Vegetarian Dhansak Recipe

By 10 comments

Vegetarian Dhansak Dal.

Also known as parsi masala dal.

Note: You will need a Pressure Cooker or an Instant Pot.

All spices are available on (click on link)


1 cup yellow lentils (tuvar daal)

60 gm pumpkin-peeled and diced (about 1/2 cup)

60 gm egg plant/baingan-diced

1 cup fenugreek leaves (methi)-washed and chopped

1 large (125 gm) potato-peeled and diced

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 Tbsp salt

1/4 cup (60 gm) oil

1 cup grated onions (250 gm)

2 tsp ginger paste (2 tbsp chopped)

1 cup chopped tomatoes (250 gm)

3 Tbsp Dhansak masala

1 Tbsp lemon juice


For the dal mixture:

Cook the dal with pumpkin, eggplant, fenugreek leaves, potatoes, turmeric, a pinch of salt and some water.

Final preparation – do the tempering ( tadka )

In a non-stick pan, heat oil. Saute onions, garlic and ginger, till they turn light brown.

Add the tomatoes and dhansak masala and saute till fat separates.

Add the dal mixture, bring to a boil, then simmer for about 5 minutes.

Mash up all to a smooth puree.

Shut the flame and add lemon juice.

Serve hot with brown rice. *

  • For extra vegetables – I add green peas, carrots and green beans to the  rice.
  • Vegetarian dhanshak vegetables are in the dal. You can add veggies and then puree the dal.

    TIPS for Vegetables ( based on 1 cup of tuver dal lentils)
    Potatoes my husband loves them. Leave whole. Do not puree, vegetarians love potatoes!
    Fenugreek fresh small bunch.
    Green scallions 2
    1 onion chopped.
    2 slices of fresh eggplant, skin onis fine.
    3 one inch pieces of fresh or frozen squash. I use locally sourced butternut squash or orange pumpkin.
    Small bunch of fresh coriander (aka kothmir or chinese parsley)
    2 sprigs of fresh mint
    1 tomato chopped

    LINK to buy – All spices are available on

Books available on Amazon Manna of the 21st Century: Parsi Cuisine Paperback Hardcover Indian Parsi Kitchen Celebrations: Celebrating Zoroastrian Festivals and Traditions Dhansak: Parsi Cuisine


Celebrating Navroze – 2016 Shahenshahi New Year – Parsi Cuisine

Aug 8, 2016, 2:03 pm

[…] potato preparation), chicken farchas, patra ni machchi (fish steamed in a leaf), mutton pulao and dhansak dal, kid gosh and saas ni machchi (a thick white gravy with pomfret) jostle for space on the table. […]

Priyadarshan Pradhan

Oct 10, 2016, 9:21 pm

methi leaves – small or big?


Oct 10, 2016, 10:04 pm

Methi leaves can be big or small. Do chop them fine, so they blend into the dal. ūüôā

Mutton Pulao – Indian Parsi Cuisine

Dec 12, 2017, 1:05 pm

[…] mutton pulao with vegetarian dhansak masala dar. Spicy lentil Dhansak is a puree made to go with rice pilaf. Sample recipe from my Meats Parsi […]

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Jan 1, 2018, 3:40 pm


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Oct 10, 2018, 4:08 pm

[…] with crisply fried potato sticks; the plump globes of Parsi¬†paneer¬†soaked in salty whey. But the¬†dhansak¬†that everyone raved about, the¬†patra ni macchi, the gloppy¬†akuri, the eggy¬†lagan-nu-custard‚Ķ […]

chandran nedungadi

Nov 11, 2020, 1:44 am

For those with allergic reaction to brinjal which vegetable could be a substitute? Are there other combinations of vegetables that can be used in dhansak?

Rita Jamshed Kapadia

Nov 11, 2020, 4:23 pm

Hi Chandran, you can leave the brinjal out of the dhansak dal. Not a big taste difference.

Other vegetables to use are pumpkin (kohru), tomatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic pod and fresh dhania (coriander leaves). Use one of each. I also add fresh sprig of mint if available.

Kal San

Sep 9, 2022, 7:35 pm

What is the dhansak masala ? Link please?

Oct 10, 2022, 6:16 pm

Recipe is in my cookbook. Manna of the 21st century Parsi cuisine by Rita Jamshed Kapadia. Available on

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