Vegetable Dhansak With Brinjal Pakoda - Parsi Cuisine

The Parsis of India are Persian Zoroastrian immigrants who settled on the west coast of India (Gujarat) around the 7-9th century . Parsis,  
when they came to India from Persia, settled on the West coast of India in Gujarat , picked along the way the tradition of stews, gosht (meat) and dry fruits from Iran. They devoured the fish available on the coast and upped the sour content in their food with red vinegar / tamarind to balance the sweetness of Gujarati cuisine. That is how the Parsis, influenced by their history, founded their own distinct cuisine.  Hence, it's interesting to see that many Parsi meat preparation lean towards Persian cooking techniques ( slow cooking ), often bringing together a combination of meat, vegetables and lentils with Indian spices.

Dhansak is a popular dish, Dhansak is made by cooking meat with a mixture of lentils and vegetables. This is served with caramelised brown rice, which is rice cooked in caramel water to give it a typical taste and colour. The dal cooked with meat and vegetables served with brown rice, altogether is called dhansak. 

In Parsi homes, dhansak is traditionally made on Sundays. I have prepared a Vegetable Dhansak and served it steamed Rice and Fried Brinjals. This delicious wholesome dish was our Sunday Lunch.  This recipe was given to me by my friend.


For the Home made Dhansak Masala

1 Stick Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Mustard seeds
1/4 Teaspoon Sesame seeds
1/4 Teaspoon Fennel seeds
1/8 Teaspoon Fenugreek seeds
1/8 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Teaspoon Heaped Coriander seeds
1/4 Teaspoon Cumin seeds
1/2 Teaspoon Black Peppercorns
2 Green Cardamons
1 Big Brown Cardamon
1/2 Teaspoon Shahjeera / Caraway seeds
1/2 Teaspoon Cloves
4 Petals Star aniseed

1 Bay Leaf

Method for the Masala

Dry roast all the above spices for about 2 minutes.  Cool and grind to a fine powder.    Keep aside. The masala can be stored for 6 months.

Ingredients for the 

1/4  Cup Toor dal
1/2 Cup Moong dal

1  Large Onion - chopped
1  Potato -  cut in cubes
1/4 Cup White Pumpkin - cut in cubes
2 Small Brinjals  -  cut in cubes 
1 Carrot - cut in cubes
1/4  Teaspoon Turmeric powder
1 Teaspoon ginger garlic paste
2 Tablespoon Oil
1 Tablespoons Dhansak Masala -  homemade
1 Teaspoon Chilly powder
1 Tablespoon Jaggery Or Sugar
1  Tablespoon Tamarind paste
Salt to taste
1 Cube of  Vegetable soup
2 -3  Cups Water


Wash the lentils and cook them in a pressure cooker till done.

 In a big wok , heat oil, add the onions and ginger garlic paste,  saute till the onions turn  pink, then add all the vegetables and saute till  for 2 minutes. Add  turmeric, soup cube,  salt, lentils,  dhansak  masala, chilly powder and water. Cook on low flame for an hour stirring in between so that it does not burn at the bottom. After an hour add the tamarind paste, jaggery and  check the consistency of the dhansak,  add water if necessary and let it boil  again on slow flame for 10 - 15 minutes.  Garnish with chopped corainder and serve hot with steamed rice, Kachumber salad and Fried Brinjals / Brinjal Pakoda.

Fried Brinjal / Brinjal Pakoda


1 Big Round Black Brinjal / Eggplant
1/2 Teaspoon Dhansak masala
1 Teaspoon Chilly powder
1 Cup Gram flour / Chick pea flour
2 Tablespoons Rice flour
Salt to taste
Oil for shallow frying


Cut the Brinjal into round thick slices and keep aside.

In big flat plate mix the dhansak masala, chilly powder, salt, both the flours and mix well.  Add water to make a  very thick paste.  Take each slice  apply the paste on both sides and keep aside for 5 minutes.

Heat oil in frying pan, arrange the brinjals , keep on  medium flame till one side is nicely fried and turns reddish brown.  Flip  and fry the other side, in the same manner.  Serve hot with steamed rice and Dhansak and Kuchumber.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#52.

Labels : Masalas, Vegetables, Parsi Cuisine, Blogging Marathon, Homemade, Complete Meal
Sneha's Recipe
Sneha's Recipe

Happy Home-maker and culinary enthusiast.


  1. I have been wanting to try my hands on this , perfectly made Dhanshak!!

  2. That is a yummy looking Parsi meal. Both the dishes look delicious.

  3. Wow, you made your own masala too. Both the dishes look yum.

  4. All those flavors blended together must taste so good.

  5. Both the dishes seem very interesting..nice pakoda..


  6. good blog ! looks for delicious, i love Brinjal pakodi with . thankyou for shearing this information with us!Online Food Delivery