I ate this two weeks ago, finally found a decent recipe for it. That way, I can make it myself soon and it'll taste nothing like it should.
Any lentils will do, apparently. As for the methi/fenugreek, celery leaves will provide a decent substitute if, like me, you don't know what the fuck methi leaves are.
There are three parts to this recipe.
-Cooking the lentils
-Preparing the masala
-Cleaning and cutting the vegetables
1/3 cup tur dal
1/3 cup masoor dal
1/3 cup moong dal
Mix the dals. Wash them thoroughly 3-4 times. Keep aside.
Use the golden variety. You will need around 200 gms of the same. Remove the skin with a heavy knife, scrape out the seeds. Chop the pumpkin into 1" cubes. Don't cut it any smaller, or they will get totally mashed with the dal on pressure cooking.
Pressue cook the dals with the pumpkin pieces for around 3 whistles.
Meanwhile prepare the masala and vegetables.
For dhansak masala:
6 cloves garlic
1" piece fresh ginger
6-7 red chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1" cinnamon stick
2 green cardamoms
4 pepper corns
Saute the above ingredients other than ginger and garlic, on a low flame until fragrant, about a minute or two. Cool for a few minutes and grind to a fine paste along with ginger-garlic. You can add around 1/4 cup of water to assist in grinding. Keep the masala aside.
2 medium onions-sliced
1 small bunch methi (fenugreek) leaves- cleaned and chopped finely to make a loosely packed cup
Bringing together the masala and vegetables
Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large pan. Fry the onion slices with a few grains of sugar (less than 1/8th tsp). Sugar makes the onions brown faster. Saute for 3-4 minutes till nicely browned.
Add the masala paste and saute for 3-4 minutes, until it emits a rich aroma.
Put in the chopped tomatoes, chopped fenugreek leaves. Saute for 3-4 minutes, until tomatoes are cooked and leaves have wilted.
At this stage, add the boiled dals and pumpkin. Add around 2 tsp of salt. Stir well and check for spices and salt. In case the tomatoes aren't sour enough, you can add a teaspoon of tamarind pulp.
Serve hot with plain rice or traditional Parsi Brown Rice.