Parsi Sambhar, Dhansak and Garam Masala

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My Bombay Kitchen: Traditional and Modern Parsi Home Cooking Hardcover – June 18, 2007

by Niloufer Ichaporia King  (Author), Alice Waters (Foreword)


Makes about 2 cups

Red chilli powder – 3/4 cup

Salt – 2 tbsp

Ground turmeric – 1 tbsp

Asafoetida – 2 tsp

Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 cup

Brown Mustard seeds – 2 tbs

Peppercorns – 1 tsp

Star Anise – 1 tsp, broken pieces

Cloves – 1 tsp

Cinnamon – 1 3″ long stick

Untoasted sesame oil – 1 tbsp


Mix the chilli, salt, turmeric and asafoetida together in a bowl.– In your spice grinder, grind the rest of the whole spices together. Mix the ground since with the chilli-salt mixture.– In a small pan, heat the sesame oil until it shimmers.– Take the oil off the heat and pour into the center of the ground spices. Mix together with a fork until the oil is swirled in thoroughly and the spice mix loses its powdery look.

When looking for sesame oil, make sure it is the untoasted variety, which is light in color. Don’t use the toasted variety as this will give the wrong flavor to the mix. If you are not able to find untoasted sesame oil, substitute a teaspoon of white sesame seeds, which can be ground with the whole spices, then add a little sunflower or peanut oil at the end of the mix..

PARSI DHANSAK MASALA This spice mix is also called Dhana Jiru (coriander-cumin)


Coriander seeds – 1 cup

Turkish bay leaves, Tej Patta – 1/4 cup

Cumin seeds – 1/4 cup

Dried red chillies – 6 to 7

White poppy seeds – 1 tbsp

Cinnamon sticks – 2

Black peppercorns – 2 tbsp

Cloves – 1 tbsp

Green cardamom pods – 1 tbsp (shell pods before use)

Black cardamom – 4

Caraway or Kala Jeera seeds – 1 tsp

Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Saffron – a pinch

Ground Mace – 1/4 tsp

Nutmeg – 1

METHOD In a heavy bottom pan or skillet, dry-roast (without oil) the coriander, bay leaves, both cumin seeds, red chillies, white poppy seeds, cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves, both cardamoms, caraway seeds and fenugreek seeds for a few minutes, just until you can see them start to toast. They mustn’t brown. Your nose is a good indicator for this. When you get the full aroma of roasted spice is when you turn off the heat. – Move off the heat and allow to cool.– Place mixture in a spice grinder along with the last four ingredients, and grind to powder.– Press the powder through a sieve.– Store in a tightly capped bottle in a cool dark place. Will keep for a while but will lose freshness and potency as it keeps..


250 gm whole dhania, coriander seeds

125 gm jeera, cumin seeds

125 gm sabut lal mirch

whole dried red chillies10 gm

shahi jeera, black fine cumin seeds

10 gm mustard seeds, methi dana

10 gm phool pathar (also known ar kalpasi and dagad phool)

1/2 tsp sabut kali mirch, black peppercorns30 gm

khus khus, poppy seeds30 gm

dalchini, cinnamon30 gm

laung, cloves30 gm

tej patta, bay leaves30 gm

badian, star anise1/8 tsp

mace, javitri1 nutmeg

How to Make Dhansak Masala

Grind all the ingredients together. Store in an airtight container.


200 g cumin seeds jeera

40 g black cardamoms, badi elaichi40 g

cinnamon, dalchini

10 g cloves, laung

10 g green cardamoms

chhoti elaichi10 g

mace, javitri2-3

nutmegs, jaifal4-5

Turkish bay leaves, tej patta


Pound nutmegs into pieces. Put all spices in a small kadai or wok, and roast on medium flame. When aromas start being given off, switch off heat. Allow to cool, then powder spices in a grinder. Store in clean dry jars in cool place.

My Bombay Kitchen: Traditional and Modern Parsi Home Cooking Hardcover – June 18, 2007

by Niloufer Ichaporia King  (Author), Alice Waters (Foreword)

Books available on Amazon Manna of the 21st Century: Parsi Cuisine Paperback Hardcover Indian Parsi Kitchen Celebrations: Celebrating Zoroastrian Festivals and Traditions Dhansak: Parsi Cuisine

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