Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Vegetable dhansak

After making that fantastic smelling dhansak masala powder, the next thing to do - obviously - was use it. So I made dhansak with lots of vegetables. I tried to find what sounded like an "authentic" Parsi recipe for dhansak online, but ended up chasing dhansak recipes all over the Net, hopping from site to site until I'd wasted so much time, I finally had to resort to an amalgamation of what I remembered from all the recipes I'd read. Otherwise dinner would never have materialised. Good thing Pete was late coming back from work!

Of course, since I had made the dry dhansak masala powder, I didnt have to make a "wet" masala. I used a mix of chana and masoor dal and what's called "green lentils" in the supermarkets here. Puy lentils in other words, although I'm not really certain of that. Anyway, the last-mentioned lentils hold their shape well even when cooked and dont mush up - I like them! I guess you can use tur, urad or even moong dal, I suppose. Whatever's at hand and to your taste.

Recipe for:
Vegetable Dhansak


1 cup mixed dals (I used chana, masoor and green lentils)
2 cups vegetables cut in medium chunks (potatoes, carrots, green beans, tomatoes)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 cup fresh spinach or methi (fenugreek greens), chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
4-5 fresh green chillies, finely chopped or ground to a paste with the ginger and garlic (use chillies to taste or omit altogether)
1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (optional)
1 htsp dhansak masala powder
2 tsp oil
Salt to taste


1. Cook the dals till tender and done, not necessarily mushy, on the hob or in a pressure cooker. Drain, mash lightly and set aside.

2. Cook the vegetables on the hob with just enough water (to which the turmeric has been added) to cover, until done. Reserve.

2. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the ginger-garlic paste. Add and fry the onions till they're soft and turning brown.

3. Then add the greens and stir well, sprinkle 2 tbsp water over it. Lower the heat, cover the pan and let the greens wilt, about 5 minutes.

4. Add the dhansak masala along with the vegetables and stir well to mix.

5. Finally add the cooked dals and mix in gently. Add salt to taste.

6. Let the dhansak simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring gently from time to time. After you turn the heat off, let the dhansak sit tightly covered for a few hours, to let the flavours mellow a little. Re-heat before serving hot with with plain rice.


shankari said...

now that you shown me this colorful dish, I will make it, I just have to buy netmeg this weekend

Anonymous said...

Gosh, what a lovely dish. Dhansak is a not very common in Gujarat style of cooking and therefore not frequent. I am gonna try it though. Thanks again and I do love your recipes.

Take care


nav said...


How are you doing ? Thanks for this recipe, it looks great. Check out http:// if you are interested!


Chandrika said...


Just when I am hunting for a new recipe, you give me this...An absolutely delicious dish...

Thank you! :-)

Krithika said...

Happy Diwali to you and your family, Shammi

vkn said...

Happy Deepawali Shammi. Here is my personal invitation to participate at VCC Q3 2006. The deadline has been extended to Oct 31. See you at the show. Cheers!

My Dhaba

Priya S&S said...

Happy Diwali to your and your family Shammi !

Anonymous said...

Shammi, you alright girl? No recipes of late.

Priya said...

Hey Shammi,
Long tome no see, hope alls well. Happy Deepavali to you

sarika said...

I wonder if you have tried cooking in olive oil. There is a common misconception that olive oil is only for mediterranean food. This isn't the case. Olive pomace oil is great for Indian food. It isn't too expensive either - because it is used in 1/3 the quantity and is reusable 3 times. You can fry in it too. And, of course, it's the best oil for health. Try it out. You can get it easily at . They provide the entire range of olive oil and of very high quality. And they deliver free and have a special discount for caterers! Olive oil is my new discovery as a cook. It seems you also look at cooking as a creative exercise, so I'm sure you'll enjoy experimenting with it. Try it out.

aspiring annapoorna said...

Thanks for the dhansak masala recipe shammi. I think pumpkin is an important ingredient in both veg and non-veg dhansak...just thought I'd mention that since it is pumpkin season in the west :)

Looking forward to your next cake...
Best, AA

Deborah said...

Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I made it on Wednesday and it turned out beautifully. I used yellow potato, sweet potato, peas and spinach. I will make this again soon for sure!
Take care,
Ontario, Canada

Lalitha said...

Hi, your recipes are really helpful. Thanks.