Vegetarian Dhan Shak

This traditional Persian (Parsi) dish is a favorite in India.

Grind to paste:

2 tbsp fresh coconut, grated

4 dry red chilies 

6 garlic cloves

1” fresh ginger

½ cup coriander

1 tsp cumin 

1 tsp coriander seed

Dry grind at first and then add 2 tbsp water. Grind to fine paste. 

For onion salad:

1 cup onion, thin sliced

1 green chili, chopped

Few leaves coriander, chopped

Salt, pinch

1 tsp lemon juice


Toss together and serve with dhanshak.


¼ cup tuver dal (pigeon peas)

¼ cup chana dal  (split chick peas)

¼ cup urad dal (black gram)

¼ moong dal (green gram)

1 small bunch spring onion

1 small bunch of fenugreek

1 carrot

1 tomato

6 to 8 French bean

1 small piece of pumpkin

1 potato

1 tbsp tamarind pulp

1 tsp salt

1 tsp jaggery

For cooking:

1 onion, chopped

1 tsp chili powder 

1 tbsp oil

1 tsp ghee 


1 cup vegetable stock


Rinse and drain the dal a few times and soak for a few minutes. Add 5 cup of water to a large pot. Add salt and all the dal and vegetables. Allow to cook for 25-30 minutes on a medium flame or until the dal is tender. Set aside to cool.

Blend the dal using a hand blender. Pass the through a soup strainer, set aside.

Heat thick bottom deep pan. Add oil and ghee. Sauté onion till light brown. Add the ground spice paste. Sauté till the spices start to release their aroma. Immediately add 1 tsp of water. Add chili powder, blended dal, tamarind pulp, jaggery and 1 cup vegetable stock or water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to dal simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

The consistency of dhanshak should be thick, like pumpkin soup.

Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with brown rice or bread and onion salad.

Tip: Red pepper flakes can be substituted for Kashmiri chilies. Prepare in advance to enhance the flavor.
Variations: This dish can be eaten with sliced bread.