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DoJ's Dhansak Curry

the division of joy

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1 cup mixed lentils

500 gms chicken thigh

10 black peppercorns

8 cloves

1"piece cinnamon

1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

2 large bay leaves

1 star anise

3 dry red chillies

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp coriander seeds

1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds

1 tsp sesame seeds

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 large bunch each of fresh coriander leaves and fenugreek leaves

1/2 bunch mint leaves

1 tbsp tamarind paste

1 tbsp garlic paste

1 tbsp ginger paste

2 tbsps vegetable cooking oil

1 litre chicken stock

Salt to taste




Wash the lentils well. Put them in a deep pan, add the chicken stock, salt to taste and a cup of water. Boil till the lentils are soft. Add more water if required.


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) till they begin to release their aroma.


Remove from the fire, cool and then grind to a fine powder in a dry coffee or spice grinder. Mix in the turmeric and nutmeg and blend well.


When the lentils are cooked soft, whisk them to get a smooth soup-like consistency. Keep aside.


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


Grind into a smooth paste in a food processor.


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.


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


Simmer and cook till chicken is done. Add more water to maintain consistency.


Serve Dhansak hot with Brown Rice or Pilau and some naan.


(this is something i did find online, not sure where, but I cannot claim this entirely as my own, i just added one or two things)

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