A dish popularly cooked by Parsees, from the Zoroastrian community, dhansak is a blend of meat, lentils, and vegetables cooked together and served with caramelised brown rice. This dish has been adopted by Gujaratis as well, who have made minute changes to the proportion of spices and ingredients added to the dish. This particularly recipe, while made only on certain occasions in Parsi homes due to its extensive and detailed cooking procedure, can be enjoyed at any Indian restaurant serving dhansak if you are really in the mood for some.
The dish originated in ancient India when the Parsees settled in the land, bringing with them the tradition of cooking meat, preferably mutton, along with lentils and vegetables. The dish underwent changes over time with the influence from the rise and fall of empires in India which brought the introduction and cultivation of various other ingredients that are now commonly added to dhansak.
What makes it so special?
This delectable dish of meat and lentils is made using the dhansak masala, rather than the garam masala that most Indian dishes are made using. This masala is made up of spices that are more aromatic than the ones used in the usual garam masala, and gives the dish a sweeter flavour. While one can find some ready-made dhansak masala to make the dish at home, the best way to really enjoy the dish is by visiting the closest Indian restaurant in St. Kilda east to you and indulging in an evening of gorging on the best Indian food.
Where to find it?
While you can always prepare it at home, guaranteeing the right taste is uncertain. And being a dish of Indian origin, the best place to get the most scrumptious serving of dhansak is the most popular Indian restaurant around you. For those in and around St. Kilda east, heading to Motimahal would surely be a real treat.