1. Food
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Chicken Dhansak

User Rating 3.5 Star Rating (3 Reviews)


Chicken Dhansak
Mdid/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
This delicious and popular Parsi dish can be made with chicken or lamb. You can even omit the meat altogether and go vegetarian. Dhansak is traditionally served with Brown Rice and Kachumbar salad. While it seems like a lot of ingredients at first glance, most of them are for the Dhansak masala powder. To make and store some for later just double or triple the quantities from the recipe below, prepare and store in an airtight container. Another tip - Dhansak tastes even better the next day!


  • 1 cup mixed lentils - toor, masoor, urad and moong (1/4 cup each)
  • 500 gms chicken pieces of your choice - boneless
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 8 cloves
  • 1"piece cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1" piece of mace
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 dry red chillies
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 large bunch each of fresh coriander leaves and fenugreek leaves (approximately 150 gms/ 0.33 lbs each)
  • 1/2 bunch mint leaves (approximately 75 gms/ 0.17 lbs)
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 tbsps vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • Salt to taste


  • Wash the lentils well. Put them in a deep pan, add the chicken stock, salt to taste and a cup of water. Boil till the lentils are soft. Add more water if required.
  • While the lentils are boiling. Heat a griddle or heavy-bottomed flat pan on a medium flame and dry roast all the spices (except the turmeric and nutmeg) till they begin to release their aroma. Remove from the fire, cool and then grind to a fine powder in a dry coffee or spice grinder. Mix in the turmeric and nutmeg and blend well. Keep aside.
  • When the lentils are cooked soft, whisk them to get a smooth soup-like consistency. Keep aside.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a pan on a medium flame and when hot, add the fresh coriander, fenugreek and mint leaves to it. Fry till soft. Remove from the fire and cool. Grind into a smooth paste in a food processor.
  • Heat a deep, heavy-bottomed pan on a medium flame and add the lentils, ginger, garlic and tamarind pastes and bring to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. The consistency should always be like a medium-thick soup. Add a cup of water, the spice powder and coriander-fenugreek-mint paste you made earlier, salt if required and the chicken pieces. Mix well.
  • Simmer and cook till chicken is done. Add more water to maintain consistency.
  • Serve Dhansak hot with Brown Rice and Kachumbar salad.
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 1 out of 5
Was it the dried herbs?, Member cherrydowns

What a disaster! The first online recipe failure I have ever had. I love dhansak and dahl but what a mess this was. I threw it all away. I was going fine until it came to frying the coriander etc. I could not get fresh fenugreek or mint so I used dried instead. Checked online and it said to use 1/3 the amount of dried to fresh. I did this. It was a little dry so I added some water which I thought would not be a problem as I would have to liquidise it. Jeez it reminded me of wet grass and smelt like it. Had to add more water to liquidise it. And when I put the lentils, spices and ""grass"" together it not only looked awful but tasted awful. I'm sure there should have been about 4 times the quantity of lentils in this recipe.

0 out of 1 people found this helpful.

See all 3 reviews

  1. About.com
  2. Food
  3. Indian Food
  4. Chicken, Egg, Pork Dishes
  5. Chicken Dishes
  6. Chicken Dhansak

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.