Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dhansak Vegetarian

A famous Parsi Dish Dhansak usually contains meat. But its vegetarian version with lentils n vegetables in a very flavourful blend of spices is a  tasty affair and a dish that brightens your day. It is traditionally served with brown rice. 
My love for dhansak is understandable because i believe it is very wholesome and interestingly spiced.It is perfect to enchant the kids in to having their vegetables n dal without being dull.

So here goes my recipe-----


  • Tuvar Dal - 1/4 cup
  • Masoor Dal - 1/4 cup
  • Moong Dal - 1/4 cup
  • Chana Dal - 1/4 cup
  • Red/Yellow Pumpkin- 1 cup (peeled n cubed)
  • Potato- 1 (peeled n diced)
  • Brinjal/ Eggplant -1 medim (washed n diced)
  • Onions- 2 (medim- finely sliced)
  • Tomato-2 (chopped)
Spices, Herbs n Others:-
  • Turmeric powder- a pinch or two
  • Kasuri methi/dried fenugreek leaves - 1 tbsp (soaked in little hot water with a pinch of salt)
  • Tamarind paste - 1/2 tbsp
  • Butter/ oil- 1 to 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander- a handful (for garnish)
  • Mint leaves - little (for garnish)
For the Dhansak Masala Paste---

  • Garlic - 3 pods
  • Ginger - a small piece
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Coriander seeds - 2 tsp
  • Cinnamon - 1 small piece
  • Cardamom pods - 2 to 3
  • Cloves - 3
  • Black peppercorns - 5 to 6
  • Dry red chillies - 2 to 3
  • Shallots - 5 to 6


Preparing the spicy masala paste is the first step. Dry roast the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns and red chillies in medium heat.Set aside. 

Add little oil and roast the shallots to golden brown. Let them cool and then grind the shallots with the dry roasted ingredients along with seeds of the cardamom, garlic, ginger with little water to a fine paste. Keep aside.

Wash all the lentils in a bowl and add the cut vegetables. You can also add squash or gourd to the dhansak if you want. 

 Add enough water and pressure cook till done. 

I mashed the cooked veggie n dal a little to get an even texture.
Soak the kasuri methi in 2 tbsp of hot water.

Heat the butter/oil in a kadhai and add the ground spicy paste . Saute the paste for a few seconds and the fragrant paste will emanate a lovely feel in the kitchen.

Add the onions. Sauté them till they turn golden brown. 

Now add the tomatoes and cook till they become soft.

Now instead of the kasuri methi, if you have the Methi (fenugreek ) leaves add them and cook till they wilt.
Add the lentil-veggie mix along with the soaked kasuri methi ,tamarind pulp, salt, and let it simmer for some time till it gets to the required consistency.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves n mint . 

Serve hot with Rice. (Brown or Plain)

Sending this to MLLA# 30 guest hosted by Priya of Mharo rajasthan recipes, event announcement by Susan

Also sending it to DNSW:D hosted by Akila

Also sending this to   Jagruti's Complete My Thali - Daal hosted by Priya Srinivasan


  1. You've been busy!!!

    This looks fantastic. And I agree, all the healing herbs ans spices have to do great things for the body!

  2. Hi. Love the veg version of Dhansaak, it is wholesome and healthy.

  3. It's a new one for me..will make this dish soon...Bookmarked dear

  4. the recipe sounds very interesting with so many veggies and spices...

  5. Veg Dhansaak looks so inviting and mouthwatering. Marvelous!

    Hamaree Rasoi

  6. A wonderful Dhansak recipe..Looks very delicious.


  7. Interesting recipe, new for me..looks very delicious.

  8. have heard about this but never ate or cooked, so thanks for the recipe.:)

    US Masala

  9. Awesome ... I havn't eaten it for quite some years now ... but i still rem it ...

  10. Dhansak looks soo tempting and comforting..

  11. I love your step by step recipe. Thanks for sending it to my event :)

  12. Love the lentils you've used, looks healthy and delicious...

  13. Very healthy and delicious dish... love the way u described step by step :)

  14. Flavourful and delicious dish.Looks lovely.

  15. Dhansak looks very good...healthy too with a combination of lentils...high protein dish...thks for sharing the recipe.

  16. Great! I will suggest this to my Aunt. Her children are very choosy.

  17. Healthy & Delicious!!!! Thanks for Sending this to CMT!!!

  18. This is an interesting way of having veggies and dhal... Your step-by-step pictures are too good

  19. Very interesting recipe...Nice combination of flavors!