Pliss to let you know I made Dhansaak three nights ago. Here’s what I did. Used goat meat, but you can use lamb.

Important points to note:

1. DO NOT BUY ANYTHING ELSE BUT saamner pa, ghaar (gordaan) or upper rib. the lower you go down the lamb’s body, the more fibrous your dhansaak will be.

2. Mix your DAAL. A mixture of arhar and musur and mung works the best. but if you are desperate you can get away with less.

3. I have seen adding pumpkin, at this point of the year, make the overall mash just plain nasty and ickyfibrous. SO I have omitted it. If you like it, add it at your own risk during cooking the dal, and in a small quantity. I don’t like it, so I let it go. It was much happier in a chokka. I don’t wanna make no real dhansaak. I wanna make what tastes best.

Ok, so here’s what you do.

Take about a pound and half of lamb and ask your butcher to cut it in chunks no more than 2.5 inches long. If you have stuff in supermarket, look through the packs and buy the one that comes closest.

Thaw. Tappor, apply salt and lime juice (about 1 lime’s worth).

Then, after 1/2 an hour, wash through, and mix with a paste of ginger garlic (any normal aadaa roshun combo works) and a bit of turmeric powder.

Soak your dal. Use 1 handful each of musur, mug and arhar (or one and half mutho of any two, or teen mutho of any one. Riminess, we are talking YOUR lily white little handfuls here, ok??)

Use a pressure cooker to cook the dal in water (i suggest substituting chicken/beef stock, low sodium, if you have it for the water. You will need about two cups.) along with a paste of the following stuff:

5 black peppercorns
4 cloves
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg (jayfol) (essential!!)
1″ piece of mace (ESSENTIAL!!!) (joyitri)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1″ cinnamon
4 green cardamoms
1 tsp kasuri methi (ESSENTIAL!!! and okay, because I love it)

Cook it till you see the musur dal has melted, mug is about to melt, and arhar is not yet done melting much. That ways you get fine texture.

Heat a big karai or dutch oven, and lube it down with a generous lug of oil. I like CANOLA or SOYBEAN. because they don’t smell.

Add your meat all at the same time and fry over very high heat, letting the meat sit for 30 seconds before turning. and then let it sit for 30 seconds per side. thou shalt see the arrival of BCB (burnt crunchy bits) and that should be savoured.Remove meat, and add to the same oil about 200 gms of chopped onions, and let it fry till it is golden brownish.

Add a teaspoon of turmeric, two pinch sugar, 2 tsp garam masala powder, 1/2 tsp nutmeg powder, 1/4 tsp mace, 1 handful cilantro, and 1 tsp chilli powder. Mix well, and add your dal, and mix well again. Add meat to it, and cook, mixing up, for about 3-4 minutes at high heat, or till you see everything boil. Add about 2 cups (500 ml.) of water (or stock if you have it. I had it) and let it come to a rolling boil. Cover, cook till meat is tender (about 40 minutes), uncovered, and simmer till the gravy is of a gola-gola khichuri-like consistency.

Stir and add a handful of chopped coriander on top before serving.


Presented By P

Written by Poorna Banerjee


  1. panu 2010-03-03 at 7:25 pm Reply

    no no haleem is way different. and it needs to be simmered overnight, so that the meat dissolves. Also, Haleem is something where you need wheat among other things. so no, not haleem. but very good to taste.

  2. saptarshi 2010-02-27 at 6:49 am Reply

    This sounds awesome. Tell me, isn't it very similar to Halim? Only Halim needs to be simmered for a couple of years.

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