Alfred Prasad's Lamb Dhansak

Alfred Prasad's lamb dhansak recipe is a true Parsi classic. This method demonstrates how to make a traditional, proper dhansak – the lentils and lamb curry are cooked separately before mixing together at the end. The dish is a labour of love, but well work the effort.

Serves: 4

Time: 2 hours and 20 mins


Vegetable and lentil stew

100g of toor lentils

50g of red masoor lentils

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

small potato, peeled and diced

100g of squash, preferably bottle gourd, diced

50g of baby spinach

30g of fenugreek leaves, fresh

2 sprigs of dill


Spice powder

cassia, one 5cm (2 inch) piece

green cardamom pods


1/2 tsp black peppercorns, preferably Telicherry

1 tbsp of coriander seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1/4 star anise

1 tsp fennel seeds

1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds

Lamb curry

350g of lamb shoulder, diced

60ml of vegetable oil

onions, finely sliced

1 tbsp of ginger paste

1 tbsp of garlic paste

1 tsp red chilli powder

1 tbsp of tomato paste

1 tbsp of tamarind paste

To serve

1 tsp fried garlic flakes

dried rose petals​

Recipe courtesy of




To begin, wash the lentils and place in a stewing pot. Add the ground turmeric, potato, squash, spinach, fenugreek and dill.

Add 600ml water, mix well and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer for 1 hour, or until the lentils are well-cooked and soft. Add salt to taste and allow to cool

Once cooled, use a hand blender to combine to a smooth purée. Add little water if required, and set aside

Lightly toast the spices in a hot, dry pan then grind to a fine powder. Set aside

To prepare the curry, heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onions until golden brown, for roughly 20 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic pastes and sauté for a couple of minutes

Add the powdered spices, mix well, then add the lamb. Keep mixing on a high heat until the meat is seared well on all sides

Add the red chilli powder, tomato paste and tamarind paste. Mix well, add 3 cups of water and bring to the boil. Simmer and slow-cook the lamb for roughly 45 minutes, until tender

Add the reserved lentil purée and cook for a few minutes to combine well

Serve hot, sprinkled with garlic flakes and dried rose petals​