DHANSAK [dhan=rice AND sak=mixed vegetable dal]

The first thing I am asked to prepare each time I have a guest coming home! Dhansak, a popular Parsi dish which is not that unique, but somehow, has appealed to the tastebuds of many many people. Infact, the dish is so popular that I even had a friend who never tasted it, narrated just how he loved it!! 🙂

This is basically a Sunday Must in every Parsi home, usually prepared with Mutton/Tender Lamb as the first option, or alternately with Chicken or simply Veg. We shall learn the Veg option below as one has the option of adding meat of their choice as they desire…

This Dish Serves 5-6 persons


  • 2 cup toor dal
  • 1 cup moong dal
  • 1 cup orange masoor dal
  • 2 small onions
  • Ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoons each of turmeric, red chilli, garam masala, and dry dhansak masala powders
  • 2 tsp of methi seeds
  • 1 small slice pumpkin
  • 1 small capsicum
  • 2 small brinjals (about 1 cup chopped)
  • Salt to taste, 3-4 tblsp oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon


Preparation :

Time to Prepare : 15 minutes

Time to Cook : 20-25 minutes [since this is veg, else for mutton could take 45-50 minutes]

  1. Soak all 3 dals together for at least 30 minutes
  2. Heat the pressure cooker and add some oil to it
  3. Once the oil is hot, at medium flame, add the onions and sortè for 1 min
  4. Next add the ginger garlic paste and cook for 2 minutes till the onions are cooked well
  5. Now add all your masalas to the cooker and stir well until your kitchen starts emitting the aromas
  6. This is the time you need to add all your other chopped veggies to the cooker and mix well
  7. Once the veggies are mixed well, add the soaked dal along with 3-4 cups of water and salt to taste
  8. Close the lid and let it cook until 3-4 whistles [if you are cooking meat, please cook it with oil in a separate pan so it doesn’t get overcooked in the cooked]
  9. Remove the cooker from the gas, cool down, and then give it a good stir with a hand beater, you would love the thick rich consistency of this dal


Tip for Dhansak Rice : Use good Basmati Rice. In your pot, add oil, cumin seeds, 2-3 peppercorns, cinnamon stick and sliced onions. Once the onions get translucent, add 1 tsp of sugar and stir until it caramelises. Then add the rice and salt to taste with water and allow it to cook as per normal process.

For Veggies – You may serve this dish with Veg Cutlets or Veg Balls


Voila! Time for me to leave and dig into my Dhansak Pot already. What about you?



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