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Making a Dhansak


TIGHTCHOKE
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Not impressed with the rising prices of delivered takeaways and having received an overly hot Dhansak last week, I decided I could do better!

In an attempt to simplify things I used either a teaspoon or a cup as a measure.

My intention was to make and freeze the sauce, that the meat, (usually chicken) could be added to at a later date.

 

1. I finely chopped a large Onion and put it on a gentle heat to soften in some Rape Seed Oil.

2. Then I added 1 Tea Spoon of Garam Masala, Hot Chilli Powder, Ginger Powder and Garlic Powder, a good pinch of Salt and some Black Pepper.

3. A 400g tin of Chopped Tomatoes went in next.

4. I poured some hot water over a Vegetable Stock Cube and added that to the softening Onion, Tomato and Spice Mix.

5. Then I added 2 cupful's of Split Red Lentils and half a cup of Lemon Juice.

6. Put a lid on and lower the heat to a gentle simmer.

7. Keep stirring gently to prevent sticking for about 35 minutes to allow the Lentils to absorb the moisture.

8. After the Lentils have softened, leave the lid off and turn down the heat for the last 10 minutes.

9. When cool divide up in to containers and freeze till you next want a Dhansak to your requirements.

 

Edited by TIGHTCHOKE
CAPITALISATION!
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Your on the right path sir, if you dig about on the interweb looking for mother sauces on a particular cuisine, in your case Indian you will find 1,2 or 3 of the base sauces to freeze/defrost at a later date and then simple add a couple more ingredients ( say chillies, cream ) then add say chicken and spinach and you have the end dish; it's basically what every chef does.

A good tip is also freeze your sauce in zip bags, freeze them flat then once solid stack neatly to save a tonne of space

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We live in a small village and like yourself I got sick of the price and the delivery times being so sporadic. 
Get yourself to an Asian supermarket and stock up on spices. I make a pot of base sauce that is good for 10 two people sized portions and freeze it in bags. 
If I have the time I will pre cook some chicken tikka, start to finish if my chicken is pre cooked I can knock out a curry in about 10 minutes. Pictures of a few, Korma, Pathia, garlic chilli, madras.
 

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Yes indeed, I have ordered some zip-lock bags for the freezing of portions of the sauce and yes I will go to an Asian Market in Peterborough to fill some gaps in my spice collection.

I plan to tune the basic sauce to my personal taste, it should be good fun making batches.

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3 minutes ago, TIGHTCHOKE said:

Yes indeed, I have ordered some zip-lock bags for the freezing of portions of the sauce and yes I will go to an Asian Market in Peterborough to fill some gaps in my spice collection.

I plan to tune the basic sauce to my personal taste, it should be good fun making batches.

This is how I do my base:
 

1kg onions peeled and halved

1/2 red pepper

1/2 carrot sliced

Tin of plum tomatoes 

Full big bulb of garlic or 2 bulbs if small Aldi garlic

Equal amount of ginger to the garlic

1 tablespoon of Tom purée 

2 teaspoons each of:

Turmeric

Coriander

Cumin

Paprika

Tandoori masala powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 of a white cabbage

1 supermarket bag of coriander (usually 30g)

1 tablespoon of ghee

About 50ml of veg oil

 

Add water until the onions are just covered and cook for an hour.

 

Akhni water:

700ml water

3 bay leaves

7 cardamom

4 cloves 

2 teaspoons of:

Black mustard seeds

Fennel seeds

Coriander seeds

Cumin seeds

1/2 of a star anise

Small piece of cassia bark

 

Boil it all for 15 minutes then strain it and add the liquid to the base gravy.

 

Cook for another hour

 

Blend until smooth then add water until it has the consistency of milk

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4 hours ago, JTaylor91 said:

We live in a small village and like yourself I got sick of the price and the delivery times being so sporadic. 
Get yourself to an Asian supermarket and stock up on spices. I make a pot of base sauce that is good for 10 two people sized portions and freeze it in bags. 
If I have the time I will pre cook some chicken tikka, start to finish if my chicken is pre cooked I can knock out a curry in about 10 minutes. Pictures of a few, Korma, Pathia, garlic chilli, madras.
 

I'm in the same boat as you - no chance of a delivery and no takeaway to stumble into after a night in the pub.  I make a similar base gravy and then its dead easy to knock up a takeaway style curry in no time.

There's a great oldish book called 'The Curry Secret' by Kris Dillon that's very useful for this type of BIR style cooking.  I'm sure you'd agree it's quite good fun and very satisfying.

The only thing I bottle out with is the breads, i can make chappatis easily enough, but for Naans, i buy the clay oven brand, they're the nearest reheat at home I've ever had to a restaurant bought one.

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15 minutes ago, TIGHTCHOKE said:

I often have rotties, pitta bread or supermarket Naans, Doubt I will bother with making my own.

I've seen a cool way to make a tandoor oven out of 2 x large terracotta pots and a dustbin.  I really don't need one but I really think I need to make one !

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21 minutes ago, Jonty said:

I'm in the same boat as you - no chance of a delivery and no takeaway to stumble into after a night in the pub.  I make a similar base gravy and then its dead easy to knock up a takeaway style curry in no time.

There's a great oldish book called 'The Curry Secret' by Kris Dillon that's very useful for this type of BIR style cooking.  I'm sure you'd agree it's quite good fun and very satisfying.

The only thing I bottle out with is the breads, i can make chappatis easily enough, but for Naans, i buy the clay oven brand, they're the nearest reheat at home I've ever had to a restaurant bought one.

I go for the clay oven naan too. I’ve also tried the frozen parathas, they’re okay but are made using veg oil instead of butter/ghee so aren’t as buttery as a takeaway. 

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3 minutes ago, Jonty said:

I've seen a cool way to make a tandoor oven out of 2 x large terracotta pots and a dustbin.  I really don't need one but I really think I need to make one !

Yes I've seen that sort of thing, but again do NOT need one.

A Mate has one of those expensive pizza ovens in his garden, does exactly what my oven in the kitchen does, but it is a talking point at get togethers.

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i buy the half kilo bags of spice off the net then put them in the freezer..........

 

i do also buy Pateks packs ...where you have everything seperate spice ...gee  mix...sauce.....always make curry upthe previous day.......J Taylor 91 those are lovely looking pics :good:

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For a good book(s) on restaurant curries (made using a 'base sauce') at home I use Indian Restaurant Curry at Home Volume 1: Misty Ricardo's Curry Kitchen

There are two volumes, but many of the recipes are available on line free here https://mistyricardo.com/.  I make the base sauce (https://mistyricardo.com/30-minute-quick-base-gravy-recipe/) in a big batch - then freeze it in silicone rubber moulds - then vacpack the resultant 'sauce cube'.  Works very well.

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On 27/04/2022 at 11:33, Jonty said:

I've seen a cool way to make a tandoor oven out of 2 x large terracotta pots and a dustbin.  I really don't need one but I really think I need to make one !

Works a treat as well and dead, dead easy - Make sure you get some risers for the bottom of the bin - Terracotta plant stand supports work really well

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5 hours ago, Fatcatsplat said:

Works a treat as well and dead, dead easy - Make sure you get some risers for the bottom of the bin - Terracotta plant stand supports work really well

Thank you mate - I’ll make sure cheers

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21 hours ago, TIGHTCHOKE said:

The next stage will be to construct a larger version of the BIR sauce and blitz it to a smooth hot freeze able commodity.

Good move, once you have that, you’ll be able to make a variety of different curries really easily.

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