Though goat meat is most often added to this, I’ve omitted it and the result is simply splendid.
Serve this with Parsi brown rice.
Serves 6 to 8
For spice blend:
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1-inch /2.5-cm long cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
4 whole black peppercorns
3 green cardamoms
5-6 fenugreek seeds
2 blades mace
2 tablespoons toor dal
1 tablespoon chana dal
1 tablespoon moong dal
1 tablespoon masoor dal
200g pumpkin, peeled, de-seeded and coarsely chopped
125g brinjal, coarsely chopped
150g potato, peeled and coarsely chopped
3/4 cup/40g mint leaves
60g coriander leaves, finely chopped
70g fenugreek leaves
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons red chilli powder
Make the spice blend: Warm all the ingredients until fragrant. Remove from the heat. When cooled, grind to a smooth powder.
Make the Dhansak:
1. Soak the toor dal, chana dal, moong dal and masoor dal in water for 3 hours.
2. Bring 6 cups/1L500ml water to a boil in a pan.
3. Drain and add the dal with the pumpkin, brinjal, potato, mint leaves, coriander leaves (reserve about 1 tablespoon for garnish) and fenugreek leaves. Cook until the dal and vegetables are done, about 40 minutes. Allow to cool and blend until smooth.
4. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the onion and cook until golden. Add the tomatoes and cook until mushy. Add the ginger-garlic paste and stir gently until fragrant. Stir in the salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and the spice blend.
5. Add the dal and vegetable puree. Mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. It should have medium consistency; add some water if necessary. Remove from the heat.
6. Serve garnished with reserved coriander leaves.