Raising a Raspberry toast to the lockdown Parsi dhansak. Covid-19 Lockdown Journal 28

K made her first dhansak a couple of nights back and pulled out all stops for it
K meticulously made the margi nu (or ni, I am no expert) dar (sic) of the chicken dhansak a few days nights back following the recipe on Perzen Patel’s blog, ‘the Bawi Bride.’ Her first time. Dhansak aficionados will see the colour and texture of the dal in the picture and tell you that her Parsi genes shone through in what she had cooked. She pulled out all stops while making it, perfectionist that she is. She even mashed raw pumpkin and brinjal to ensure that it blended with the dal when cooked. Three types of dal went into it. Moong, tud and orange masoor. Yes, mutton is traditional, but a lockdown is not business as usual. As per Perzen's directions, she boiled the chicken separately. The stock was used to thin the dar on subsequent days. She spent about 3 hours in the kitchen. K said that she had been intimidated by the idea of making dhansak all these years. She found Perzen's recipe introduction to be assuring and empowering. "I will break down the steps for you," she wrote. People who diss bloggers for writing their stories before dishing out the recipe might want to read this! As a tribute to K’s efforts, I went to Perzen’s blog the next day and figured out how to make the rice (the dhan of dhansak), which completes the dish. A lot easier than making the dal no doubt, but following a recipe while cooking needs quite a mindset change on my side, but I did it. This dar (that's how Parsi pronounce dal) deserved it. I have had quite a few in my time and this one was of the best that I had (K does not read my posts usually so, no I am not applying maska to her here). We paired it with the Pallonji raspberry that our friends Kurush and Rhea had given us on Navroze. I even found an Instagram-worthy, 'typically Parsi' table cloth like piece of cloth, to take a pic. The hours that she had spent in the kitchen deserved it. The Fabindia plates that I used are rather Parsi crockery like too. Cliches are good at times like this when we desperately seek a sense of normalcy in a world that has been turned upside down. K cut some kachumber as I cannot imagine dhansak without it unlike her. Even though she was the Parsi in the room that afternoon and not me!
Lockdown dhansak

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