October 8, 2018 Instant Pot: Dhansak (Lentils with meat) or Masala Dal (Lentils without meat)

Instant Pot: Dhansak (Lentils with meat) or Masala Dal (Lentils without meat)

Instant Pot (IP) Recipe of the Parsi Dhansak  by Rita Kapadia

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

This dhansak was made in an instant pot which is a pressure cooker with souped up button controls. Gives you the flexibility of walking away and setting it on a timer.

As you may already know dhansak is a difficult dish to make, however, I have simplified the instant pot steps, so do give it a try.

Vegetarians can leave the meat out and make the masala dal, it comes out very good. Dhansak dal without the meat is referred by indian parsis as “Masala Dal”.

Also, this author has read and used the Vividh Vani cookbook by Meherbai Jamshedji Wadia and found that chicken (marghi) dhansak is a very a traditional dish made by parsis in Mumbai (Bombay) in the 1800s.

 Step 1: Place all these tempering (Vaghar) ingredients in your instant pot and saute using the “Brown” function for 5 minutes

  • 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 Badshah Dhansak Masala.

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

  • Salt and Black Pepper powder to taste.

     Immediately add step 2 dhansak ingredients to this tempering (Vaghar).

Step 2

For the Dhansak dal: place all the following in the Instant Pot and cook on “Pressure” mode for 5 minutes (no more)  Use “Beans” function button:


  • 1 lb Chicken skinned and washed. ( Lamb, Goat can be substituted )

  • 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.

Step 3

  1. In the Instant Pot (IP) do the step 1 and 2.

  2. Open  IP and remove meat and potatoes. Set aside in serving container.

  3. Mash the dal in the IP with electric blender or by hand. Add water if needed.

  4. Close IP cover

  5. Press IP button to simmer (Slow cook) and set for 3 minutes.

  6. Open IP by using the Stop button and setting the valve on “Steam”.

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

  8. Add the meat and potatoes and simmer 5 more minutes in a serving bowl.

 Dhansak is served with Hot Brown Rice and Kachumber.

Paperback or eBook on Parsi Dhansak by Rita Kapadia

Includes step-by-step instructions for the Regular pressure cooker process and Instant Pot process.



Since 1999 to date we celebrate 20 years of www.ParsiCuisine.com. ParsiCuisine.com, now with over 637,000 hits. Not to mention the social media of facebook, twitter. Rita has authored “Parsi Cuisine The Manna of the 21st Century” and ten individual series cookbooks with matched digital e-cookbooks; She was recently invited to Gleason Library and the Boston Athenaeum, Boston, MA to demonstrate and talk about Parsi Food. Rita's Parsi Cuisine Cookbooks are a labor of love. The cookbooks began in an effort to maintain and preserve our recipes and traditions for the next generation, many of whom have been raised in USA, UK, Australia, France, Germany,Canada and other countries outside of India. Printed Paperback of the Ancient cooking book “Vividh Vani” by Meherbai Jamshedji Wadia: Through software and amazon services, We have managed to print the “Vividh Vani” in high quality paper . You can now own a brand-new copy of the Vividh Vani in strong paper bound books. These printed volumes are exactly the same antique and original books of Meherbai Jamshedji Wadia. They include photos and letters of the Wadia family. They are a legacy item for the parsi kom that can be preserved another 1000 years and more!  * This site offers free downloads of old traditional parsi cookbook volumes of the "Vividh Vani". Translation to English effort is on-going, you will find some translated recipes here. You can follow her on Twitter @ParsiCuisine and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ParsiCuisine.

6 thoughts on “Instant Pot: Dhansak (Lentils with meat) or Masala Dal (Lentils without meat)

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