dhan dar or parsi dal is a traditional parsi dish often called as dhan dar patio. the word ‘dhan’ translates to ‘rice’ and ‘dar’ means ‘dal’. patio is a fish or prawn preparation that is served with dhan dar.
so you must be wondering where is the vegetarian version of the patio. actually, i wanted to serve this dal with patio but could not make it as my grinder is broken and preparation of patio needs grinding of the spices.
so instead of serving the parsi dal with plain steamed rice, i made parsi brown rice. this is my second post on parsi cuisine after the veg dhansak recipe and will be followed by parsi brown rice. and yes, i will post the patio recipe also.
this dhan dal recipe is simple and yet flavorful. in fact so good with minimal spices, that you can even have this as a dal soup.
there is a slight inherent sweet taste from the arhar dal/pigeon pea lentils itself. the dal is spiced with a lot of garlic, cumin and green chilies. garnishing with fried onions also lend again a slight sweet taste and texture to the smoothness of the dal.
this parsi dal recipe is adapted from the pocket book i have on parsi cuisine. i don’t know how authentic the recipe is. but we liked this dal and hence i am sharing the recipe. it has become a family favorite now.
parsi dal or dhan dar recipe below:
- 1 cup arhar/tuvar dal
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- 2.5 cups water
- ½ or ⅔ tbsp chopped garlic
- 2 green chilies, kept whole
- ½ tsp cumin or cumin powder
- salt as required
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- a pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp oil for frying the onion slices
- pick and rinse the dal well.
- in a pressure cooker, add the dal, turmeric powder and water.
- first pressure cook on a high flame till the first whistle and then lower the flame and pressure cook for 4-5 minutes more.
- when the dal is getting cooked, you can chop the garlic.
- also heat 1 tbsp oil in a small frying pan.
- add the sliced onions and a pinch of salt.
- fry the onions till they are browned and crisp.
- drain on kitchen paper towels and keep aside.
- once the pressure settles down on its own in the pressure cooker, mash the dal with a wired whisk.
- add about ¾ cup water or more in the dal, till you get a medium consistency of the dal.
- stir and keep the pressure cooker on the fire for the dal to simmer.
- in a small pan, heat 2 tbsp oil.
- add the cumin powder, garlic, green chilies and salt. (if adding cumin, then first crackle the cumin and then add the garlic and green chilies)
- fry till the garlic gets browned.
- stir the tempering for uniform browning
- pour the tempering mixture in the dal.
- cover the cooker with the lid and switch off the flame.
- let the flavors of the tempering infuse in the dal.
- stir after 5 minutes.
- check the seasoning and add more salt if required.
- garnish parsi dal with the fried onions.
- serve the parsi dal with steamed rice and patio.