By ParsiCuisine.com 9 comments

Parsi Dhansak Recipe

(Also spelt as  Dhansaak, Dhanshak,  Dhunsak, Thansak)

Vegetarians can leave the meat out and make the dal, it comes out very good.


For the Dhansak dal:

  • 1 lb Chicken skinned and washed. (or Lamb, Goat Meat. Vegetarians can leave the meat out and make the dal, it comes out very good)

  • 1 1/2 cups Tuvar Dal washed and soaked for 30 minutes.

  • 1 large onion chopped.

  • 1 Tomato chopped.

  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves chopped.(optional)

  • 1/2 cup fresh methi leaves chopped.(optional)

  • 5 leaves of fresh mint.

  • 3 inch piece of yellow/orange pumpkin.

  • 2 Potatoes peeled and quartered.

  • 2 tsp salt.

  • 1 tsp Turmeric.

  • Water enough to cover the contents.

Vaghar ingredients:

  • 1 small onion finely chopped.

  • 2 tbsp oil.

  • 2 tsp Ginger/Garlic/Chili Paste. Make paste by grinding 1 inch piece of gingerroot, 4 cloves garlic and 2 hot Jalapeno chilies.

  • 2 tsp Dhansak Masala. (See recipes to make at home).

  • 2 tsp Dhana (coriander seeds) and Jeera (Cumin seeds) powder.

  • Salt and Black Pepper powder to taste.


  1. Put all of the above ingredients in a Pressure cooker and cook for 10 minutes only.

  2. Open cooker and remove meat and potatoes.

  3. Mash the dal with electric blender or by hand. Put in a large pot and bring to a simmer.

  4. Next do the “Vaghar”. Fry the onion in hot oil till brown. Lower heat and add the paste. Fry till aroma comes out.

  5. Add the rest of the vaghar dry powder ingredients and fry 1 minute on very slow heat. Immediately add this Vaghar to the simmering dhansak dal.

  6. Add water if needed.

  7. Taste and add salt/spices to your taste.

  8. Add the meat and potatoes and simmer 5 more minutes.

 Dhansak is served with Hot Brown Rice and Kachumber.

 Recipe is from our cookbook on Dhansak, click HERE to purchase.


Books available on Amazon Manna of the 21st Century: Parsi Cuisine Paperback https://www.amazon.com/dp/1090868391 Hardcover https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0962FML7W Indian Parsi Kitchen https://www.amazon.com/dp/1535410132 Celebrations: Celebrating Zoroastrian Festivals and Traditions https://www.amazon.com/dp/152381845X Dhansak: Parsi Cuisine https://amzn.to/4d92fuv


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Aug 8, 2018, 1:42 pm

I would love to try the vegetarian version, and I like the addition of pumpkin & potato in here.


Aug 8, 2018, 10:30 am

Good Idea.

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Oct 10, 2018, 8:27 am

Yes, the vegetarian version is called “Masala Dal” which has the unique dhansak flavor. Once you have it, you go back for more. Like Sambal Dal with dhosa and idli!


Mar 3, 2020, 5:48 pm

It’s the best recipe I ever had Thankyou Thankyou so much and God Bless you


Mar 3, 2020, 8:17 am

Thank you Parichehr, I like to make Dhansak for my family and hope you do for yourself.

Ask Rita