Runaway Dhanshak

So work has me traveling again, not that I didn’t have enough reasons to update life has added one more.  But hey at least I am traveling to my favorite place every week that is Massachusetts.  Getting back to living out of a suitcase and finding healthy options to eat is taking longer than I expected.  It could also be because I was too busy celebrating my birthday the whole month.   Coming back to bean town has been very nostalgic, it seems like everything has changed yet nothing has changed.  As I drive past Route 9, the memories of driving up and down and finding my first place to stay outside of home came flashing to me.  I can still feel the emotions from that time, a mix of fear, excitement and downright terrified.  As I look around at the buildings, it seems like in the past six years nothing has changed.  Do you sometimes feel that our memories are more associated with the location and establishment rather than the people we shared it with.  I somehow feel that buildings stay the same, but people change – that table at the restaurant takes you back to that particular date you had with someone.  There are many new places that have opened up food wise here, but the old ones that we used to frequent still remain.

Traveling these days is tedious and not fun at all, be it for business or personal.  I am starting to think road trips are the only way to enjoy getting somewhere.  In the end it takes up the same amount of time with delays and cancellations.  All this time on the road has me missing my kitchen and home cooked food.  I used to get mad at mum for asking me to come lunch, as she might have made quinoa khichadi (usually made with rice and lentils together) and I used to tell her I am busy.  There is nothing more I would like than to be home and eat a bowl of that.  When people hear you telling you travel for work, they are all excited but when you actually do it you realize what happens when you are always eating out.  I see these people who are severely obese, am pretty sure not because of what they are eating but mainly because of the stress that traveling causes you.  The seats are getting smaller and people are getting bigger.   I mean I am not a skinny person myself but I have had to share my middle seat with someone double the size of the designated seat.  The plus side to that was he kept me warm and I had the best sleep in a while on the plane.  Considering my flight was at 5 in the morning there was nobody that was going to stop me from those two hours of sleep on the plane.

I have also noticed that individuals who work in the healthcare field tend to be on the obese side as well.  Being at clinics and hospitals for the past twelve years (wow that’s a long time) I have noticed the administration and the nursing staff don’t exactly have healthy lifestyles.  Well my point here is enjoy the food outside, but the best meals are the one that are cooked at home.  Also, food is not the main reason why we gain weight it is in my opinion definitely stress.  But who really cares about my opinion here.  I have had some great adventures with Uber drivers and conversations with taxi drivers.  I am guessing as I continue writing this blog I will share those, I feel I should carry a book around to remember the tidbits.  My friend Kristal always yells at me for not taking notes on my life.  She is one of few who needs an update on the happenings of my life on a daily basis.  To say I am blessed would be an understatement, I am beyond thankful and grateful to God for the people I have in my life.  The year considering how it has gone, there are some people without whom I would have not made it.

As I have been craving lentils and rice, in honor of Parsi New Year I made Dhanshak.  This is traditionally made with lamb slowly melting in the oven over a few hours.  I am not a big lamb or meat eater all together, however I do enjoy this with chicken.  This used to be my dad’s favorite as well.  I made this in a pressure cooker as I was running around in the morning trying to back, clean and do everything while I cooked this. You can also cook it in the oven on low and slow or just let it simmer and cook on the stove. This might take longer to cook, so pressure cooker usually works best when you are a headless chicken. So without any delay here is the recipe, as my food has just been served here I must eat.

Ingredients

1/2 cup masoor dal
1/2 cup chana dal
1/2 cup toovar dal
1 cup frozen spinach (thawed and squeezed, if you use fresh make sure )
1 big russet potato cubed (you can use any potato you like, I used this one)
1 big onion chopped
2 tomatoes chopped
2 bone-in chicken breasts marinated overnight with 1 tbsp each garlic and ginger. Salt and oil to coat the chicken (I feel bones give it a better flavor).
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp of garam masala (you can also find Dhanshak spice in the Indian grocery store)
1 tbsp each of ginger and garlic
3 tbsp of oil

Method

Heat 3 tbsp of oil in the pan/cooker, add chopped onions to the pan. You have to make sure you brown the onions, as that is what gives most Indian dishes the flavor. Once the onion are brown add potatoes along with all the spices (turmeric, paprika, garam masala, slat, ginger and garlic) Let it cook and coat the onions and potatoes, then throw in the lentils, tomatoes and spinach to the mix. Stir a little more so that all get a little spice loving. When the lentils seems a little toasted add the chicken and about 3 cups of water to the pan/cooker. This is entirely your calling, if you want it to be thicker then less water or if you like it or want to eat it as a soup more water.

Pressure cooker on low and four whistles, once you open the chicken should be falling off the bone and into the lentils. You can add eggplants, squash, carrots and all kind of vegetables to the mix. I really won’t judge you I promise.

The pictures here are mostly from my iPhone as my other camera wasn’t charged and I couldn’t have uploaded my pictures if I had taken on my other camera. Hope you guys enjoy this as much I have.

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