Mamta's Kitchen

Vegetable Dhansak - 2

Vegetable Dhansak - 2 (Parsee Dal)

Liza Tilley

If you make this dish, please take a few pictures and send them in for inclusion here.

Dhansak or Dhanshak is a popular Parsee dish, each family has their own recipe. This is my concoction, based on recipes I found while surfing the net. My family love it. Serves approx 6 as a part of a main course.


  • 250 gm. masoor (red lentil) or arhar/toor/tuvar dhal/dal or pigeon-peas)

  • Water, 2.5 times of the dal by volume

  • 1 medium potato cut into chunks

  • A handful of green, French beans, topped & tailed, slit and cut in 2

  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced up thick

  • 2-3 tbsp. oil

  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped fine

  • 2 tbsp. Dhansak Masala

  • 1 tsp. crushed garlic or garlic powder

  • 1 tbsp. coconut powder or desiccated coconut

  • 1 tsp. turmeric or haldi

  • 1 tbsp. dry (kasthuri/kasoori) methi (optional)

  • 1 tsp. dark brown sugar only if needed to balance taste (carrots are sweet!)

  • To Serve

  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice

  • Black salt (kala namak) or ordinary to taste

  • 2 tbsp. chopped green coriander leaves

  • 1 tsp. ginger crushed or finely grated


  1. Wash and soak the dal for an hour or so.

  2. Place the dal and water in a pressure cooker with carrots, beans and potatoes, and cook on full pressure for 3-4 minutes, until fully cooked. The dhal texture should be smooth and thick, like custard. You can mash it to make it smooth, or leave as is if you prefer, with some texture.

  3. If you do not have a pressure cooker, you can boil it briskly in a pan, until done. This may need more water. red lentil/masoor cooks faster than arhar dal.

  4. Heat oil in a pan and brown the onions gently, until a rich gold brown colour.

  5. Add the garlic, dhansak powder, coconut, turmeric, kasthuri methi and sugar. Stir fry (bhoono) well, until oil separates.

  6. Add this to the dhal and stir in.

  7. Sprinkle with coriander, ginger, lemon juice and black salt/kala namak.

  8. Serve with Rice and Chapatties.

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