1/4 cups (1 liter) chicken stock

  • 17 1/2 ounces (500 grams) boneless chicken pieces of your choice

  • 10 whole black peppercorns

  • 8 whole cloves

  • 1 (1-inch) piece cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

  • 1 (1-inch) piece mace

  • 2 large bay leaves

  • 1 star anise

  • 3 dry red chilies

  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 1 large bunch fresh coriander (1/3 pound/150 grams), leaves only

  • 1 large bunch (1/3 pound/150 grams) fenugreek leaves

  • 1/2 bunch (2 1/2 ounces/75 grams) mint leaves

  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste

  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste

  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, canola or sunflower oil

  • Salt, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Chicken Dhansak Parsi ingredients

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  2. Wash the lentils well.

    Wash the lentils

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  3. Put them in a deep pan, add the chicken stock, salt to taste, and add a cup of water.

    Put the lentils in a deep pan, add the chicken stock, salt to taste, and add a cup of water

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  4. Boil until the lentils are soft. Add more water if required.

    lentils cooking in a pot

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  5. While the lentils are boiling, heat a griddle or heavy-bottomed flat pan on a medium flame and dry roast all the spices (except the turmeric and nutmeg) until they begin to release their aroma.

    heat a pan on a medium flame and dry roast all the spices

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  6. Remove from the fire, cool, and then grind to a fine powder in a dry coffee or spice grinder.

    grind the spices in a spice grinder

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  7. Mix in the turmeric and nutmeg and blend well. Set aside.

    Mix in the turmeric and nutmeg into the spice mixture

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  8. When the lentils are cooked soft, whisk them to get a smooth and thick soup-like consistency. Set aside.

    whisk the lentils in the pot

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  9. Heat the cooking oil in a pan on a medium flame and when hot, add the fresh coriander, fenugreek, and mint leaves. Fry till soft. Remove from the fire and cool.

    add the fresh coriander, fenugreek, and mint leaves to a pan

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  10. Grind into a smooth paste in a food processor.

    coriander, fenugreek, and mint mixture in a food processor

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  11. Heat a deep, heavy-bottomed pan on a medium flame and add the lentils, ginger, garlic, and tamarind pastes and bring to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. The consistency should always be like a medium-thick soup.

    dd the lentils, ginger, garlic, and tamarind pastes to the lentil mixture

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  12. Add a cup of water, the spice powder, coriander-fenugreek-mint paste you made earlier, salt if required, and the chicken pieces. Mix well.

    Add a cup of water, the spice powder, coriander-fenugreek-mint paste and chicken to the lentil mixture

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  13. Simmer and cook till chicken is done. Add more water to maintain consistency as needed. Serve hot.

    Chicken Dhansak Parsi in a pot

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

Serving Ideas

Serve the dhansak with Parsi brown rice and a Kachumbar salad.