Friday, June 27, 2008


[Parsi spice mixture used primarily for dhansak]

Originally posted here:

9 Dry chilies (Guajillo or New Mexico chiles secos).
Two and a half TBS coriander seed.
One and a half TBS cumin seed.
One TBS whole peppercorns.
Half a TBS fennel seed.
Half a TBS black mustard seed.
Half a TBS fenugreek seed.
Three Tej Patta (cassia leaves - bay leaf may be substituted, but it isn't really the same).
Three green cardamom pods, seeds only.
One black cardamom pod, seeds, only.
One three-inch stick of cinnamon.
One star-anise pod.
Nine whole cloves.
One Tsp. mace.

Roast all spices except the mace. Cool and grind. Add mace and regrind, sift. If it is to be stored use a brown or blue glass jar. Optionally add half a teaspoon of turmeric to inhibit mold if you intend to make more than you will use soon.

To use, mash with about eight or nine cloves of garlice and a thumb of ginger. It will be sufficient for enough dhansak to feed about eight people.

You would use two thirds of a cup of toovar dal (telwalla), one third of a cup each of masoor and moong dal. Slightly more than a pound of red pumpkin, one or two Chinese eggplants, three or four tomatoes, two or three onions, and a small bunch of methi leaves plus a handful of cilantro. You will need about a pound and a half of lamb-stew meat chunks on the bone, up to two pounds.

The procedure is standard, and you probably do not need me to describe it - cook the dals in one pan, gild the onion, aromatics, spices, lamb in another pan. Then mix everything for further cooking. A small dash vinegar and a little tamarind may be added for a pleasing tang. Do NOT add pineapple, unless you are Angrezi and more than a little mad.

Serve with kachumber and Parsi brown rice. Plus some lime segments for squeezing. And croquettes or pattice.

Then spend the rest of the afternoon sleeping.

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