Cook's Hideout: Vegetable Dhansak

May 03, 2015

Vegetable Dhansak

Blogging Marathon# 52: Week 1/ Day 1
Theme: Parsi Dishes
Dish: Vegetable Dhansak
We are going to our regular 3 day schedule of Blogging Marathon this month and my theme for this week is 'Parsi Dishes'. Parsis, meaning Persians, are the followers of the ancient Persian religion known as Zoroastrianism. They emigrated to India from Persia to avoid religious persecution by the Muslims.
While looking for Parsi dishes, I came across this lovely post by Peri. She is a Parsi blogger and her blog has tons of delicious Parsi (and non-Parsi) recipes. In that explains, she explains the different between Indian and Parsi food and how parsi cuisine is unique. Do check it out more details.
For my first day, I made a very flavorful and spicy Dhansak. It is a hearty dish with lentils, vegetables and choice of meat (which I skipped, of course). It is flavored with aromatic spice blend and is usually served with Parsi brown rice and a kachumber salad (cucumber salad). I didn't make the rice, so served the dhansak with some roti.
Vegetable Dhansak

As I already mentioned, this dish is very spicy -- I mean not hot spicy, but uses lots of spices. You can buy dhansak masala (I don't remember seeing it here in NJ though) or make your own.
This dish uses a mix of lentils, I've seen recipes with 2~5 different lentils. I used 3 lentils - toor, masoor and moong. Also it has more than 3 different veggies added to it. The good thing is it is very versatile and your choice of veggies (like eggplant, zucchini, kale, any hard squash, sweet potatoes, spinach etc) can be used.
This dish is not the most photogenic but is very tasty and goes well with roti or rice.
Vegetable Dhansak
Recipe adapted from here & here: Ingredients: Serves 3~4 people
For the Lentil-Veggie Mixture (or Dhansak):
Toor dal - ½cup
Masoor dal - 2tbsp
Moong dal - 2tbsp
Potato - 1 medium, chopped
Bottle gourd/ Sorakaya/ Lauki - ½cup, chopped
Pumpkin - ½cup, chopped
Tomatoes - 2, chopped
Methi leaves - 3tbsp (or use 2tsp kasoori methi)
Spring Onions - 4~5, chopped
Tamarind pulp - 1tbsp (adjust per taste)
Salt - to taste

For Dhansak Masala:
Green chilies - 2 (add more if you like it spicy)
Dry red chilies - 3~4 (adjust per taste)
Garlic - 4cloves
Ginger - ½" piece
Cloves - 2
Black peppercorns - 2
Cardamom pod - 1
Coriander seeds - 2tsp
Cumin seeds - 1tsp
Cilantro - 1tbsp, chopped

  • Make the Dhansak Masala: Grind all the ingredients into a smooth paste just little water. Set aside.
  • To make Dhansak: Combine dals, potato, bottle gourd, pumpkin, tomatoes and methi leaves in a pressure cooker. Add 4cups of water and pressure cook until everything is well cooked. 
  • Blend the mixture until very smooth with an immersion blender. Alternately the mixture can be strained through a sieve to remove any lumps and make it smooth.
  • Heat 2tbsp ghee in a pan. Add the chopped spring onions and cook till wilted. Add the dhansak masala and cook for 3~4 minutes or until it doesn't smell raw anymore.
  • Add the lentil & veggie mixture. Cook for 5~6 minutes and add the tamarind pulp.
  • If the mixture looks too thick, add water to thin it out. Simmer for 5~6minutes or until the tamarind is cooked through.
  • Serve dhansak hot with Parsi brown rice or rotis.
Vegetable Dhansak
Lets check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked today for BM# 52.


  1. Lipsmacking vegetable dhansak, i have tried a non veg version and this version makes me hungry.

  2. What a hearty and filling dish! I have heard of this dish but have never tasted it before. Sounds delicious.

  3. Wow ! What a healthy meal! Looks yummy.

  4. Pictures are not as bad as you say they are. The food does not look very appetizing but that is how it is. Considering that, in thing the pics came out pretty good.

  5. Agree on the photogenic part, but i sgree its a very very flavorful dish. My friend makes excellent Dhansak and I simply love rhis dish!

  6. Looks so wonderful Pavani! I have dhansak in my to make list for a long time but never got a chance. The masala looks really flavorful.

  7. I now see what you're saying. It did look better on my phone than it does on the computer. I think it's just the texture of the dhansak itself. Regardless, I am sure it was delicious with this combination of spices and ingredients.

  8. I love Dhansak and enjoyed it when I had made..that's a great source for parsi food..

  9. Such a healthy dish. Looks yummy

  10. That sure makes one filling meal with that flavorful dhansak.

  11. Sounds very flavorful and delicious. Beautiful presentation as well.

  12. This dish looks so delicious and filling.

  13. We loved the taste, especially of that masala while sauting!!! rich and comforting dish!


Thank you for stopping by my Hideout.

I really appreciate your feedback, so please feel free to leave your comment. I read all the comments you post, but I may not respond to them. Thank you for your time and hope you enjoyed your stay.

Have a Wonderful Day!!


Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin
Blogging tips