Beef Dhansak

Dhansak is a Gujurati dish. It is a spicy hot yet almost sweet and sour curry, which consists of meat or fish combined with a lentil dal. It is also possible to make a vegetarian version of this dish by using paneer (a kind of compressed cottage cheese) or eggplant or pumpkin/kumara in place of the meat or fish.

Quantity Ingredient
200g Chana Dal or green or brown lentils
30g Ghee
500g Lean Mince
200g Chopped Onion
10g Chopped Garlic
1 teaspoon Black Mustard Seed
1 round teaspoonful Cumin Seed
1 scant teaspoonful Kala Jira (Nigella Seed) - or extra cumin
1/3 teaspoon Caraway Seed
1/3 teaspoon Fennel Seed
1 teaspoon Ground Fenugreek
2 teaspoons Turmeric
1 tablespoon Grated Root Ginger
3/4 teaspoon Gd Cardamom
1/2 teaspoon Mace
30g - about 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
30g - about 2 tablespoons Coconut Cream
2 teaspoons Maggi Chicken Stock
200 ml Boiling water
To Taste Chilli Powder

To Taste

Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  1. Place the chana dal in a saucepan with 1 litre of water, bring to the boil and simmer until done - about 40 minutes. (Most recipes suggest carefuly removing stones from and soaking chana dal before use. However, given the dal supplied through our local Indian food shop, I have never found this to be necessary.)
  2. As soon as the dal begins to cook, melt the ghee in a heavy base pot and add the mustard, cumin and kala jira. Once the mustard seed begins to pop, add onion and the remainder of the spices and the ginger. Coat well with oil, and cook until the onion begins to go translucent.
  3. Add the minced beef, and combine with the spices and onion and cook until the meat has browned slightly.
  4. Add the tomato paste and coconut cream, the water and chicken stock, and the vegetables, and stir well. Leave to simmer gently until the dal has cooked.
  5. Strain the dal, and add to the meat and spices. Combine and leave to simmer a little longer.
  6. If you wish to address the "sour" component of a traditional dhansak, you may wish to add a little lemon or lime juice, or tamarind pulp to taste at the end.








Sauces, Chutneys, Relishes, Jams and Marmalade

Tramping (Hiking)



Spreads, Dips, Entrees, and Dressings



With Meat or Fish