Skip to main content

The Best Dhansakh in Bombay

Ask a Parsi what Sunday means to him and he’ll most likely tell you: Dhansakh. Their Sundays are incomplete without Dhansakh for lunch, which is usually followed by a long siesta. Though this is natural – after having Dhansakh, you wouldn’t want to do anything, but take a nice long nap.

So, what is Dhansakh? Dhansakh is a thick brown masala dal, chicken or mutton cooked in it, served with brown rice. A Vegetarian Dhansakh – dal without chicken or mutton is sacrilege. The rice is brown because of caramel sugar and fried onions. Portions of masoor and tur dal and stewed pumpkin are used to make the Dhansakh dal. The preparation is served with kebabs (chicken or mutton) and a salad made of raw onions, cucumber, tomato, coriander (also called Kachumbar). Lime, preferably lots of it, should then be squeezed over the Dhansakh. Surprisingly though, this is not the dish for auspicious occasions. On such days, Parsis cook either mora dal chawal; the dal is yellow and non-spicy and thicker than the Hindu yellow dal and minus the sprinkling of tomatoes and vegetables, or a variant of Dhansakh called Pulav Dal – where the chicken or mutton is cooked in the rice instead of the dal.

But we’re talking about Dhansakh today. Topping the list of the best Dhansakh available in Mumbai is this nice and neat restaurant tucked away in Coloba, called Paradise Restaurant (Rs 120). The portion is generous and the chicken and mutton are consistently well cooked and tender. Paradise doesn’t serve Dhansakh daily; mutton Dhansakh on Wednesdays and chicken Dhansakh on Saturdays. The dal is very important and Paradise takes great care in preparing it – it’s not bland, but it’s not too spicy either - just the right mix. And it tastes good even if gets cold! The only problem here is the accompanying kachumbar is not complimentary - as it is in all other places rightly.

Britannia restaurant, a lunch-only restaurant (closed on Sundays) in the business district of Ballard Estate that specializes in Parsi food, also serves Dhansakh. Earlier, one portion here would have been enough for two people, but lately, they have reduced the portion. Yet one plate is sufficient for one person. And unlike Paradise, they serve it everyday. Be there between 12.30 and 15.00 hours, sit back and eat to your heart’s content. They cook limited portions of everything, so be sure to book your order in advance if you have a big company or if you think you’ll be late. But if you’re there, we recommend you may as well have their famous Berry Pulav. That is the Parsi Pulav Dal, but the rice is generously sprinkled with cashew nuts and red berries, specially imported from Iran, and served only at Britannia. Oh and make sure you don’t have a busy schedule later that afternoon, you won’t feel like doing any work after this sumptuous lunch. Trust me!

By The Way, at Gamdevi, near Chowpatty, is an interesting place. Run by the social welfare organization for women, Sewa Sadan, this restaurant was recently re-done to suit your taste palettes. The place is managed by four women – one of whom is a Parsi, so you can rest be assured your Dhansakh doesn’t lose its Parsi touch. The place is simple, yet elegant and the service is very warm, yet professional. Try their Vej Dhansakh if you’re an herbivorous. They also make home delivery if you’re staying somewhere nearby.

Jimmy Boy is an old-timer at Dhansakh. But then, they also serve other Parsi dishes. Dal is slightly spicy, yet it retains its tangy taste. And Kebabs are included here. Ripon Club, Fountain, has been known for its famous Dhansakh for years. Available only on Wednesdays and open only for its members. Take-aways are open for all though.

So feast on this priceless dish and let me know which one you liked the best.

Comments

  1. A trip to Town area is incomplete without leting one's "taste buds" geting a feel of aromatic Parsi cuisine in general & Dhansakh in Particular....Have been regular to Paradise & Britannia....will suggest all Dhansakh joints hunter's - Stadium also...which is close to Churchgate Station...as an another spot, where Dhansakh is quite yummy/affordable & is made in traditional manner....It is available only on Friday......Himanshu Jaitley

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks Himanshu/Meenakshi for your inputs. I will keep in mind your reco of Stadium.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

US-64 DRAWS TO A CLOSE; WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

As the country oldest mutual fund scheme, now US-64 Bonds, are set be redeemed, it’s tough to find an equally alternative investment. There are some that come closeThe oldest mutual fund scheme in India, Unit Trust of India (UTI)’ Unit Scheme – 64 (US-64), will soon be no more. After more than 40 years of existence, curtains will fall on the US-64 bonds that mature on 31 May 2008. UTI has already sent out letters to all bond-holders about the redemption; investors are told to submit their original certificates, take their money back and leave.

For investors like Kolkata-based, Kumaresh Mukherjee, 72 it’s the end of an era. Soon after he retired from Philips India, he invested his provident fund corpus in fixed – return instruments like company fixed deposits. An electrical engineer by profession, in 1995 he also invested Rs 12 lakh or around one-third of his retirement corpus in the erstwhile US-64. After years of above-average returns, then trapped doors and turmoil that shook the Ind…

Pay Credit Card Bills Through ATMs

Tired of being ignored by ICICI Bank credit cards by being left out of their premium services despite being a loyal customer, I got myself a new credit card by HDFC Bank. It's another thing that HDFC Bank promised me a gold card with a higher spending limit, but then threatened to give me a silver card. When I strongly protested to their ways, they issued me a gold card, but with a much-lower-than-promised spending limit. I think the credit card companies ought to be made more accountable through stricter laws that are widely publicised (I recently read an RBI advertisement in the paper that if a credit card company rejects your application for a credit card, it has to give the reasons in writing; I never knew that!!!) and ought to made to pay for promising one thing, but delivering something totally different. SBI Cards too chased me for a month last year and promised to give me a platinum card with a high spending limit. What I finally got was a much-watered down Gold Card with …

Teachers at Hindi Vidya Bhavan

Being a huge fan of the late Behram Contrator, the founding editor of Afternoon, I have read many of his legendary column, 'Round & About'. In one of them, he makes a poignant irony: that although teachers are our torch-bearers throughout our school and college days, give us education and make us capable of facing and surviving in this world, they would always remain in that one place, while their students would go places in thier lives. Like a teacher would still be at the bus-stop waiting for the bus, all throughout thier lives, while the child will grow in status and stuture and pass by in car. I found that to be very true, so I look back - the least I can do, and appreciate the teachers who have taught me and have a hand to make me who I am today. And while I am at it, let me also tell you about some of them who, unfortunately, I did not like.

I did my schooling (SSC)from Hindi Vidya Bhavan (HVB), Marine Drive, Mumbai. I passed out my school in 1992, so this post will …