See my other recipes in English at - Vadani Kaval Gheta

Whenever I used to visit my aunt in Pune, she would always prepare something new for me. Dhansaak is one of those dishes - Parasi style daal-chaval (dhan = rice, saak/shaak=daal/vegetables). The daal is a mixture of different types of daals and rice is brown in color and has touch of masala. I immediately took recipe from her and used to make it often. After coming to US I just got busy and then just forgot about it. My hairdresser is a Parasi girl and she gave me this daal quite a few times later on. She also gave me some of the masala and a her recipe to make the daal. That masala did not last too long of course so I got a recipe from a book that she had and then made the masala couple of times. Later I lost my notebook and this masala recipe got lost with it. Recently I started searching for masala recipe and found it on Nupur and Zlamushka's blogs. It was like finding a long lost friend we were united together. I changed few things in the recipe and here is what i got -

1 tbsp Cumin seeds

1 tbsp Coriander seeds

3 red chilies

1 tsp poppy seeds

1 tsp fenugreek seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 inch cinnamon

5-6 black peppers

8-10 cloves

1/2 tsp nutmeg (use mace if you have)

1 Masala cardamom or 2 small green cardamoms

Dry roast all the ingredients and grind it after cooled down. This will yield about 5-6 tablespoons. This can keep up to 3-4 months if kept dry place.

Daal made by using this masala -

1 cup Toordaal

1/2 cup Pumpkin pieces (you can use butternut squash)

1 cup Spinach cut

1/2 Potato (1/2 of a medium size potato)

1 small eggplant

2 tbsp oil

2 cloves, 1 small cardamom, 2 bay leaves, 1/2 inch piece of cinnamon, turmeric, Cumin - for seasoning

1 tbsp Dhansaak masaala

Red chili powder and salt per taste

Water as much needed

Wash the daal. Add all the vegetables except spinach to the daal and pressure cook until done (about 3 whistles) Mash the vegetables and daal after the pressure cooker has cooled down. Heat oil on medium gas in a thick bottom vessel. Add cumin, bay leaves, cardamom, cloves to it and let it roast till golden brown. Add turmeric and fry for abt 10-15 seconds. Now add the mashed daal and add some water. Now add salt and chili powder and dhansaak masaala. Add the cut spinach at the same time and mix it well. close the lid and let it boil. Do not add all the water at the same time as consistency of this daal is like 'pithale' and not like 'amati'.

Special rice for this daal -

1 cup Rice

1 small piece Jaggery

1 small piece of cinnamon

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp dhansaak masala

salt per taste

1 tsp oil

2 cups hot water

Wash the rice and keep it aside. Heat oil in heavy bottom pan, add cumin, and cinnamon. let it sizzle. Add jaggery and make caramel by stirring constantly. Add rice when caramel is ready. Roast rice for about 5 minutes. Add hot water and salt. Mix it well and close the lid. Let the rice cook thoroughly.

This makes a nice meal with a small fresh salad on the side. Add chili powder in a very small quantity as daal and rice both have this masala which is kind of spicy.

Please add your comments, suggestions to my original post @ Dhansaak