Vegan Chicken Dhansak
Dhansak is a popular Indian curry dish. It combines elements of Persian and Gujarati cuisine. In Parsi homes, it is traditionally made on Sundays becuase of the long preparation time. This recipe is a British dhansak version using pineapple chunks for sweetness, however the traditional recipes never contain fruit, instead they make use of the subtle sweetness of squash, pumpkin or gourd.
2 mock chicken breasts
½ cup red lentils
2 cups butternut, peeled and chopped into chunks
2 roughly chopped onions
4 chopped large tomatoes
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
1½ tsp cumin seeds
1½ tsp coriander seeds
4 squashed cardamom pods
1 finely chopped thumb-sized root ginger
4 crushed and roughly chopped garlic cloves
2-3 sliced green chillies (remove the seeds if you don't want it too hot)
1 Tbsp garam masala
2 cups chopped pineapple
5 Tbsp vegetable oil
Coriander for garnishing
- Put the lentils, squash, onion and tomatoes in a pan with the turmeric and salt. Add water to just cover and then simmer gently for about 20 minutes until the lentils are tender.
- Put the cumin, coriander and cardamom in a small pan and toast until fragrant. Grind in a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a pan, add the mock chicken breast in batches and brown all over.
- Scoop out, then add the ground spices. Cook for 2 minutes then stir in the ginger, garlic and chillies.
- Cook for a few minutes, then add the mock chicken breast, lentils and squash mixture, chopped pineapple and more water if needed.
- Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Stir in the garam masala
- Garnished with fresh chopped coriander
- Serve with steamed basmati rice and/or chapatis.
Serves 2 people
Recipe supplied by Marjorie Marino, Bulacan, Philippines
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