I made this vegetarian Dhanshak using the recipe given to me by my friend Hetal Dholakia and with homemade Dhanshak Masala.

Vegetarian Dhanshak: Parsi Mixed Vegetables and Dal Medley
Vegetarian Dhanshak

During the lockdown, one way we friends alleviated food boredom was by sharing food we made in our homes. One of my indulgences during this period was this hearty vegetarian Dhanshak made by Hetal. It was so delicious, filling and comforting that I immediately asked her for her recipe. Then I was inspired to make the Dhanshak masala at home and that I think gave my vegetarian some extra oomph.

Coming back to Dhanshak, it is an absolute comfort food from the vastly underrated Parsi Cuisine and is traditionally made with mutton. Of course, in India, like everything else, we make a vegetarian version that is just as delicious. (I made this statement to provoke all my non-vegetarian friends who will start a “Dhanshak is not Dhanshak without mutton just like there is no vegetarian Biryani” debate.

And here is the first shot across the bow! 😀 😀

“Owing to health factors and the growing fear for red meat, Dhanshak these days is made with chicken too. Bah! To me that is sacrilege!! People also make the same dal without any mutton or chicken and claim to have made ‘Vegetarian Dhanshak’. There is no such thing like ‘Vegetarian Dhanshak’. When we Bawas make this dal without any mutton it’s called ‘Masala ni Dar’, says Kainaaz Writer Bokdawalla, a true blue Parsi.

What I like about this dish is its robustness, and the fact that I can serve it either with Parsi Brown Rice as is traditionally done or then as a side to bread or pav as my father likes it.

Thank you Hetal, for this super simple recipe!

Parsi Vegetarian Dhanshak
Parsi Vegetarian Dhanshak

If you like such dishes that combine lentils and vegetables, do try my recipes for:

How to Make Parsi Dhanshak

  1. Getting Started
    1. To a large bowl, add 1/2 cup tuvar dal, 1/4 cup chana dal, 2 tbsp masoor dal, 1 tbsp whole moong (green moong), and 1 tbsp moong dal (dhuli moong).
    2. Wash them well, and then soak in 2 cups water for about 30 minutes. This is an optional step but the soaked dal will cook easily and become completely mashable. 
    3. After the dals have soaked well, drain all the water.
    4. Grind together 2 green chillies, 1″ piece of ginger and 3 cloves of garlic into a coarse paste.
  2. Cooking the Mix
    1. Mix together the soaked dals, 3 small brinjals cut to pieces, 1 chopped tomato, 1/2 cup chopped pumpkin pieces, 1/2 cup bottle gourd pieces, 1/2 cup methi leaves, and 1 medium-sized potato cut to small pieces. 
    2. Add 2 cups water.
    3. Pressure cook for 4 to 6 whistles, or then for about 30 mins on low flame so that the vegetables and dal is well-cooked.
    4. Let the cooker cool and take the vessel out of the cooker.
    5. Using a whisk, mash the mix so that the dal and vegetables disintegrate. I did not use a hand-blender because I did not want a puree but a mash with some texture to it. Since I soaked the dals and pressure cooked it quite a bit, my mix was easily mashed with a heavy ladle or a whisk.

    6. Set aside.
  3. Putting it All Together
    1. In a heavy-bottomed vessel or kadhai, heat 1 tbsp oil.
    2. Add 1/2 cup finely chopped onion and fry till transparent.
    3. Add the green chilli-ginger-garlic paste and stir-fry for a few seconds till the mix is aromatic.
    4. Add 2 tbsp Dhanshak Masala and stir-fry for 1 minute till the raw aroma of the masala dissipates.
    5. Lower the heat and add the mashed dal-vegetable mix, and salt.
    6. Mix well and let the mix cook on low heat for a couple of minutes.

  4. Serve Dhanshak hot with some Parsi Brown Rice or then just bread or Pav.
Parsi Dhanshak
Parsi Dhanshak

Recipe for Vegetarian Dhanshak

Dhanshak: The Parsi Dal and Vegetable Medley

Aruna
There is something super comforting about this Vegetarian Dhanshak that is made with a variety of dals and vegetables. Dhanshak and Parsi Brown Rice is just what is needed on a winter day (or any other day) to warm you.
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Soaking Time 30 mins
Course Brunch, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Indian, Parsi, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings 4 People
Calories 253 kcal
Equipment
  • 2 x Heavy-bottomed vessel (1.5 ltr capacity)
  • Whisk
Ingredients
  
The Pulses
  • 1/2 Cup Tuvar Dal
  • 1/4 Cup Tuvar Dal
  • 2 tbsp Masoor Dal
  • 2 tbsp Whole Moong
  • 2 tbsp Moong Dal
The Vegetables
  • 3 Baby Brinjals
  • 1 Medium-sized Tomato
  • 1 Medium-sized Potato
  • 1/2 Cup Pumpkin Pieces
  • 1/2 Cup Bottlegourd Pieces
  • 1/2 Cup Methi Leaves
  • 1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Onion
For Spice Paste
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • 1 ” Piece Ginger
  • 3-4 Cloves Garlic
Other Ingredients
  • 2-3 tbsp Dhanshak Masala
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • Salt to Taste
Instructions
 
Getting Started
  • Mix together 1/2 cup tuvar dal, 1/4 cup chana dal, 2 tbsp masoor dal, 2 tbsp whole moong (green moong), and 2 tbsp moong dal (dhuli moong).
  • Wash them well, and then soak in 2 cups water for about 30 minutes. This is an optional step but the soaked dal will cook easily and become completely mashable.
  • After the dals have soaked well, drain all the water.
  • Grind together 2 green chillies, 1″ piece of ginger and 3 cloves of garlic into a coarse paste.
Cooking the Mix
  • Mix together the soaked dals, 3 small brinjals cut to pieces, 1 chopped tomato, 1/2 cup chopped pumpkin pieces, 1/2 cup bottle gourd pieces, 1/2 cup methi leaves, and 1 medium-sized potato cut to small pieces.
  • Add 2 cups water.
  • Pressure cook for 4 to 6 whistles, or then for about 30 mins on low flame so that the vegetables and dal is well-cooked.
  • Let the cooker cool and take the vessel out of the cooker.
  • Using a whisk, mash the mix so that the dal and vegetables disintegrate. I did not use a hand-blender because I did not want a puree but a mash with some texture to it. Since I soaked the dals and pressure cooked it quite a bit, my mix was easily mashed with a heavy ladle or a whisk.
  • Set aside.
Putting It All Together
  • In a heavy-bottomed vessel or kadhai, heat 1 tbsp oil.
  • Add 1/2 cup finely chopped onion and fry till transparent.
  • Add the green chilli-ginger-garlic paste and stir-fry for a few seconds till the mix is aromatic.
  • Add 2 tbsp Dhanshak Masala and stir-fry for 1 minute till the raw aroma of the masala dissipates.
  • Lower the heat and add the mashed dal-vegetable mix, and mix well.
  • Let the mix cook on low heat for a couple of minutes.
  • Serve Dhanshak hot with some Parsi Brown Rice or then just bread or Pav.
Nutrition Facts
Dhanshak: The Parsi Dal and Vegetable Medley
Amount Per Serving
Calories 253 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 112mg5%
Potassium 290mg8%
Carbohydrates 41g14%
Fiber 12g50%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 1381IU28%
Vitamin C 12mg15%
Calcium 53mg5%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword Dhanshak, Masala ni Dal, Vegetarian Dhanshak
Tried this recipe?Do let me know how you liked it @aahaaram or tag #aahaaram!

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