Dhan Shak Dal- Spicy Lentils made with vegetables

Parsees love their Dhan Shak. Their ultimate Sunday lunch!
And a very satisfying comfort food.
Be sure to nap that noon!
Dhan- means rice- brown rice -see recipe in Rice- and Shak -means a delectable amalgamation of Indian dals -toor dal, masoor dal, moong dal plus some some nutrient infusing vegetables such as bringals (egg plants or aubergines) Methi spinach (fenugreek leaves-available fresh or frozen)
tomatoes, potatoes and pumpkin, together with ginger, garlic and an array of spices and herbs.

Dhan shak Dal is traditionally served with brown rice, Kachuber and Kavabs (Kebabs-meat balls)
Use lamb, goat or chicken-or make it plain vegetarian dhanshak


2 cups Toor Dal (available in Indian groceries-looks like yellow split peas/beans)
1/2 cup masoor dal (red lentils)
A handful of mung (moong) dal (small yellow dal/lentil)
2 tsp turmeric powder
2 dsp chilly powder
1 tblsp jeera powder (cumin)
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp Parsi Sambhar (optional as available in spice shops in Mumbai)
1 tblsp Dhania (coriander) powder
1 cup diced pumpkin
1/2 cup chopped Fenugreek leaves
1 handful chopped of mint leaves.
6/7 curry leaves
2 spring onions-chopped
2 large red onions sliced finely (or brown)
2 tsp jeera seeds (cumin)
2 tsp ginger paste
2 tsp garlic paste
2 tsp red chilly paste
1 can diced tomato
2 large potatoes cut in large pieces
1 cup chopped egg plant
4 green chillies
3 tblsp oil to fry onions
1 tsp tamarind paste or 1 dsp balsamic or brown vinegar
2 tsp pepper powder
1 tsp sugar
1 bunch chopped coriander leaves


Wash all dals until water is clear and soak them overnight.
Next day wash the dals again and add fresh warm water.
Add 1 tsp turmeric, egg plant , pumpkin, chopped spring onions,
fenugreek leaves and mint leaves to the dals and cook till the dals
are soft and can be mashed.
If you have a cooker then use it as it will be cooked faster.
Strain dal through a colander mashing it.
Keep it aside.

Fry 2 large onions till they are brown and crispy.
Remove the onions and in the oil (add more oil if needed),
fry the cumin seeds till they pop,
add curry leaves and green chillies, half of the chopped coriander leaves
and cook for 1 minute.
Add the dry spice powers in this order: turmeric, chilly,
garam masala cumin and coriander (plus parsi sambar if available)
Add the red chilly paste.
Keep on stirring making sure the masala does not burn.
Add some hot water if it is too dry.
Add the diced tomatoes and let the mixture cook for 5 minutes
or so, till the tomatoes are mashed and cooked well and oil comes to the top
Put the fried onions back into the masala paste and stir.
Add the potatoes, lamb (or goat meat/chicken) and stir till the potatoes and meat are slightly browned.
Add a cup of hot water, the mashed dal mixture, salt to taste and let it come to a boil.
Lower the heat and cook till the meat/chicken is tender (this should take 45 minutes)
Add 1 tsp tamarind paste or 1 tsp balsamic or brown vinegar and a tsp of sugar
Add the remaining coriander leaves
Add 2 tsp pepper powder and taste the dal for salt. Add more green chillies if you need it more spicy.
Serve the dhanshak dal hot, as recommended above.

Tip: Once the meat/ chicken is cooked remove it and let the dal simmer on a low heat for another 1/2 an hour. Simmering the dal longer will improve the taste.
Ready made Dhan shak masal is avaliable in indian groceries, if you se it then add just 1 dsp of it to the dry spices
You can make the dal a day before serving, as it tastes even better the next day!

Lamb Kavab (Mince Kebab).
lamb kebob,

These delicious Parsi Mince Kavabs/Kebabs can be served as starter with Dhan shak, or as a side dish


1 kg mince ( lamb or beef)
1 small brown or red chopped onion
2 tsp ginger and garlic paste
2 tblsp chopped coriander leaves
2 tblsp chopped mint leaves
2 chopped green chillies
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilly powder
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
2-3 slices of bread soaked in little water
Dry breadcrumbs to coat the Kababs
2 eggs


Marinate the above in the lamb mince for minimum 4 hours
Make small balls (size of lemons). Coat the balls in bread crumbs or semolina.
Shallow fry them in a non stick pan till brown.

Tip: Use mince with a bit of fat in it as the fat imparts a lot of flavour to the kababs

Masala Rack of Lamb, Roasted

You can use a full leg of lamb for this too. I have used a Rack Of lamb about 800 grams. This is cooked in the oven, so for every 500 grams of meat add and additional half an hour of cooking. Every oven is a bit different-so if you know your oven then you can reduce or increase the temperatures a bit.


1 Rack of lamb about 800 grams

2 teaspoons (tsp.) of minced garlic
1 and ½ teaspoons, of finely grated ginger
Juice of half a lemon

1 tsp. cumin powder
1 tsp. turmeric powder
½ tsp. cinnamon powder
½ tsp. cardamom powder
½ tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. black pepper powder

2 tbsp. (tablespoon) pistachio nuts
1 tbsp. almonds
¾ cup thick Greek yoghurt
1 large pinch saffron (optional)
1 tbsp. honey

2 tbsp. cooking oil
1 tsp. salt

1 potato
1 white onion (same size of the potato)
1 cup hot water


Clean the lamb.
Turn it skin side down and make some slits on the top near the bones –so it is easy to carve it after it is cooked, in a way to make lamb chops.
Make a few slits with the knife.
Mix the lemon juice, salt, ginger and garlic then spread it on the lamb-massaging it well.
Mix all the dry spices with 1 tbsp. Of the cooking oil and spread next on the lamb.
In a mixer, crush the nuts and add the yoghurt, honey and saffron until smooth
Pour this paste over the lamb to cover it completely.
Marinate this overnight or minimum for 5 hours.
Remove from fridge at least 1 hour before cooking the next day to bring it to room temperature.
Line a baking tray with foil and put it in the oven on full heat about 230c or 450F for 15 minutes
Peal the potato and onion and cut into half each.
Put the Rack of Lamb on top of the half cut potato and onion in the hot baking tray.
(First remove the tray from the oven carefully)
Pour the hot water around the lamb and drizzle the remaining (1 tbsp. )of oil over the lamb
Reduce the heat to 180c or 350F and cook the lamb for 50/55 minutes.
Baste it with the cooking juices several times
Remove the lamb from the oven and cover it with foil to let it rest for at least 10 to 15 minutes before serving

Serve it with your favourite salad or and dish of your choice
This serves 3 adults.

Parsi Mince Cutlets with Tomato Gravy
Parsi cutlets

Parsi Mince Cutlets with Tomato Gravy is one of my favourite side dishes!


1 kg mince ( lamb or beef)
1 small brown chopped onion
2 tsp ginger and garlic paste
2 tblsp chopped coriander leaves
4 chopped green chillies
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp pepper
2-3 slices of bread soaked in little water
dry breadcrumbs to coat the cutlets
4 eggs
oil to fry


Fry onion till soft pale brown
In a bowl put the mince, onion (let it cool), green chillies, a little salt
Add the ginger and garlic paste, salt, pepper, turmeric, chilli powder and coriander leaves and 2 eggs.
Squeeze water out of the bread slices and add to the above mixture
Mix and keep aside for 1-2 hours.

Make 10/12  round flat cutlets from the mixture, cover in bread crumbs, dip in beaten eggs (2)
and shallow fry till golden brown

Tomato Gravy


1/2 kg ripe tomatoes or 1 can chopped tomato tin
1 cup water
1 tblsp oil
1 chopped small brown onion
3 green chillies
1 tsp chilly powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin
small piece of ginger/or 1 tsp ginger paste or powder
2 tblsp sugar
2 tblsp vinegar
dash or Wooster sauce


Fry the onions to soft transparent consistency add chilly powder, turmeric , cumin powder, ginger, green chillies and fry the masala a bit
add the tomatoes and 1 cup water
When the tomatoes are cooked, cool, and put all through a blender
Slightly cool, add the tomato juice and bring it to a boil.
Add vinegar,Wooster sauce, sugar and salt to taste.
Serve hot on the cutlets.

Kid Gosh/Lagan nu Kid Gosh/Kid roast
(A tender baby lamb dish cooked on parsee weddings)

Recipe provided by Parvin Balsara


Goat meat/Lamb shanks               1kg
(cut into big chunky pieces)
Ground cinnamon                           1 ½ tsp
Ground cloves                                “
Fresh green chilies                         8-10(as per taste)
Fresh garlic cloves                         2-3
Fresh knob of ginger                      about an inch
Salt                                                   1tsp
Cashew nut                                     ½ cup
Coconut cream                               1 cup


Grind the chilies ginger and garlic(it is best to use fresh and grind it yourself as the pre-ground ones often have vinegar/citric acid in it which can spoil the taste of this delicate dish). Marinate the meat in all the above herbs, spices and salt, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Soak the cashew nuts in 1 cup of water and keep aside in the fridge.

When ready to cook, heat 3tblsp of ghee and brown the meat until it smells fragrant, add a couple of glasses of water, cover the pot and let it cook until tender. Keep checking every 5-10 minutes to make sure there is enough moisture and meat is not sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Whilst the meat is cooking, grind up the soaked cashew nuts.

In another pan, heat a tblsp of ghee and gently sautee the ground cashew. When the oil starts coming to the side of the pan, pour in the coconut cream and bring it to a gentle simmer. Pour this mix into the cooked meat and gently stir it in. The meat should have some stock left in it, if not, add some water to thin the sauce. Give the pot a good boil, do a taste test for salt, adjust if needed.

Serve with saffron rice.Happy Cooking!

Kheema na pattice-Potato Mince Patties

These savory patties are another favourite of us Parsees!
Have them for lunch or as a side dish. Make them with lamb or beef mince.
Makes about 10


350 grams of lamb or beef mince
9 medium potatoes (red potatoes) boiled and mashed
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp chilly powder
1tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp pepper powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
2 /3 green chillies-chopped
1 handful of chopped coriander leaves
1 tsp sugar
1 dsp soy sauce
1 dsp brown vinegar
1 medium brown onion
salt to taste

Ingredients for coating the  pattice:
2 beaten eggs with a dash of salt
Bread crumbs to coat the patties


In a heavy skillet or non stick pan fry onion till soft and opaque but slightly brown
Add ginger garlic paste, powdered masalas, green chillies, coriander leaves and cook till the spices are fragrant.
Add the mince and keep on stirring to break it up. Once it has browned a little, add the sugar, salt, soy sauce and vinegar and cook till the mince is well done.Taste the mince and balance out the salt, sugar and sour taste.
The mince should be dry not wet. Let it cool down completely.
Mash the potatoes and season them with salt and pepper.

To make the patties, make balls from the mashed potato big enough to fit your palm. Make cup like shapes and fill the mince then close the balls. Roll them in bread crumbs, coat them with beaten eggs and fry them in a non stick pan till golden and crispy.

Kheema;Parsi Kheema (or spicy mince stew with potatoes)

This is a simple nutritious dish. It is savoury so kids love it too.
Mince is also great for hiding all the vegetables in a meat based dish!


500 gms lamb or beef mince
1 large onion
1 to 2 tsp Ginger garlic paste
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilly powder
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp cumin (jeera) powder
1 tsp pepper powder
1/2 can diced tomatoes or 1 medium tomato
1 green chilly
Half a bunch coriander leaves chopped
1 medium potato diced into 4 or 6 pieces
Salt to taste
2 tsp sugar
1 dsp Wooster sauce
2 spoons Tabasco sauce
1 dsp brown vinegar


Chop the onion and fry it till soft and golden brown
Add the cumin seeds and fry them for a minute

Add ginger garlic paste and fry for 30 seconds

Add the turmeric, chilly , garam masalas and fry for 30 seconds

Add chopped green chillies , half of the coriander leaves and
fry for 30 seconds

Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 to 6 minutes

Add the mince and keep on stirring till all the meat is brown
Don't mash up the mince to much-leave it a bit chunky
Add 1/4 cup of hot water -only if the mixture is too dry
Cook on medium low heat for 15 minutes.
Add potatoes and cook for another 10 minutes

When potatoes are cooked add salt, sugar, pepper powder,
Wooster sauce, Tabasco sauce and vinegar
Taste the mince.It should be sweet and spicy.
Add more sugar or tabasco if you want to.

Serving Suggestion:This mince can be served with crusty bread on it's own or as a side dish.
It can also be had with rice-especially Khichdee rice and Papads (popadoms) on the side.

Tip:Use left over mince to make pies, samosas etc. You can add small cooked pasta instead of potatoes.
Or add some diced carrots, peas and beans.

Grilled Lamb Chops/Lamb Cutlets

Quick and Easy to make Lamb Chops/or Lamb Cutlets as some call them. Serve as a starter of a main or a side dish.


6 lamb chops, trimmed
2 cloves garlic
1 inch piece ginger
2 small green chillies
1 small red or brown onion
1 handful coriander leaves
1 tsp. coriander powder
1 tsp. cumin powder
Fresh Bread crumbs
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper powder

Trim the chops and flatten then with a knife’s handle or a mallet.
Blend the onion, chillies, ginger, garlic, dry spices, salt and pepper to make the marinade.
Pour the marinade on the chops and run it in. Marinate them overnight.
Dip in breadcrumbs, spray with some olive or cooking oil
Put the chops in a foiled lined tray to bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 C for 5 minutes on each side.
Let them stand for 10 mins before serving.
Serve with a wedge of lemon.

(Goan/Portuguese piquant Curry Sauce)

Vindaloo or Vindalu has it's origins from the Portuguese cuisine which was, and still is, very influential in Goan cooking.
This piquant and spicy and sweet sauce, is great with pork, chicken or lamb.
One of the favourite dishes of the Parsees.
Have it with rice or crusty bread.


1/2 kilo cubed pork with the fat intact. (it is the fat that will give the flavour to this dish)
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
4 tsp red chilly powder
12 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp malt vinegar (brown vinegar)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 stick cinnamon
5 cloves
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp black pepper powder
1 large onion finely diced and golden fried
Coriander leaves to garnish
salt to taste


Marinate the pork in ginger, garlic, chilly powder, mustard and vinegar overnight
In a pan, fry the onion add turmeric powder, cinnamon, cloves and cumin powder.
Add the marinated meat and stir fry fro 5 minutes on high heat till you get the aroma of the spices.
Add 2 cups of hot water and let it simmer till the meat is cooked. Add salt, sugar and  pepper.
Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves.Tastes even better the next day!


  1. Hi Aban,

    I loved the recepies and so did everyone at home. So far I have tried the Kebabs, Sali Chicken and Prawns.


  2. Thank you Delna! Glad to know my recipes continue to inspire you, to cook/Aban

  3. That's really nice post. I really enjoyed your recipes especially Lamb Kavab. I must try this.
    Thanks for sharing with us these awsome recipes.


Please leave your email address in your message if you want us to contact you