Dhansak is a one pot goodness originating among the Parsi Zoroastrian community in India , this dish has elements of Persian and Gujarati cuisine . The recipe can look very long and intimidating but it is really an easy one , this dish is not only very delicious but also nutritious and here i will share the recipe that my mom shared and the one I grew up with . Serve it up with a special rice made with caramelized onions and a quick salad . This dish is seasoned with a special Dhansak masala that you can choose to make at home or obtain it online and Indian store .


I will mention substitutes for some of the things in the ingredients list You may make this dish vegetarian by leaving the meat out .

If you make this dish with without the meat , just cook the lentils as mentioned and then saute the onions to golden brown , with the whole spices, ginger, garlic and then add the cooked lentils with the masala to that . Simmer as mentioned and then serve .

Dhansak masala ( Spice Powder recipe )

1 cup whole corriander seeds

1/4 cup cumin seeds

1 tbs pepper corns

1 tbs fenugreek seeds

1 tbs black mustard seeds

8 to 10 whole dried red chillies

1 1/2 tbs or turmeric powder

3 bay leaves

1 -2 cinnamon sticks

6 to 8 green cardamoms

1 tsp ginger powder


Roast all the whole spices on a low flame just enough to warm and toast them: cinnamon , cardamom, bay leaves , coriander , peppercorns, cumin , fenugreek, whole chillies . Grind all this to a fine powder , mix in the ginger powder and turmeric powder and store in an air tight container .

Ingredients for prepping the meat

1 1/2 pound goat meat

1 large onion sliced

1 tbs of ginger paste

6 to 7 cloves of peeled who garlic

1 tbs coriander powder

1 tsp chilli powder

3 -green cardamom

4- 4 to 5 peppercorns

4 to 5 – cloves

1 tsp – sugar

3 tbs -Any Neutral cooking oil

just a little sate to taste to season the meat about 1/2 tsp

Ingredients for Prepping the lentils

1/4 cup – Red lentils

1/4 cup – Pegion peas

1/4 cup – Bengal gram lentil

1/4 cup – yellow mung lentil

1 medium – Potato quartered

1 small – Eggplant quartered

2 medium – Tomatoes Chopped

1/2 cup – Red pumpkin medium dice or Substitute with butternut squash

1/2 cup – Bottle gourd medium dice or substitute with peeled and chopped zucchini .

1/2 cup – Fresh, frozen fenugreek leaves or 1 tbs of dried fenugreek after soaking for 15 mins in warm water . or leave it out all together.

1/2 tsp turmeric powder


Heat oil on medium flame in a dutch oven or a heavy bottom pan , add the whole spices , sugar and onions saute untild the onions are golden brown , now add ginger and garlic saute this for 30 seconds ,add the coriander powder , chilli powder and the meat , sear the meat on high flame for about a 1 , Add warm water ,cover and leave to slow cook until fork tender .

While the meat cooks lets prep the lentils .

Wash and soak the lentils for 2 hours in warm water or over night if you like . Put all the lentils in your instant pot , add water enough to cover the lentils , add all the vegetables , turmeric and cook for 35 mins , natural release . Add salt to taste and mash all the lentils with a hand blender or potato masher .

Putting it all Together.

Once the meat is fork tender , add the, 1 to 2 Tbs Dhansak masala ( spice powder), cooked and mashed lentils to the pot of the meat , and simmer for another 8 to 10 minutes , add some chopped mint leaves optional . and serve with steam rice or traditional Parsi brown rice .

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s