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Lamb Dhansak

Lamb Dhansak
"A rustic Parsi, one-pot lamb stew cooked with lentils, vegetables, tamarind and spices making a hot, sweet and sour dish"


Typically eaten with the whole family as a weekend meal and you can see why!

This dish has a tang from the tamarind, heat from the chillies and sweetness from the veg.

Cook for the fam:


Lentil and vegetable mixture
  • 60g toor dhal split
  • 60g masoor dhal split
  • 60g urid dhal split
  • 1 small aubergine, chopped into large chunks
  • ½ small pumpkin, chopped into large chunks (you could also use butternut squash or sweet potato)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped in chunks
  • 15 fresh mint leaves, chopped

Dry Spices
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 4cm stick cassia bark
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 4 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp dry fenugreek leaves

Wet Paste
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3cm piece of ginger
  • 2 chillies

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • A handful of coriander, chopped



Lentil and vegetable mixture

  1. Put all the lentils, vegetables, onions and mint into a pan with 1L of water and some salt. Bring this to the boil and leave to simmer for 20 minutes until the lentils have cooked through.


Dry spices and Wet paste

  1. Place all the dry spices into a spice grinder and blend to a fine powder.
  2. Place this powder into a blender with the garlic, ginger and chillies and grind to make an aromatic paste. Add a splash of water to loosen if required.



  1. Heat the oil and start to fry the diced onions until they are golden brown (approx. 20 minutes).
  2. Once the onions are browned add the spice paste along with the turmeric and fry for a few minutes until golden.
  3. Add the tomatoes and tamarind then stir for about 5 minutes until the masala is thick and glossy.
  4. On a high heat, stir in the lamb and coat with the masala. After about 5 minutes add the cooked lentil mixture and leave this to simmer on a low heat for about 30-40 minutes. Make sure you stir occasionally as this can catch the bottom of the pan.
  5. Once the meat is tender check the seasoning and adjust if required.
  6. Throw in the fresh coriander to serve.



If you haven’t got the time to make this in the evening, then you can slow cook it so it’s ready when you get in.

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