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dhansak recipe, vegetable dhansak recipe, parsi veg dhansak recipe

by dassana amit updated October 21, 2013

veg dhansak recipe, vegetable dhansak recipe

i know many folks who love dhansak. first time i had dhansak in my home science days and i must say that i loved it. dhansak is a traditional parsi recipe usually served with brown rice. it is a medley of lentils, vegetables, spices and meat.

being a vegetarian i cannot include meat, so have just made it with lentils, veggies and the spices. i know very very little about parsi food. i have been even to parsi weddings, but never had any of the parsi delicacies because all of them were non vegetarian.

recently i got a request to post some parsi vegetarian recipes and this is the first one in this series. besides dhansak, the other parsi recipes that i am familiar with are brown rice, dhan dar, patrani ni machchi (fish cooked in banana leaves) lagan nu custard (wedding custard). see… i already told you i know very very little.

i referred to five sources for the dhansak recipe, three cookbooks and two cyclostyled recipe sheets. one of mine and the other given to me by a friend. i settled down for the recipe sheet given by the friend as it did not ask me for a readymade dhansak masala… plus it was a totally vegetarian dhansak recipe. i have adapted the recipe by not adding clove powder and instead using extra cloves while making the dhansak masala paste.

dhansak recipe

and the result was too good… a comforting , warm, spicy and nutritious dhansak. the actual recipe involves adding veggies like aubergines and pumpkin. i did not have both, so i added an extra of bottle gourd/lauki. with the remaining of the lauki, i made lauki halwa.

post update: i strongly suggest you to add pumpkin. it gives a remarkable flavor and taste to the dhansak. if possible then add all the veggies – aubergines, pumpkin and bottle gourd to get an authentic taste.

also instead of adding five different lentils, i added 3 lentils. you could also just add one type of lentil, namely arhar dal/pigeon pea lentils or masoor dal/pink lentils. another important ingredient in dhansak is fenugreek leaves/methi. you could either use fresh or dry fenugreek leaves. i did not have fresh fenugreek leaves , so i added kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves.

parsi dhansak

lets start step by step veg dhansak recipe:

in a pressure cooker, take all your veggies, lentils and fenugreek. add water and pressure cook for 5-6 minutes. i also added a few scallions.

parsi dhansak recipe

below you see all the ingredients for the dhansak masala paste.

ingredients for dhansak

take all of these in a grinder and with some water grind to a smooth paste. the freshness and aroma of this masala paste is wonderful.

masala paste for dhansak

now that the veggies and lentils are cooked.

cooking veggies for veg dhansak

through a strainer or seive pass the lentils and veggies and mash with the back of a spoon while doing so.

veg dhansak recipe

there should be lumps at all. if using a fine strainer like the one i have, then the mashed veggies won’t be able to pass through it. so mash the veggies with a wooden spoon and then add it to the strained mixture.

dhansak parsi

i went for a smooth mixture, but it you want you can keep some texture by not mashing the veggies smoothly.

dhansak

now heat ghee. add onions and saute them. i used the same pressure cooker. did not want additional pans for washing :-)

dhansak

add the dhansak masala paste and saute till the raw aroma goes away.

dhansak

add the strained and mashed lentils and veggie mixture to the masala paste. simmer for some minutes.

dhansak

finally add the tamarind juice and simmer for some more minutes. if you look very carefully you will see the dark tamarind juice color almost off the center on the right hand side.

dhansak recipe

serve the dhansak, hot with brown rice.

dhansak with brown rice

or you can also have dhansak like a soup with some warm toasted bread or garlic bread. dhansak also tastes awesome both with rice and bread.

if you are looking for more curry recipes then do check palak mushroom, aloo chole masala, rajma masala, spinach paneer and butter paneer masala.

veg dhansak recipe details below:

4.0 from 2 reviews

vegetable dhansak recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
dhansak – a vegetable and lentil preparation. a traditional parsi lentil recipe.
Author:
Recipe type: main
Cuisine: parsi
Serves: 5-6
Ingredients
For the dhansak – lentils and veggies:
  • 1 cup arhar dal/pigeon pea lentils
  • ¼ cup moong dal/green gram lentils
  • ¼ cup masoor dal/pink lentils
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4-5 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 medium size potatoes, chopped
  • 3 cups chopped bottlegourd/lauki OR
  • 2-3 medium size aubergines/baingan, 1 cup chopped pumpkin/kaddu and 1 cup chopped bottlegourd
  • 4 tbsp fresh fenugreek leaves/methi or 1 tbsp dry fenugreek leaves/kasuri methi
  • 3-4 tsp tamarind pulp
  • 2 to 3 tbsp ghee
  • 4 cups water
  • salt to taste
For the dhansak masala:
  • 12 garlic pods
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 and ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large cinnamon of 2 inches or 2 to 3 smaller sized cinnamon
  • 8-9 cloves
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1-2 red chilies or ½ tbsp red chili powder
  • 2 green chilies
Instructions
Preparing the lentils and veggies:
  1. pick and rinse the lentils.
  2. mix all the chopped veggies and lentils together in a pressure cooker.
  3. add 4 cups water and pressure cook the dals and veggies till they are done.
  4. strain the dals and veggie mixture through a strainer.
Preparing the dhansak masala:
  1. grind all the ingredients for the masala with some water to a fine paste.
  2. keep the paste aside.
Making the tamarind pulp:
  1. take a small marble sized tamarind and soak it in 2-3 tbsp warm water for 20-30 minutes.
  2. when the tamarind becomes soft, your pulp is ready. also squeeze the tamarind with your palm and extract the juices in the same bowl.
Preparing the dhansak:
  1. heat ghee in a pan.
  2. add chopped onions and saute them till they become transparent.
  3. add the ground dhansak masala and saute it for 3-4 minutes.
  4. now add the lentils and veggie mixture.
  5. simmer for a 5-6 minutes and then add the tamarind pulp.
  6. for a slightly thinner consistency, you can add some hot water to the dhansak
  7. simmer for some 5 minutes or more till the raw aroma and taste of the tamarind goes away.
  8. serve the dhansak hot with brown rice.

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Asha Sivan March 14, 2014 1

Dear Madam,

You are really great. I am a Keralite brought up in Gujarat. I want to taste something new so I will definitely try this one. Earlier I tried your recipe for Veg Hyderabadi Biriyani. It was perfect. The snaps are very clear and motivating too. Though I use internet since last 10 years I wonder why I did not search for recipes on net. Instead I always preferred cooking shows on TV. Since last three months I am going through your recipes. All these years I was wandering here and there. Now I am settled in Trivandrum (Capital city of Kerala). I am a vegetarian and I alwalys prefer North Indian food when I go out, but here the hotel food (north Indian food ) dont have that taste. I mean here people r good at cooking other stuff. So now I rely on self cooking for all North Indian Food. Thanks for all your effort and All the best.
I even enjoy reading about your college experiences and family preferences. bye

Reply

dassana amit March 14, 2014 2

welcome asha and thanks for writing this motivating comment. i loved reading it. actually most hotels are good in cooking the regional cuisine of their state. e.g. in north india, we don’t get good idli and dosa easily.

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dassana amit March 9, 2014 3

welcome denisha ji

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denisha March 9, 2014 4

Thank you Dasanna ji
i m a vegetarian and i was looking for this recipe in the vegetarian version,
your recipe is simple and was looking great.
i m surely gonna try out this recipe

regards

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dassana amit March 9, 2014 5

welcome denisha

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Kanchan December 1, 2013 6

Here is one dish made from Raw Jackfruit, it is normally made by our Konkani Community. Many more receipies are there. Jacfruit Fritters are even better then the curry, but its a matter of taste. http://www.aayisrecipes.com/side-dishes/raw-jackfruit-in-coconut-lentil-saucekadgi-randayi/

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dassana December 1, 2013 7

thanks kanchan.

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Anisha April 22, 2013 8

Dear Dassana,
Wonderful recipe and so easy to follow thanks to all the great images!
I am half-Parsi and adore Dhansak daal. In fact, it is often cooked meatless, and non-veg Dhansaak is not auspicious to eat on birthdays and other special occasions, which is when the Parsis usually eat very simple Dhan-Daar (rice and a smooth yellow toor daal with a simple tarkha). Anyway, if you want to learn more about Parsi cooking, I can recommend the truly amazing book “My Bombay Kitchen” by Niloufer Ichaporia King (University of California Press, 2008), it’s not only a beautifully made book, it is really accessible and well-written and researched. You’ll find a number of excellent vegetarian recipes (also non-veg of course) in this book and it’s a real treasure.

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dassana April 22, 2013 9

glad you liked the recipe anisha. i know through my parsi friends that non veg dhansak is not made on auspicious ocassions. thanks for suggesting the book. i shall be buying it soon.

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MCN August 12, 2012 10

This recipe turned out great! I have tried many other Dhansaak recipes but nothing turned out as good as this one.

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dassana August 13, 2012 11

thanks MCN and thats a great compliment for a recipe.

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syamala and bhanu April 7, 2012 12

amazing receipe. my wife is still licking her fingers and my kids love it. For them a made a slightly less spicey version. As my wife is from from vizag she has never really been exposed to the food other then south indian. i have one request. some time back when we were newly married my ex boss invited us for dinner at his house. there we had this amazing dish made of kaccha jackfruit chopped into big peices and cooked in some delicious mix of spices. we dont know its name but it was brown in colour and it was a north indian dish (he was from Dehradun). we tried looking up for this receipe for sometime. could you help me with it. thanks again for this great receipe

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dassana April 7, 2012 13

good to know bhanu that your family liked the dhansak. thanks.

i have never heard about this jackfruit recipe. i will try to find out and if possible will also write about it.

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Suzanne February 27, 2012 14

We absolutely love this recipe and have made it several times. Thank you!

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Richa@HobbyandMore January 27, 2012 15

one of parsi neighbors used to make chicken dhansak back home.. but its been 15 years since i moved.. thank you for the steps and the masala and the research…. this is going to get made soon! yummmmmmmmmm!

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dassana January 27, 2012 16

do let me know how the dhansak turns out.

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Neela December 19, 2011 17

Your receipe snaps looks only yummy with proper measurement of all ingredients step by step dassana, all receipes are simply superb.

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dassana December 25, 2011 18

thanks neela

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Natalie December 11, 2011 19

This looks lovely. Did you use all the masala paste in the dish?

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dassana December 25, 2011 20

yes natalie, i used all the masala paste in the recipe.

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Kalyan December 3, 2011 21

Just mouthwatering…looks so easy to prepare and delicious!

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Mani Patel November 29, 2011 22

Thanks a ton. By the way, I AM A PARSI AND A VEG One at that. Now a another request!!!! Could you provide with Dhan Dal and Veg. Patia Recipe. Patia always has fish included in the recipe but I did have Veg. Patia at a restaurant on my way to Navsari. The cook was not available to procure the recipe. So a Parsi Dhandal & Veg. Patia please. Wow this is great.

Mani

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dassana November 29, 2011 23

dear mani, its rare to be a parsi and a veg. great to know that. all my parsi friends and acquaintances were non vegetarians.

i checked the recipe for dhan dal patia in a cookbook and found out that it has fish. let me see how i can make a dhan dal and veg patia. will surely post the recipe when i make it. i also plan to post some more vegetarian parsi recipes.

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Sharyn Dimmick November 28, 2011 24

That masala paste is gorgeous — I’ll be making some of that.

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Maria November 28, 2011 25

I will surely try this yum dish

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