Make this dhansak curry sauce recipe and add the main ingredient of choice
If you are looking for an amazing dhansak curry sauce recipe, you’ve come to the right place! I have made this British Indian restaurant (BIR) classic many time. Make it and your dhansak curries will be just like those you find at the best curry houses.
The history of the dhansak curry.
Dhansak is a Parsi Dish. The Parsi people have lived in India for about 1300 years after migrating from Iran. Parsi cuisine is a mix of Gujarati vegetarian food and non-vegetarian Iranian food.
In India, dhansaks are special curries, usually cooked for special events like weddings. Although they are often vegetarian, they are usually made with mutton and two or three vegetables and served with brown rice. A selection of popular lentils are also added.
Dhansaks – British Indian restaurant BIR style
The curry house version of a dhansak is a lot simpler to make and contains fewer ingredients too.
Many chefs add pineapple to their dhansak curries to give it a sweeter flavour.
Not all chefs do though so you will have to decide whether or not to add the pineapple in this recipe.
Personally, I’m not a big fan of pineapple but it does work well in this dhansak curry sauce recipe.
At curry houses, the chefs usually only add one time of cooked lentils. These are usually the red split lentils but feel free to try others.
Using a base curry sauce.
Curry house style dhansak curry sauce calls for a prepared base curry sauce. My ‘go to’ recipe is right here.
If you are planning a curry feast or just want to make serving your dhansak easier, you can make this recipe a day or two ahead of serving.
In fact, the sauce will get better as the flavours develop!
If you love this Dansak curry sauce recipe you might like to try some of these.
- 2 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil
- 1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tbsp mixed powder
- 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- 70ml (1/4 cup) tomato puree
- 250ml (1 cup) base sauce
- 90g (1/2 cup) cooked red lentils
- 60ml (scant 1/4 cup) pineapple juice
- 3 tinned pineapple rings - cut into cubes (optional)
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 tbsp fresh coriander (cilantro) finely chopped
- Salt to taste
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the garlic and ginger paste and fry for about 30 seconds to cook off the rawness.
- Stir in the turmeric, mixed powder and chilli powder and stir the spices into the garlicky oil.
- Now add the tomato puree and bring it to a simmer. Then add about half of the base sauce and bring this to a simmer too. Only stir the sauce if it looks like it is sticking to the pan.
- Add the remaining base sauce and the pineapple juice. If you don't like pineapple juice, you could add some stock or a little more base sauce.
- Now is a good time to add your main ingredient of choice. This could be chicken lamb, prawns, whatever you like. If you are just making the sauce for use later, you don't have to add any main ingredient.
- Stir in the lentils. Be careful not to burn them. If your curry sauce is looking dry, you could add more base sauce.
- To finish, stir in the pineapples chunks (if using) and garnish with fresh coriander (cilantro). Taste and season with salt to taste.
I hope you enjoy this dhansak curry sauce recipe. If you do try it, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.