Healthy Vegetable Dhansak

Preparation info

  • Makes


    adult portions
    • Difficulty


    • Ready in

      1 hr 10

Appears in

Madhouse Cookbook: Delicious Recipes for the Busy Family Kitchen

Madhouse Cookbook

By Jo Pratt

Published 2013

  • About

A bowl of fluffy basmati rice and Cucumber Raita make the perfect dishes to serve with this medium-hot curry. For a milder flavor, remove the chili seeds before chopping.


  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 green chilies, stems removed
  • 1-inch piece gingerroot, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size cubes
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • cups golden raisins
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 4⅓ cups hot vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes, each cut into 8 wedges
  • cups halved green beans
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
  • sea salt
  • pickles or condiments of your choice, to serve


  1. Put the lentils in a bowl of cold water and leave to soak about 3 minutes. Drain and leave to one side.
  2. Put the onion, garlic, chilies and ginger in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the onion mixture and fry about 5 minutes until it is starting to become soft and golden. Add the sweet potatoes, carrots and red peppers and fry about 5 minutes. Stir in the golden raisins, turmeric, cumin and coriander and continue frying about 1 minute. Add the drained lentils, hot stock, tomato paste and tomatoes. Stir well and cover with a lid. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring a couple of times. (The dhansak can be cooked up to this stage and removed from the heat at least 2 hours before needed. Simply return to the simmer and continue cooking for the final 10 to 15 minutes in the next step before serving.)
  4. Add the green beans and garam masala, then simmer with the lid off 10 to 15 minutes longer until all the vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with the cilantro.
  5. Season with a pinch salt and serve as it is or with pickles or condiments of your choice.