Freddie Mercury's Favorite Dish Was An Indian Classic

Freddie Mercury singing
Freddie Mercury singing - Hulton Deutsch/Getty Images

Freddie Mercury, the sensational lead singer of the legendary rock band Queen, was known for his one-of-a-kind showmanship, with a distinct singing voice and style. And now, thanks to his former personal assistant, we know another tidbit of his expansive personality and robust life. In a blog post, Peter "Phoebe" Freestone shared that one of Mercury's favorite meals was chicken dhansak, as the superstar enjoyed foods loaded with spices.

Chicken dhansak, a dish with Persian roots, is a testament to the rich cultural exchange between Persia and India. When the Parsis sought refuge in India, they brought with them not just their culture but also their cuisine, including the flavorful chicken dhansak. Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar to two Parsi parents. After his family fled the country, Mercury spent time in India, which is perhaps where his love of the dish originated.

If you're not so familiar with Indian cuisine, it's possible you haven't heard of chicken dhansak. The next time you decide to dive into making Indian cuisine at home or order at an Indian restaurant, think outside the box to be more like one of the greatest rockstars of all time by trying chicken dhansak.

Read more: 11 Of The Best Cooking Tips From Bobby Flay

All About Chicken Dhansak

chicken dhansak curry with rice in bowl
chicken dhansak curry with rice in bowl - AS Foodstudio/Shutterstock

Though dhansak may not be as popular as chana masala or tikka masala, it's one of the types of curry you should know about. Chicken dhansak is a curry made with chicken and lentils. Lentils are the star of another important Indian dish, dahl. Freddie Mercury frequently enjoyed dahl prepared by his mother, so it only makes sense that after long days in the studio or on tour, he requested a dish like chicken dhansak, a meal that reminded him of home.

Chicken dhansak is extra protein-packed due to the meat and lentils combo. However, the lentils not only add protein, but they also help to thicken up the dish. The lentils are cooked until they disintegrate and meld into the dish, creating a luxuriously creamy curry. Other essential ingredients for chicken dhansak include a bit of tomato paste or passata, along with tamarind. Tamarind is the exact underrated fruit that lends its unique flavor combination of sour and sweet to this curry. Many use tamarind sauce or pulp to create the tangy sweetness dhansak is loved for.

The Spice Blend You Need To Make Chicken Dhansak

bowl of masala spice blend, spices
bowl of masala spice blend, spices - asmiphotoshop/Shutterstock

Any good curry contains a delectable spice mix, or masala, to bring life to the curry. Often, this includes a mix of whole and ground spices. For chicken dhansak, look for spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and some lesser-known but powerful spices like Fenugreek seeds. Fenugreek is an herb plant with a taste similar to maple syrup, so including the seeds here lends dhansak a unique sweetness alongside the other spices. Although there is a laundry list of necessary spices, you can sometimes find dhansak masala spice blends for sale from specialty retailers.

Some Indian restaurants also serve chicken dhansak with pineapples mixed into the curry. Pineapple is sometimes used as a substitute for tamarind to get that tangy fruit factor. As long as you have the correct array of spices and the aforementioned essential ingredients on hand, you'll have the makings of a good chicken dhansak. When chicken dhansak explodes with such rich, aromatic flavor, it's easy to see why an explosive star like Freddie Mercury considered it one of his favorite meals.

Read the original article on Daily Meal