Friday, March 18, 2011

Rabbit dhansak

I have mixed feelings about market shopping: it's time-consuming and can be both physically and mentally exhausting, as you struggle to make sure the stallholders don't palm off shoddy produce on you and have to adapt your cooking to what's available. But when I'm in the right mood, I find it really stimulating. I often have great recipe ideas while looking at what's on display, sometimes directly inspired by whatever is laid out in front of me, and sometimes taking advantage of a bit of daydream time while I wait to be served.

When I got back to Spain from Italy the other day, the first thing I did (after frantically feeding the washing machine and hanging up wet clothes) was to pop down to the market. In the fish section, I bought a kilo of clams. And at the butcher's I picked up a beautiful free-range chicken, which I intend to do al ajillo but with the added twist of a pickled lemon, and I also got some pork ribs, which I plan to pressure cook with chilli and ginger. My final purchase was a free-range rabbit, but instead of doing my usual coniglio alla cacciatore, I thought I would do a bit of fusion cooking, so I came up with this rabbit and brown lentil curry. I don't know if this really qualifies as a dhansak or not (usually, I think, a meat curry where the sauce is thickened with red lentils) and I don't care either.

1 onion
4 cloves of garlic
2-inch piece of fresh ginger
6 tablespoons of vegetable oil
4 teaspoons of mild curry powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 free-range rabbit, jointed
250g brown lentils
800 ml of chicken stock
juice of 1/2 lemon
small bunch of fresh coriander

  1. Peel and finely chop the onion, garlic and ginger, and puree in a food processor with the vegetable oil.
  2. Gently fry the puree in an open pressure cooker, being careful not to burn.
  3. When the onion is turning golden, add the curry powder and salt, fry for another 30 seconds, then add the rabbit pieces and fry for a minute or so, turning them so that they become well coated with the onion and spice mixture.
  4. Add the lentils, chicken stock and lemon juice, close the pressure cooker and bring up to full pressure (2 rings). Cook for 15 minutes, then cool the cooker under runninng cold water.
  5. Open, check for seasoning, add chopped coriander and serve.

Googlewhacking is the sport of trying to find an elusive query (two words - no quote marks) with a single, solitary result. Googlecooking is the art of producing a recipe (two-word title - yes quote marks) for which there are no other hits. I give you "rabbit dhansak"!

1 comment:

En casa said...

I didn't know this was in our kitchen... Mmmmm!!!