June 22, 2018 Parsi Dhansak Recipe. (Also spelt as  Dhansaak, Dhanshak,  Dhunsak, Thansak)

Parsi Dhansak Recipe. (Also spelt as  Dhansaak, Dhanshak,  Dhunsak, Thansak)


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

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

Parsi Dhansak Recipe: Parsi Dhansak for the good times by Rita


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.

Enjoy and have a good time!

Click here to get my Dhansak Cookbook 

Best regards,





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21 thoughts on “Parsi Dhansak Recipe. (Also spelt as  Dhansaak, Dhanshak,  Dhunsak, Thansak)

  1. Hi Goody, Thanks for dropping a line. Yes, I have seen the same, water is needed for the dhansak dar, since it soaks up the water while cooking.

    The old parsi adage of having water to a depth of 1 inch over this dhansak dar/s works for the Instant Pot / Slow Cookers and Pressure cookers.


  2. Hello. For the person who asked about the slow cooker idea… I have made dhansak this way. I first do the Vaghar and then add in the dar, veggies, and meat (if using). Cook only for few min. Transfer to slow cooker and cook low for about 6 hrs or high for 4 hrs. I usually put it on at night and your next days lunch is ready in the morning.

    V IMPT!!! Make sure you have enough water. A good rule is enough water to cover everything plus about an inch or so more.

  3. What setting in the instant pot? Pressure – normal or high? Quick or natural release (how long?)? Thanks

  4. Deedee, I suppose you can cook/boil the dal in a slow cooker till it is cooked, will take a looong time. I usually do not have the patience! I have used my Instant Pot and it comes out delicious.

  5. Rita,
    I love dhansak! Thanks for sharing this recipe. Is there a readymade dhansak masala that you like?

  6. Yes thats correct. Use the ginger garlic and chillies paste mentioned in the vaghar ingredients. You can mix all of the vaghar ingredients and make a total paste or saute the wet paste first and then the dry powders. You choice, use low heat while sauting and roast them well (in hindi we say bhunao). Hope this helps.

  7. Could you please explain : In step 4 of the recipe you have asked to add the paste. It is the paste of the ingredients of Vaghar ? Once I know this I am sure to try this…

  8. Hi Meher,
    Here is a recipe for dhanshak masala. It is from my cookbook, enjoy.

    Dhansaak Masala Powder Recipe
    1 Kg. Coriander seeds (Dhanya seeds)
    200 grms Cumin (Jeera Seeds)
    100 grms Black Pepper (Kali Mirchi)
    100 grms Fenugreek seeds (Methi seeds)
    100 grms Black Mustard seeds (Rai)
    300 grms Red Chilies
    200 grms Haldi (Turmeric powder)
    50 grms Tej Patta (Tamal Patta)
    20 grms Badyan (Black Flower shaped anise pods)
    20 grms Lavang (Cloves)
    20 grms Dalchini (Cinnamon sticks)
    20 grms Dry Soonth (Ginger powder)
    20 grms Elaichi (Cardamom powder)

    1. Check and clean all ingredients for debris and keep in sunlight for 1 day.
    2. Roast on Tava taking care to prevent scorching.
    3. Cool. Then grind into a powder in a Ninja Machine or Masala chakki.
    4. Let the Masala cool. Sieve and fill in airtight containers.

  9. Hi I usually buy readymade dhanshak masala but would live to make it at home. Could u pls help me with this. Thanks. Meher. . Frm Mumbai.


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