Dhansak with brown rice

Persian Rice Dish

Recipe by Padma Akella of

A traditional Parsi favourite, ideal for entertaining

Ingredients vegetarian 1 servings

  • ¼ tsp Garlic, paste
  • ¼ tsp Ginger, paste
  • ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
  • ½ bunch Red Chili Powder
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Mint for garnishing
  • 1 no. Onion, sliced
  • 5 pieces Cinnamon, whole
  • 3 pieces Cabbage
  • 2 nos. Cardamom, black/green
  • 4 nos. Bay leaves
  • 1 cup Lentil
  • ½ cup Bengal Gram (split)
  • ¾ cup Red Gram (split)
  • 2 nos. Onion, large(finely chopped)
  • 2 nos. Potato, medium(diced)
  • 1 no. Tomato, large(finely chopped)
  • 2 nos. Eggplant, medium(diced)
  • ½ cup Pumpkin (Red), diced (optional)
  • ½ cup Fenugreek Leaves, (finely chopped)
  • ¾ tsp All spice powder

4 tsp dhansak masala (powder) 3 cups rice 5 whole cloves 2 tsp sugar 1 tbsp butter/oil


For Dhansak :
  1. Wash all the dals and pressure cook with haldi, salt, half the amount of onion, potatoes, brinjals, methi and red pumpkin for 3 whistles.
  2. Mash to a rather fine consistency(no whole vegetable should be evident).
  3. In a kadhai heat oil and add the ginger-garlic paste and dhansak and garam masalas.
  4. Stir till oil seperates from the masala.
  5. To this add the rest of the chopped onion & fry till light brown.Add the tomato and cook till the mixture becomes pulpy.
  6. Add chilli as required.Now add the dal and simmer for 10 minutes till gravy thickens. Garnish with mint and serve hot with Brown Rice and papad.

For Brown Rice :

  1. In a pan heat butter and add the whole masala; fry till fragrant.
  2. Add the sugar and let it brown, then add onions and fry till brown.
  3. Add 5 cups of water and bring to boil. Add the rice, salt and cook till done.


Hemant Desai

Definitely a great dish that I have savored since my childhood. Living in Mumbai and had having some Parsi friends helps. One comment I did like to add in regards to meaning of the word 'Dhansak'. Now I am not linguist, however if one were to correctly pronounce, it should spell 'DhaanSak'. As mentioned correctly by Anita, Dhaan = grains. Sak of course is Gujarati word for vegetables. So its grains and veggies. For had is been 'DhunSak' indeed it would have meant Wealth and Veggies :D Have fun and have some health food like Dhaansak. Enjoy good taste, good food and may Universe bless you all with Good health.


I tried the recipe and tastes really yummy!! Thank you.

Anita Hinds

One correction to the previous post - dhansak comes from dhan (grain) and sak (veggies). Anything else (meat or chicken) is a bonus. This is the most popular parsi dish ever, and the yummiest.

raika gazder

I've heard dhansak came from- dhunsak, dhun - is money, prospertity, and for someone who can afford many dals and many vegies (in those days, what people ate everyday was a status symbol :) And sak is the common gujurati (shak - in hindi) term for a cooked vegetable, sak = stew. Hence dhansak would mean, stew of prosperity. hahahahaha... [In a typical parsi house it means its a sunday!]




Hi, thanks for the recipe. It is one of my favourite ones. There is a slight correction. In the list of ingredients is mentioned, 1/2 bunch red chillie powder. Could you please write the correct amount of chilli powder.


This is a brilliant articulation of the way a great Dhansak dish is to be cooked. My wife makes a very similar Dhansak dish.


very good recipes and also very accurate with the ingredents This dish is prepared wellby very few and ur one of them

Urvaksh Engineer

I Love Dhansak... try this recipe for sure !