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Vegetable Dhansak – Holy Cow!


A easy however delectable dish of Vegetable Dhansak for lunch or dinner.

A vegetable dhansak, they are saying, would not seem like a lot. However style it and you may be in awe. This basic dal from India’s small however culinarily gifted Parsi group is made with 4 varieties of lentils and flavored with heat spices and pureed greens. In the event you love dals, that is one you’ll not wish to miss, and it is fairly simple to make. It is also vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free.

Ask any Indian what’s the meals most synonymous with Parsi delicacies and the reply, very seemingly, shall be a dhansak — a dish that Niloufer Ichaporia King, the primary girl of Parsi delicacies right here in america, describes as “a potage of lentils and greens.”

It could not sound or look spectacular, however to actually know what you might be lacking you’ll need to make and eat it.

A superbly made dhansak is vividly flavored, with the heat of spices like cardamom, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, mace, mustard seeds, nutmeg and saffron which can be blended collectively for a particular spice combine known as dhansak masala. It has a touch of sweetness from caramelized onions and winter squash like pumpkin. A contact of tartness from tomatoes. And a barely discernible undertone of bitterness from veggies like fenugreek or methi and eggplant.

Whereas most Indian dals must be soupy, a dhansak is different–“thick however pourable,” as King describes it. A extra widespread model of dhansak has meat in it and in each this and the vegetarian model the greens needs to be barely, if in any respect, discernible after cooking as a result of Parsis, who’ve a widely known love for meat of their meals, admit they’re extra more likely to eat greens if they cannot see them. 😉

Pair this Vegetable Dhansak with a Parsi caramelized “brown rice” (a recipe I will share with you subsequent) and a kachumber, a easy salad of onions and tomatoes dressed with lemon or vinegar, and you should have a meal match for royalty.

Why you may love this vegetable dhansak

  • It is scrumptious. That is hands-down the primary cause you must make a dhansak–its unparalleled deliciousness. A vegetable dhansak has in it all the 5 flavors your tastebuds crave–salty, candy, pungent, bitter and umami. It is usually good for you, in fact, however that is solely secondary. 😉
  • It’s wholesome. Loaded with 4 varieties of lentils, veggies and healthful spices, a pot of dhansak is filled with extra dietary goodness than you possibly can think about and I can describe. There are 10 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber in every 216 calorie serving.
  • It’s simple to make. In case you are barely acquainted with a dhansak you have most likely heard of it as a recipe that’s slow-cooked and takes ages to make. However that was previously. A strain cooker (or On the spot Pot) makes quick work of getting the lentils and veggies cooked to perfection very quickly. You have to to offer the dal a while to cook dinner on the range after you have put all of it collectively however you possibly can nonetheless get this dish prepared in about an hour. And it is properly price that point. The ingredient listing for the dhansak masala spice mix is a bit lengthy however these are widespread sufficient pantry elements in case you are used to creating Indian meals and the spice combine takes minutes to make.
  • It makes lunch or dinner an important day. Parsis, it’s stated, by no means eat dhansakh on auspicious events as a result of mutton dhansak was at all times made on the fourth day of mourning after a dying, to interrupt a three-day vegetarian quick. However that affiliation would not preclude it from particular days, like Sundays, when dhansak is usually served in Parsi properties, preceded and accompanied by numerous beer. Regardless of the lore, you can not go incorrect with a Dhansak whenever you serve it for lunch or dinner–or even a celebration!
  • It’s everybody pleasant. There are not any nuts, soy or gluten on this recipe and it’s vegan, in fact. The dal is sort of delicate and creamy, which makes it fairly child pleasant. And, as you already know, the veggies usually are not seen. 😀
Vegetable Dhansak – Holy Cow!

Substances

  • ½ cup tuvar dal (arhar dal or cut up pigeon peas)
  • ¼ cup moong dal
  • ¼ cup chana dal (Bengal gram dal or cut up Indian chickpeas)
  • ¼ cup masoor dal (pink lentils)
  • 1 cup butternut squash (can sub with pumpkin or any winter squash)
  • 2 medium yellow or pink potatoes
  • 1 cup methi leaves (fenugreek leaves. I used frozen methi, which I purchase on the Indian retailer. If you do not have this, substitute it with dandelion leaves, that are simply accessible at most U.S. supermarkets — and typically proper in your yard, though forage provided that you already know what you are doing. The pleasantly bitter taste of dandelion is a useless ringer for methi and the 2 greens even have many well being advantages in widespread).
  • ½ cup cauliflower florets
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • ¼ cup packed cilantro + 2 tablespoons extra for garnish
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 giant onion
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • Salt to style

For Dhansak Masala (single use. Use the slider in recipe card to make a bigger amount).

  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds (shahi jeera, non-obligatory)
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1 dry pink chili pepper
  • ½ inch stick cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 inexperienced cardamom pods
  • 1 black cardamom pod
  • 3 cloves
  • ½ teaspoon peppercorns
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • A pinch of saffron

Easy methods to make vegetable dhansak

  • Start by strain cooking the lentils and greens. Place all of the lentils, cauliflower, squash, methi, potatoes, tomatoes, ¼ cup cilantro and garlic in a strain cooker or in an On the spot Pot liner. You may also do that in an everyday pan however it would take for much longer. Add three cups of water to the strain cooker or IP (or water to cowl by two inches if doing this in an everyday pot). Enable three whistles of the strain cooker, or, if utilizing an IP, set to the “beans” operate. Enable the strain to launch naturally or force-release 10 minutes after cooking is completed. In case you are doing this in a pot, convey the water to a boil, cowl and cook dinner, stirring each 5 minutes or so, till the lentils and veggies are very, very tender. This could take about 40-45 minutes.
  • Whereas the veggies and lentils are cooking, make the dhansak masala. Place all elements for the spice combine, besides the turmeric, nutmeg and saffron, in a dry skillet and toast for 5 minutes over medium-low warmth till fragrant. Do not let the spices coloration an excessive amount of.
  • Take away the spices to a plate to chill and stir within the turmeric, nutmeg and saffron.
  • As soon as cooled, place the spices in a blender jar or spice grinder and mix right into a wonderful powder.
  • Now comes the enjoyable half, placing the dhansak collectively. Warmth the vegetable oil in a big saute pan or pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions with half a teaspoon every of salt and pepper. Saute, stirring often, till the onions are golden-brown and well-caramelized. That is actually vital on your dhansak to get that attribute brown coloration and deep taste.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and saute a number of extra seconds.
  • Add the cooked lentil and vegetable combination to the pot with three cups of water. Combine properly.
  • Flip off warmth and use an immersion blender to mix the lentils and veggies. I like leaving in a bit of little bit of texture, as is completed historically, however you possibly can mix to a clean puree, if you want. You may also do that by transfering the lentils and veggies to a blender. Watch out whenever you mix scorching liquids and train all needed precautions. If you cannot do both, use a potato masher to totally mash the veggies and lentils.
  • Deliver the dal to a boil, then stir within the dhansak masala combine you simply ready. Add salt to style. For extra coloration you possibly can stir in a teaspoon of paprika, should you like. You possibly can add extra water if the dal is just too thick–I take advantage of 4-5 cups in all. Keep in mind, it needs to be thick however pourable and undoubtedly not soupy.
  • Cowl the dhansak and cook dinner for 30-45 minutes, stirring often, till the dal seems shiny. Verify seasoning at the moment and add extra salt if wanted.
  • Garnish with remaining cilantro and serve scorching.
Vegetable Dhansak – Holy Cow!

Incessantly requested questions

Can I take advantage of only one or two varieties of lentils?

You undoubtedly can, however for probably the most taste it is a good suggestion to make use of as many as you possibly can. When you have simply two, use two. I might suggest not leaving out the chana dal.

Can I add different veggies?

You possibly can add most veggies to a vegetarian dhansak, however there are some it is best to have in there and a few I would not use. Be sure to embrace some winter squash, potatoes, methi and tomatoes within the recipe. You may also use eggplant, which is historically used, candy potatoes, carrots, inexperienced beans and spinach. Nevertheless, I most likely would not add greens like cabbage, lettuce or Brussels sprouts.

Can I take advantage of garam masala as a substitute of dhansak masala?

I would not suggest it as a result of though there are related elements in each the proportions they’re utilized in make all of the distinction within the taste. That stated, if that is all you should utilize, use two tablespoons of garam masala and stir in a pinch of saffron and 1 / 4 teaspoon of nutmeg.

Can I take advantage of storebought dhansak masala?

You possibly can, though nothing beats the flavour of a freshly made spice combine. Some Indian manufacturers do promote dhansak masala blends, and you could find them at Indian shops and on-line.

What to serve with Vegetable Dhansak

Dhansak needs to be served with a caramelized Parsi brown rice and a easy tomato and onion salad known as a kachumber. Though you possibly can simply use plain rice, I discover that nothing enhances the flavour of a dhansak as superbly as these two basic sides. I will share these recipes with you subsequent.

Storage and freezing directions

  • Dhansak tastes nice the following day, so you possibly can undoubtedly make it a day forward. Retailer leftovers within the fridge for as much as 4 days.
  • Dals are inclined to thicken up as they stand so add extra water if wanted whenever you reheat. If you add water, at all times examine should you want extra salt.
  • You possibly can freeze dhansak in an hermetic container for as much as three months. Thaw, reheat and serve.

Extra vegan Parsi recipes you would possibly like

Vegetable Dhansak – Holy Cow!
Vegetable Dhansak – Holy Cow!

Vegetable Dhansak

A vegetable dhansak is a basic dal from India’s small however culinarily gifted Parsi group. It’s made with 4 varieties of lentils and flavored with heat spices and pureed greens. In the event you love dals, that is one you’ll not wish to miss, and it is fairly simple to make. It is also vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free.

Print Recipe

Assessment Recipe

Course: Fundamental Course/Dal

Delicacies: Indian (Parsi/Zoroastrian)

Eating regimen: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Key phrase: Vegetable Dhansak

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Prepare dinner Time: 45 minutes

Complete Time: 1 hour

Servings: 8 servings

Energy: 216kcal

Creator: Vaishali · Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes

Substances 

For dhansak masala spice mix

Forestall your display screen from going darkish

Directions

Prepare dinner the greens and lentils

  • Place all of the lentils, cauliflower, squash, methi, potatoes, tomatoes, ¼ cup cilantro and garlic in a strain cooker or in an On the spot Pot liner. You may also do that in an everyday pan however it would take for much longer.

  • Add three cups of water to the strain cooker or IP (or water to cowl by two inches if doing this in an everyday pot). Enable three whistles of the strain cooker, or, if utilizing an IP, set to the “beans” operate. Enable the strain to launch naturally or force-release 10 minutes after cooking is completed.

  • In case you are doing this in a pot, convey the water to a boil, cowl and cook dinner, stirring each 5 minutes or so, till the lentils and veggies are very, very tender. This could take about 40-45 minutes.

Make the dhansak spice mix

  • Place all elements for the spice combine, besides the turmeric, nutmeg and saffron, in a dry skillet and toast for 5 minutes over medium-low warmth till fragrant. Do not let the spices coloration an excessive amount of.

  • Take away the spices to a plate to chill and stir within the turmeric, nutmeg and saffron.

  • As soon as cooled, place the spices in a blender jar or spice grinder and mix right into a wonderful powder.

Make the dhansak

  • Warmth the vegetable oil in a big saute pan or pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions with half a teaspoon every of salt and pepper. Saute, stirring often, till the onions are golden-brown and well-caramelized. That is actually vital on your dhansak to get that attribute brown coloration and deep taste.

  • Add the ginger garlic paste and saute a number of extra seconds.

  • Add the cooked lentils and greens to the pot with three cups of water. Combine properly.

  • Flip off warmth and use an immersion blender to mix the lentils and veggies. I like leaving in a bit of little bit of texture, as is completed historically, however you possibly can mix to a clean puree, if you want. You may also do that by transfering the lentils and veggies to a blender. Watch out whenever you mix scorching liquids and train all needed precautions. If you cannot do both, use a potato masher to totally mash the veggies and lentils.

  • Deliver the dal to a boil, then stir within the dhansak masala combine you simply ready. Add salt to style. For extra coloration you possibly can stir in a teaspoon of paprika, should you like. You possibly can add extra water if the dal is just too thick–I take advantage of 4-5 cups in all. Keep in mind, it needs to be thick however pourable and undoubtedly not soupy.

  • Cowl the dhansak and cook dinner for 30-45 minutes, stirring often to make sure it would not stick, till the dal seems shiny. Verify seasoning at the moment and add extra salt if wanted.

  • Garnish with remaining cilantro and serve scorching.

Notes

  • You need to use only one or two varieties of lentils however for probably the most taste it is a good suggestion to make use of as many as you possibly can. When you have simply two, use two. I might suggest not leaving out the chana dal.
  • You possibly can add most veggies to a vegetarian dhansak, however there are some it is best to have in there and a few I would not use. Be sure to embrace some winter squash, potatoes, methi and tomatoes within the recipe. You may also use eggplant, which is historically used, candy potatoes, carrots, inexperienced beans and spinach. Nevertheless, I most likely would not add greens like cabbage, lettuce or Brussels sprouts.
  • A garam masala will be substitute for the dhansak masala but it surely will not produce precise outcomes. If utilizing garam masala use two tablespoons and stir in a pinch of saffron and 1 / 4 teaspoon of nutmeg.
  • You need to use storebought dhansak masala though nothing beats the flavour of a freshly made spice combine. Some Indian manufacturers do promote dhansak masala blends, and you could find them at Indian shops and on-line.
  • Dhansak needs to be served with a caramelized Parsi brown rice and a easy tomato and onion salad known as a kachumber. Though you possibly can simply use plain rice, I discover that nothing enhances the flavour of a dhansak as superbly as these two basic sides.
  • Dhansak tastes nice the following day, so you possibly can undoubtedly make it a day forward. Retailer leftovers within the fridge for as much as 4 days.
  • Dals are inclined to thicken up as they stand so add extra water if wanted whenever you reheat. If you add water, at all times examine should you want extra salt.
  • You possibly can freeze dhansak in an hermetic container for as much as three months. Thaw, reheat and serve.

Diet

Energy: 216kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 10g | Fats: 5g | Saturated Fats: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fats: 1g | Monounsaturated Fats: 3g | Sodium: 20mg | Potassium: 508mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2147IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 3mg

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