Lamb dhansak ( parsi cuisine )

Main Dish
4 servings
15 min
95 min
Very Easy


Number of serving: 4
100 g red lentils

500 g butternut squash , peeled and chopped into chunks

2 onions roughly chopped

400 g tin chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon turmeric

1½ teaspoon cumin seeds

1½ teaspoon coriander seeds

4 cardamom pods , squashed


Water for cooking

400 g lean diced lamb

Thumb-sized piece root ginger , finely chopped

4 garlic cloves , crushed

2-3 green chillies , sliced

1 teaspoon garam masala powder

Small bunch coriander , chopped

Chapatti or steamed basmati rice to serve


  • Put the lentils, squash, onion and tomatoes in a pan with the turmeric and 1 teaspoon salt. Add water to just cover, then simmer gently for about 20 minutes until the lentils are tender.
  • Put the cumin, coriander and cardamom in a small pan and toast until fragrant. Grind in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan, add the lamb in batches and brown all over. Scoop out then add the ground spices.
  • Cook for 2 minutes then stir in the ginger, garlic and chillies. Cook for a few minutes then add the lamb, lentils and squash and 200ml more water.
  • Cover and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes (remove cover for final 30 minutes) or until the lamb is completely tender and sauce thickened.
  • Stir in the garam masala and coriander and serve with steamed basmati rice or chapatis.

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